As children gather inside a local family fun center for a birthday party, they are greeted by some of their favorite characters who are there to help them celebrate, play games, and take pictures. This magical experience is created by the family-owned business Tooty Tot, that has been delighting kids and their families for more than seven years.
“We’re like a party in a box,” said co-owner, Renecia Harris Ruffin. “We bring the fun to you and provide quality entertainment.”
Tooty Tot not only has over 30 mascot characters to choose from, but they also offer a designated party host, arts and crafts, activities, and face painting—all for an affordable price.
Ruffin got the idea to start the business while attending a children’s event several years ago.
“A person walked in dressed as Elmo, and I watched how everyone was smiling and how they flocked to the costume,” she said. “I was like, wow, I can do that.”
Even though Ruffin’s husband, Rashaun, was a little nervous about starting an entertainment business, the couple ultimately decided to take a leap of faith and open Tooty Tot, whose name comes from the Dr. Jean song, Tooty Ta.
Over the years Ruffin and her business partner/husband have had to adapt to the changing popularity of certain characters. They started with Elmo and Dora the Explorer and have added Spongebob, and the cast members of Paw Patrol, PJ Masks and Frozen.
But while the characters might change, the Ruffin’s business practices and passion for entertaining children has never changed.
“We’re all about service and making sure that everybody is happy and having a good time,” Ruffin said. “I always say this is God’s business and we’re just His mouthpiece. We actually look at it as kind of a ministry.”
Because the couple cares so much about their clients, they have adopted more safety procedures to ensure the health and wellness of their employees and partygoers.
“We disinfect the costumes and make sure our employees are washing their hands often,” she said. “Depending on the location, we might also ask the party host to wear a mask.”
For more information about Tooty Tot and making your next event extra special, visit www.tootytot.com or contact the Ruffins at 254-338-3524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.