We all have careers. Some of us are in an office, some of us stay home. Some work full time, some work part time. Our jobs may be different, but we are all trying to achieve balance as we juggle our kids, our work, our spouses, our dinner menus, our commute, our bills, our birthday parties, our vacations, and most of all, our sanity.

At Work and Play, we’re trying to make things a little bit easier to help you live a happy 
imperfect life, where the key is not trying to balance it all, but rather, to find the right INbalance that works for you. We offer a coworking space on the first floor, and an onsite childcare service for those who need it. On the weekends, we focus on community, filling our space with families via birthday parties and special events. 






Deborah Engel



The Work and Play Staff


Deborah Engel, a local Maplewood mom of three, is the founder of Work and Play.


Deborah conceived the idea in 2010, shortly after her first child was born, while she was living the daily grind of commuting into the city with her best friend and worst enemy, the breast pump. She loved working in an office surrounded by colleagues, but wished she could nurse her infant throughout the day.


Two years later, in 2012, after daughter number two arrived, Deborah left her job as Vice President of public relations firm, The Lippin Group, to freelance from home. Before long, she grew lonely “hiding” in her small home office all day long. She started attending networking events, met other entrepreneurs and talked about her idea for a flexible workspace, that would also offer customizable child care.  Inspired by the support and ideas given by the community, Deborah closed on a fixer-upper in South Orange weeks before delivering her third child on “Thanksgivukkah.”


Deborah loves meeting fellow working parents to chat about balancing careers and children. She also still dabbles in PR and can offer her services to the members of Work and Play.


Becky Gartman

Early Childhood Education



Becky Gartman is the Director of Early Childhood Education at Work and Play.  


Becky has been working in the education field for 12 years, teaching children, training teachers, developing curriculum and programming, contributing to research, and writing about education. She is excited to join Work and Play to build a program that welcomes creativity and innovation, and join a community celebrating young children and their natural curiosity.


Becky received her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Michigan University and her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan.


Becky lives with her husband Lev and their two rescue dogs, Jake and Elwood.