Stall holders will range from landscapers to jewellery designers, from lawyers to health practitioners. The expo will be a unique opportunity to meet “mumpreneurs”, owners of small business start-ups without shopfronts.
Many Mama Tree members make and sell products via a Facebook page or operate businesses from their homes or garages – this Expo provides an opportunity for them to introduce their products and services to the community.
The Mama Tree is a network of mums in 2508 and the surrounding area. It started on Facebook in 2010 as a small support group for new mums. Three years later, the Mama Tree has more than 350 members. More people are joining every day and many are businesswomen who will be showcasing their work at the expo.
Mum of two, iShbel Compagnoni is the Mama Tree’s founder and director. She has lived and run a massage business from her home in Helensburgh for five years. iShbel is passionate about creating a more connected and creative community. “The Mama Tree is about using technology and social media to bring people together in an organised structure to achieve a set of objectives,” she says. “These range from helping new mums to the area to make friends and find out what’s available to them in this community, to campaigning for better resources and supporting local businesses to grow and thrive.”
Lynda Babister, of local business Babister Legal, has lived in the area for 25 years. She says: “This is something this community has been waiting for for a long time and it is a very exciting development. I could have really used something like this 15 years ago when my daughter was born.”
iShbel believes the Expo has the potential to facilitate some fantastic new collaborations which may even result in The Mama Tree businesses opening a shop in the town in some kind of cooperative or shared space in the future. “It is my hope that not only will locals turn out in droves to support this great initiative, but that there will be a lot of networking going on.
There is a real buzz around town at the moment. People are excited about this and the potential of The Mama Tree to help shape the future of this fabulous area we are lucky to call home. As Tania Munn, Mama Tree member and Blogger at ‘Munnkey Business‘ writes: “This place is abuzz with connectivity like neurons firing in a toddler’s brain”. I love it when I overhear people talking in our local parks or cafes about The Mama Tree and how great a resource it is. One Mum I hadn’t yet met in person recognised me from my Mama Tree profile and approached me in BiLo to run her business idea past me and within 3 hours she had booked a stall at the Expo to launch her brand new business. That’s awesome!”
The Mama Tree Business Expo will be held at the Helensburgh Workers Club on Sunday, 16 June, from 11am-3pm. In addition to the 30 business stalls, it will feature live music, kids entertainment, presentations and showbags containing promotional offers from the Mama Tree and other local businesses. It is free to attend.