I'm Michal, a certified dance/movement therapist based in Istanbul.
I have a babygirl-Vanessa who was born in the midst of the pandemic
and part of the reason we decided to launch YAYA with my hubby, Murat.
We LOVE to play.
I’m pretty sure we’ll be passing on our love for music to Vanessa. This is us during her first week at home :) My point is, we love to use space and objects creatively, add a bit of love and joy to it… and this is the result.
But our story is not just about how “cheesy” we are as parents…
My background in psychology and my awareness that there is a need for products that encourage indoor, creative, energy consuming, open-ended play for children (that has increased during the pandemic) has pushed me to launch the YAYA Play Couch in Turkey.
In January of 2019 I got pregnant and decided to open a dance & play studio for children. In February I rented a beautiful space with a lovely garden, I renovated the whole place and I created the branding for YAYA as a dance & play studio with an amazing team – paperbrandidentity. Visit their insta @ https://www.instagram.com/paperbrandidentity/
In March – the pandemic hit Turkey.
For nearly a year the space was empty as I couldn’t risk infection for my family or any visitors. Then I decided if people couldn’t come to YAYA, then YAYA would come to them.As we’ve all been spending much of our time indoors during the pandemic, we felt the need for more playful spaces that allowed us to let out all our energy, and mostly have a lot of fun together…And so we decided to launch the YAYA Play Couch.
The name YAYA was inspired by Sandra Bullock’s movie, “Divine secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood”.
The so-called Ya-ya’s in this movie are a group of girls who have strong connections,
who care about each other and trust each other.
I mentioned I’m cheesy right?
Some of my best childhood memories are of me and my best friends
under a sheet between couches in a fort we’ve built, giggling, pinky promising to always be there for each other.
And we still are.
These are my “ya-ya’s”. 30 years of friendship and still strong as ever.
So YAYA it is!
You're welcome to come and visit the YAYA Play House in Istinye Istanbul... we are planning to start children's workshops in May and our space doubles as a showroom for the YAYA Play Couch...
just contact us to set an appointment.