“It’s essentially a community center for moms, families,” said Layne Carden of TransForMama, which moved to a new space in late September in the old Second Hand Rose at 2288 Central Ave.
Anna Chahal, Carden’s partner in the venture, said the space is needed.
“For me, as a new mom who worked from home, it was very hard to meet my job responsibilities taking care of a baby,” Chahal said. “And, on top of that, I just was lonely. I was home all the time with a new baby. It was the oddest thing. I was lonelier that I’ve ever been in my life. And, yet, I was never alone.”
A spot like TransForMama seeks to alleviate that sense of isolation. It’s a hang-out spot for families. Mom can get a workout in or catch up on her emails knowing that her child is being looked after.
“After I had my boy — he’s four and a half now — I thought I was well-prepared for that next step of my life. Then I realized I needed more support in more areas than I could have ever imagined,” Carden said. “I thought my friends would do it or my family would do it, and that was not there. So, I wanted a space where I could be surrounded by people who were honest and open and forgiving — and to be there with my child with me.”
Carden first opened a space down the street, but there were issues with the building and she decided to close. That’s where Chahal comes in. The news of the closing was devastating.
“I was grieving and lamenting,” Chahal said.
But, then she saw that the 2288 Central Ave. site was for sale, and she recognized the realtor’s name. That would be Herbert Cochrane of Rasberry Commercial Real Estate.
Chahal spoke with her husband. They decided it wouldn’t hurt to ask. And it didn’t. They bought the building, and TransForMama was reborn.
At the front, there’s a reception area with a counter and some merchandise. To the side, there’s a room with long tables — perfect for baby showers, book clubs, and birthday parties. Beyond that is a cozier space with cushioned seating, and beyond that is a room for kids. On the other side is a large studio, which hosts yoga, interval training, tumbling, theater and dance classes for kids, and more.
One thing the women note is that TransForMama is a judgment-free zone.
“I am super, super stoked to see little children come in here and play together, and if one mom likes to have their kids sleep with them until they’re 18, it’s none of my freakin’ business,” Carden said. “If all the kids are happy and healthy and the moms are, too, that’s what’s most important.”
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Credit: Memphis Business Journal