May Tran is the founder of Parent Poppin, a fantastic drop-in space in St Peters for both parents and babies with a focus on helping new parents look after themselves, recharge their batteries and get practical advice on navigating parenthood.
Having felt isolated after the birth of her son, May wanted to support other parents to ensure that no parent had to go through that period alone and she came up with the idea of Parent Poppin! Sensing that there was a gap in the market – and indeed a need for something like Parent Poppin – May created a warm, relaxing and social sanctuary where you can drop-in and hang-out with your little one, have a coffee or tea, attend a workshop or even treat yourself to a massage or beauty service.
Tell us a little about yourself
I have been an Inner Westie for about 15 years and have recently opened a business in St Peters offering services and a space, to support new parents adjust to their new life.
I am a marketer by trade and I was once told that my main strength was marketing boring products seem interesting! I loved working in marketing, but a major life event – the birth of my son – guided me to open my current business, Parent Poppin.
Nowadays, I spend a lot of my time with my family, mostly servicing my new boss (my one and a half year-old toddler), and occasionally hanging out with the husband. Outside of that, I like to be amongst nature, going to the markets, cafes, talking to people and listening to their stories.
What did you do prior to starting your own business?
I worked in marketing for iconic Australian brands such as NRMA and CSR. Previously, I had a stint in the UK working in marketing, which gave me a more-rounded perspective and approach as well as the different ways to do business in different countries.
I have also had experience in helping smaller companies and start-ups grow their businesses
What is Parent Poppin and what inspired you to create this space?
Parent Poppin helps modern parents adjust to their new life with their little one. I subscribe to the old adage of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and in today’s modern world, we aim to be that village to people that need it.
When I gave birth to my son a year and a half ago, I found my new role as a mum very challenging – probably the most difficult and isolating experience in my life. I tried to find ways to improve my mental well-being and equip myself with the knowledge and confidence to raise my little bub, but the services available were limited and scattered. Being sleep deprived and tired, I didn’t have the energy and mind power to research or process the vast amount of information online.
I wished that there was a place that I could just turn up at, whenever I wanted to and share my experience with other parents. A place where I could learn about parenting, where I could enjoy life’s little luxuries like having a hot tea or a massage without constantly juggling a cute baby in my hands. A lot of people around me were also yearning for the same thing but there was nothing around. So as soon as my little one started sleeping long enough for me to get my brain back, I created Parent Poppin.
What services do you offer at Parent Poppin?
Our current services include parenting classes, massage and beauty services with babysitting, and a beautiful, cosy café for parents and bubs to meet.
We are constantly looking for new ways to help parents recharge and help make the transition to parenthood as smooth as possible. We welcome suggestions from our community, so if there’s something that you would like to see us do, please drop us a note!
What can parents expect from a visit to Parent Poppin?
A relaxing, beautifully decorated space with jazz playing in the background. A place where you can be comfortable – take your shoes off, put your little one down on a playmat and sip a tea or coffee. You can chat to other parents, share knowledge, experience or just talk about your day.
You also have the option of having a massage or getting your nails done while a babysitter looks after your little one. Or you could attend a parenting class run by a paramedic, a nurse or speech therapist where you can learn from them in an intimate setting and ask your own questions about bub or listen to other parents’ experience.
What 3 things do you know now, that you wish you knew before you had your son?
1. I don’t have to do it alone – despite being very different, my family is always there for me and will accommodate if needs be – just because family is love.
2. Non-alcoholic wines are sold at Dan Murphy’s.
3. It pays to work on your pelvic floor.
What advice can you give mums on starting their own business and juggling motherhood?
For mums who start out fresh, have a very clear vision and a rough plan. The over-arching vision is a constant that informs everything that follows and when you are lost, you can refer back to the original vision. Plans are to be looked at and tweaked regularly – as our knowledge expands. Take it one day at a time, note down your learnings each day, improve on them and start afresh again the next day.
Favourite places in the Inner West?
The markets in Marrickville and Glebe, breakfast at West Julliet and Reverse Garbage to buy random stuff as well as the vibe of King St and many other vibrant streets of the Inner West,
What has inspired you recently?
The book ‘On the trail of Genghis Khan’ by Tim Cope. It’s a self-narration about an ordinary Melbournian who went on a 10,000 km journey over 3 years on horse-back into the wilderness from Mongolia to Hungary, with no prior riding skills or cultural exposure. Despite the hardships, the author rode into the unknown land, persisted and learned everyday, improving bit by bit and eventually, he completed his ride across the steppe. In a way, it’s similar to starting a new business in a new field – what keeps you afloat is the sheer determination coupled with a desire to learn and improve everyday.
Parent Poppin is located on Barwon Park Road, St Peters. Visit the Parent Poppin website to find out more about the services and classes on offer.