Rush to sign up for teacher's 'nature in a box' learning tool
- Credit: Ed Evans
The public's lockdown love affair with the natural world has led a Suffolk biology teacher to launch a new business.
Dr Jenny Evans, of Brantham, near Manningtree, set up Little Robin Education - a nature education business for children - more than a year ago, and has sold thousands of packs of nature flashcards to children up and down the country.
But lockdown prompted her to branch out with an adult-based nature enterprise.
"During lockdown I diversified this and started a nature subscription box for women, which has proven very popular as people have turned to nature and outdoor pursuits during the crisis," she said.
Robin and Rose Nature is a nature book club subscription where families receive a nature story book, flashcards and an activity booklet every other month.
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Dr Evans - who has a biochemistry PhD from the University of Cambridge - has spent four years teaching biology in secondary schools.
She began her first business in summer after her second son was born. She found the long hours involved in her day job difficult with young children but still loved teaching biology so decided to find a way of doing so which suited her lifestyle and motherhood.
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"I was missing teaching and wanted to start a business where I could still follow my passions but on my own terms and that’s when I started Little Robin Education," she said.
"At first I made PDF flashcards which I sold on Etsy and a few people asked if I’d get them printed professionally – I did this and had 25 copies printed, but sold 100 sets in two days after I posted the photo of them to a Facebook group," she said.
"I love that I can work the hours I want, around my children. I love being my own boss and the satisfaction that comes from growing a successful business all by myself.
She has recently taken on a magazine editor for the subscription box and a social media box. Her mum will be taking over packing up the orders so that she can focus on bringing in more business.
She is now hoping to build on the success of the businesses by writing a science and nature curriculum for primary schools.
"This would be a huge passion project for me, as my primary love is creating outstanding lessons and inspiring a love of science and nature in as many children as possible. I’d like to continue to grow and employ some staff so I can help with the redundancies that are currently being made."
It was satisfying seeing the business grow and inspiring thousands of young children to get out into nature, she said.
The business has grown by 500% on last year, helped by people spending time outside in nature during the lockdowns.
"Once my mum is packing up the orders I’ll be able to grow the business further and create new products. I’m really looking forward to writing an outstanding science and nature curriculum for primary schools which would hopefully be used nationwide, just as the nature flashcards are," she said.