Meet The Mumpreneur: 'Dr How's Science Wows' Naomi Lavelle
"If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, then you don't understand it yourself" - Einstein
If you visit Naomi Lavelle's website, that quote will greet you from the homepage, and it really encapsulates the approach that Naomi has taken with her hugely successful business, 'Dr. How's Science Wows'.
Living in Galway with husband Diarmaid and three children Caer (12), Culann (10) and Rohan (6), Naomi holds a PhD in molecular biology.
Naomi began 'Dr. How's Science Wows' when her own children started asking THOSE kinds of questions about science and nature that all of us parents with curious kids hear;
'Why is the sky blue?'
'What is a wind turbine?'
'How high can birds fly?'
And so, instead of responding with 'Ask your dad' (which I am prone to doing), Naomi decided to use her educational background to tackle answering her children's questions in the best way she knew how: science experiments.
"In answering their questions I looked at ways to let them try experiments to help them reinforce or learn for themselves. Word got around and our local school asked me to do a science stall for their family fun day. On the success of that people started asking me to do it for parties etc. and I suddenly reached a point where it was time to take a deep breath and jump in and see what happens. The business has expanded over the years and has gone from strength to strength".
Not only does Naomi offer a corporate service with Dr. Wows - they can be hired for children's parties, summer camps, school tours, festivals, science fairs, you name it - Naomi also writes a really cool blog on the website AND is becoming something of a TV star too!
"I found once my name was out there other contracts started to come my way. I have worked a lot in schools and at corporate events. I have written and consulted for radio, worked for tv and consulted on some outreach programmes. Last year I was a consultant and writer for a new children’s science programme, called Is Eolai Me (to be aired on Cula 4, TG4 in September). I really enjoyed that project and can’t wait to see final product on TV… it is going to look amazing!"
In terms of what makes Dr. How's Science Wows unique, Naomi says that being a mother herself has helped in the sense that all of her cool experiments have already received the seal of approval from her own kids.
"When working with children I have made everything as hands on and interactive as possible. Everything has been road tested at home with my own kids. I genuinely want to make science something that anyone can do, so my approach has always been to use materials that are easily available, often right in our own homes and kitchens".
When it comes to being a self-employed mum, Naomi believes there is no substitute for the experience gained from working on your business every day. She also credits other people's generosity when she needed some advice.
"Talk to as many people as you can that have set up their own business, I found people were usually very happy to share their tips and advice; it is often these small practical things that you most need to know when starting out!"
"If you are really passionate about it then you should definitely go for it. There comes a point when you need to just jump right in, you will know when you are at that point. Everything else you need to know you will learn along the way".
Are you a mum in business who would like to be featured on our website? Send an email into Sharyn.Hayden@HerFamily.ie with some details about what you do and we'll take it from there!