Coleen Herbst and Jodi Wooten began teaching together at a local preschool in 2007, teaching three-year-olds as well as a Pre-K enrichment class. With their own passion for science, the enrichment class evolved into one focused on science, and the teachers found that preschoolers also love learning about science. They also created a Camp for a Cure, a science-based camp that funds their annual participation in the Susan G. Komen three-day Walk for a Cure.
The teachers began to dream of opening their own business teaching science to young children. Think Like a Scientist! (TLAS!) was born in 2009 when a local private school began searching for a science program for their young students and partnered with Herbst and Wooten. Finally In 2013 TLAS! opened its own location in West Chester.
TLAS! offers science classes and holds private birthday parties for children ages three to six. Herbst and Wooten are the only employees. A TLAS! session consists of one 2.5 hour class a week for four weeks and costs $125. TLAS! currently offers four classes a week with total enrollment of about 50 children. They also average two birthday parties a month, with a cost of $250 per party. One day a week, they also teach TLAS! on site at St. Agnes School.
For the 2014-15 school year, TLAS! is planning to open the studio for an additional day each week, which would add about 40 more students. They also want to add a new Saturday class that meets once a month for children 6-8 year olds, with target enrollment of 40 students.
TLAS! met both its revenue expectations for the 2013-14 school year and also all its business goals. Adding the class for 6-8 year olds and opening the studio an additional day will generate significant additional revenue.
Herbst and Wooten say they reached out to SCORE because “Teachers by trade we knew just how to execute our curriculum. Business folk we are not but we were eager to learn to be! We contacted SCORE and enrolled in their Grow Your Business series.” Working with counselors Ana Nitica and Frank Millheim, TLAS! got assistance in areas including marketing, web planning, social media and finance.
About SCORE they say, “SCORE never fails to provide us with a business professional no matter the area of expertise. Thanks to the support of many SCORE volunteers we have developed the skills necessary to create and manage our business. SCORE continues to support us as we move forward to grow our business.”