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Modern Milk Aims for Spring Expansion

Written by Faith Miller Category: Culture Issue: February 2016
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Photo courtesy Stephanie NguyenWhere can you go to find professional breastfeeding advice, lactation cookies, Mommy and Me Yoga, and chic moccasins for your baby?

When lactation consultant Stephanie Nguyen began having children, she realized that no such place existed. So she opened Modern Milk last January at Scottsdale Towne Square. The one-stop-shop for hip moms near Thunderbird and Scottsdale roads offers what Nguyen calls “three businesses in one”: lactation consultation, fitness classes, and a retail section offering baby care, breastfeeding products and apparel (a popular item is the “Namomste” tank).

“There’s really no places locally that offer the same services we do,” Nguyen says. She says soon-to-be moms often come to Modern Milk initially for the prenatal yoga classes, which begin with discussions about different pregnancy-related topics and are geared toward preparing the body for labor. After the women have their babies, they usually come back for breastfeeding support and more classes.

“A lot of moms who come here don’t want to leave,” Nguyen says. “So they kind of take advantage of all the services that we have to offer.”

What keeps customers coming back, Nguyen says, is the sense of community – moms often meet through prenatal classes and become quick friends, ensuring the babies on the way will have plenty of playmates. “They want to hang out with other moms who have babies the same age because they can relate to them,” Nguyen says. “Making friends that are in the same boat as you makes a huge difference.”

Customer retention is high enough to warrant Modern Milk’s upcoming expansion (set for this spring) into the space next door, she says. The space will accommodate two additional classrooms, which will allow the business to add classes for moms and older babies. It will also house a childcare area, a nursing lounge and a café with Mama’s Cold Brew coffee and grab-and-go meals provided by Chestnut Fine Foods.

Photo courtesy Stephanie NguyenModern Milk is funding the expansion through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo that offers perks such as mugs, T-shirts and free classes to individual donors and includes the option for corporate sponsorship. In the meantime, moms can continue to stop by the business for lactation consultations, breastfeeding products and classes, which include barre, prenatal yoga, Mommy and Me yoga (which incorporates songs and poses for babies) and educational classes for new or expecting mothers.

Nguyen says the most important advice she could give a pregnant woman planning on breastfeeding is to take a class. For new moms, she recommends setting small goals each day – even if it’s just doing one load of laundry – to stay motivated amid the challenges of motherhood.

“Don’t worry about a big to-do list,” she says. “Just take it one day, one step at a time.”