Today we’d like to introduce you to Renana Kehoe.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Renana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I was on maternity leave I struggled with finding a place to go that would welcome a crying baby and I longed for conversation with other adults, especially about non-baby topics. It turns out I was not alone! Many of my friends ended up looking for excuses to leave the house (especially during the cold winter months), socialize with others and even learn something new. It took me a couple of years, but I started Parent Tours to enable parents to do just that. We visit different museums, learn and talk about art and if a baby is crying or hungry or needs a diaper change, it’s no problem! In fact, you may even get a helping hand from someone else on the tour.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
While I’ve done many tours in the past and am very familiar with museums in and around Boston, I knew nothing about running a business. Learning how to get the word out and how to best use social media was definitely a learning experience! Who knew your photos don’t have to be squares to be posted on Instagram (everyone but me, apparently!).
Parent Tours – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We offer tours at museums and cultural institutions for parents to attend with their young babies. After each tour there is an optional gathering at a nearby cafe to continue the conversation about art, babies, and everything in between. I am proud of the variety of tours we have been able to offer. We have had tours about contemporary art, ancient vases, museum architecture, even outdoor public art tours. I am also proud of the location diversity we have been able to offer as some people will only attend tours that are accessible via public transportation and others will only attend ones to which they can drive and park for free. We would like these tours to be as accessible, convenient, and widely engaging as possible.
Parent Tours is different from other art tours because we welcome crying babies and parents don’t have to feel bad if the baby needs to eat or needs a diaper change in the middle of the tour. We are also different from other parent support groups because we offer the chance to talk about something other than baby related topics, learn something new, and get inspired by art in the city.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
As someone who has been a museum educator and art history teacher for over a decade, I feel that I succeeded if the tour attendee or museum visitor leaves with one new thought or one new perspective that s/he did not have before. Art is meant to inspire and help us see the world through different lenses– if I help someone achieve that then I consider that success. And hey, if the babies on the tour are subconsciously absorbing some of this and grow up to be art and museum lovers, I’ll consider that double success!
- Website: www.ParentTours.com
- Phone: 617-286-6644
- Email: ParentToursBoston@gmail.com
- Instagram: ParentTours
- Facebook: ParentTours
- Twitter: ParentTours