We’re excited to introduce you to Preston Blackburn the owner of Pop Hop & Rock, a local business that provides purposeful movement programming to preschool and elementary school children with the goal of helping them build a strong body-brain connection along with the skills and strengths they need to be socially, emotionally, behaviorally and cognitively the best they can be. Pop Hop & Rock has been in business since 2001 and has helped hundreds of children foster a love of physical activity. Read on to learn more about Preston and Pop Hop & Rock!
What is your favorite part about being a business owner?
I love the challenge of growing the business and seeing where opportunities will take us.
What is your biggest challenge right now? How do you hope to overcome it?
Staffing: finding the right match of personality to product and program. I am not sure how I will overcome it but am sticking with the motto: try and try again.
How do you see your business growing over the next five years?
I would like to have more staff on the ground running the operation. This will give me more time to further the mission of getting kids moving to enhance their learning and allow me to build a coalition to further that goal, not just in Richmond but everywhere.
Would you share three fun facts about yourself or your business?
- Though I was an NCAA athlete, my high school teams could have beaten my college teams.
- I am the shortest person in my family.
- A preschooler just told me: “George Washington has gray hair just like you do!” From the mouths of babes…
Aside from your business, what are you most passionate about?
Always first is my amazing family: husband Charles, daughters Liza and Sarah.
Second is getting physically active anyway, anytime, anywhere! And travel: from exploring different cultures to jumping into new experiences…bring it on!
What’s your favorite thing about RVA?
For a city our size we have so much to offer here! Great restaurants, history, history and more history, so many outdoor venues and opportunities to get active, and such a beautiful river city!
Where is your favorite place to meet a client?
In their space: I like to see where they want us to help their children get active.
What is the one business tool you can’t live without and why?
Sad but true: my phone. Besides the obvious needs of phone, messaging, calendar and email, my music is on my phone. When I am not using music with kids I also teach adult fitness classes. Can’t live without music driving a class!
What are you currently reading?
Re-reading “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Classic. Best. Ever.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
- Keep getting up even after you fall down, or get knocked down because both are going to happen.
- Don’t force your business to go a specific way, let it do some of the leading. A business can morph over time, and more often than not the places it is leading are where you are supposed to be, and not necessarily where you thought you would be.
What else would you like to share about yourself or your business?
If physical activity isn’t fun, then why do it? It should always be fun, fun, fun!