Enterprising Helensburgh mums set up pop-up shop

Helensburgh's Mama Tree co-op has sprouted another branch, opening its first pop-up shop to encourage budding ‘‘mumpreneurs’’.

The northern suburbs-based group has grown from a mothers’ support network to a teeming ecosystem nurturing fledgling home businesses. 

Taking over the old NRMA building on Park Street in Helensburgh this week, Mama Tree will give space to more than a dozen creative and craft sellers to show off their wares.

 ‘‘It’s an opportunity for small start-up businesses to see what it’s like to have products for sale in a shop, which would otherwise be very expensive for them if they took up a lease by themselves,’’ said Mama Tree organiser Ishbel Compagnoni.

Mumpreneurs, a portmanteau of ‘‘mum’’ and ‘‘entrepreneur’’, is a term for mothers who start their own businesses while also raising children.

The idea for the pop-up store, which is open tonight and over the weekend, hatched from a successful home business expo at the Helensburgh Workers Club in June.

 ‘‘Nobody had a clue there were so many skilled people operating in town,’’ Mrs Compagnoni said.

 ‘‘It opened people’s eyes to all the professional businesswomen, talented artists and producers here.’’

Described as  ‘‘like a market inside a shop’’, 15 mumpreneurs and one  ‘‘papapreneur’’ will show off a range of handmade jewellery, knitted goods, art, food and beauty products at the store.

Vendors pay a small rent fee to exhibit their wares, with proceeds to fund Mama Tree’s future projects.

 ‘‘At its core, Mama Tree is a support network, and I have a vision for a co-working space where parents can come and work together,’’ Mrs Compagnoni said.

 ‘‘Mumpreneurs and papapreneurs, it’s the new wave. People want work they can do that is based around the needs of their family, a business they can run close to home.’’

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