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March 14, 2018
Aubree Windish – The Women of West Chester
Aubree Windish – Owner of Tot Rock
Years in business: Two
A woman who has influenced you: The women in m family. I come from a line of strong women on both sides of my family.
Combining her experiences as a musician, full-time middle-school music teacher, and a mom led Aubree Windish to found Tot Rock in 2016, a music program for infants and toddlers based on early-childhood music learning theories. “We introduce a love of all kinds of music to our youngest learners and show their parents new and innovative ways they can bring that experience home with them,” she says.
The kids learn, and the parents get to connect, which Aubree personally came to learn is just as important. Tot Rock was inspired by Aubree’s experience after having her first child — she now has two. While at the YMCA she met, and quickly bonded with, three women with kids the same age. After telling her about a music class they’d all taken, Aubree’s new friends encouraged her to build what became Tot Rock.
“I was motivated to create something that combines music, education, and connecting parents and caregivers with each other,” says Aubree. “I held a workshop with as many parent friends who could make it and they gave me honest feedback about the program and about what they were looking for in infant/toddler classes.”
Her mission for Tot Rock was create a music program that was hands-on and exciting for children and accessible for parents. “We use a lot of different instruments, scarves and stories and try to move quickly from one activity to the next,” she says. “We also have a 15 minute “free play” at the end of every class where the kids get to try out all of the different instruments and socialize with each other.” Parents use the free play time to socialize and, hopefully, create friendships.
"It's never too late to start something new... there are no time limits."
Aubree sees that same kind of camaraderie among women business owners in West Chester. “There’s an incredible sense of community, which I think is supported by both men and women, and it makes me happy to live here” she says. “The women I’ve met are incredibly hard workers who also have families at home so really our jobs are never done. There’s an unspoken support.”
Starting Tot Rock taught Aubree a lot about herself, and life in general. While she thrives on structure and routine, she found she’s more flexible than she thought. ”It’s never too late to start something new — your own business or a new career path, there are no time limits or starting and ending points,” she says. “Having children forced me to be more adaptable and, in turn, my kids helped me to realize I have a new and different potential. I really have them to thank for the inspiration of this new endeavor. Do what you love, adjust as you go, and work really hard.”