We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Mangi & Leah Sprecher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole Mangi &, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We had both found ourselves in Los Angeles after pursuing Broadway careers in New York City and were sort of ready for a new chapter in our lives. Nicole had spent an incredibly inspiring couple of years in the Broadway revival of Gypsy and Leah was fresh off a stint in the Groundlings Sunday Company. As long time friends, we decided to join forces to create something that combined all of our passions and skill sets and gave us more control over the trajectory of our careers. Around that time, Nicole was also trying out music classes with her daughter and felt there was a gap in the offerings. From there, Broadway Babies was born! We launched a series of interactive, imaginative and engaging music classes and then, when the pandemic hit, we pivoted into producing online content. In both arenas we feel there is a real need for wholesome and inspiring live-action children’s programming, so why not create it ourselves?
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In addition to pursuing musical theatre careers, we’ve both always had a passion for arts education and early childhood development. We draw a lot of our inspiration from Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, but given our theatre backgrounds, we throw in a lot of slapstick and musical comedy ala Carol Burnett and I Love Lucy. We inspire kids to use their imaginations and whatever they have on hand to put on a big broadway show in their own living rooms. It’s essentially theatre 101 for toddlers!
Our growth as a company has luckily been pretty organic. We have an incredible foundation of 15+ years of friendship, so there was a built in chemistry and joy of creating together that was there from the beginning. What started as one parent-and-me music class for our friends, quickly grew through word of mouth. Within a year, we were teaching multiple private and public music classes weekly as well as providing entertainment for birthday parties and other special events. Our main challenge came when the pandemic hit. Much like many other new businesses, we were faced with figuring out how to maintain momentum when we could no longer offer in-person services. Teaching via zoom proved to be difficult for our age range so we decided to turn our music class into a scripted show that you can now find on YouTube: The Broadway Babies Show! Creating online content had its own challenges as well–we were basically a 2 person crew–so we had to cultivate a lot of patience, coming to the realization that sometimes things take a lot longer to finish than you anticipate and that’s okay! We are proud of what we were able to accomplish in 2020 and will continue producing digital content even as classes are beginning to open up again. If you are looking for wholesome, imaginative and engaging entertainment that inspires creativity and independent play, check us out!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many beautiful things to do and see in LA! A perfect bestie weekend would start off with coffee and croissants at Blue Bottle Coffee and then a trip to The Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. It is such a magical place. We would then pick up Sugarfish Sushi and drinks from our favorite speciality drink shop Fancy Free Liquor and head to the beach for a sunset picnic! The next day we would go to the Larchmont famers market, stroll the shops and stop by Larchmont Village Wine & Cheese shop for one of their amazing sandwiches, and head over to Flower Truck LA for some absolutely gorgeous flowers. We’d then pack a delicious farmers market picnic and head to Malibu for a hike! After a day of gorgeous views we would stop by Broad Street Oyster Co for a lobster roll. A perfect California weekend!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A company that championed us early on and has continued to include us in their programming, both in-person, and digitally is The Jane Club– a private membership women’s club with a focus on inclusivity and working moms. We love what they stand for, are incredibly inspired by what they’ve built, and have made wonderful lasting connections with many of the women there.