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Meet Heather Hyland of Hyland Nature and Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Hyland.

Heather, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It has been a crazy and fun road. I started off touring for a children’s theatre company at 20 years old.

They sent me off around the world as the Big Bad Wolf in Red Riding Hood. It was the best time of my life. I taught youth theatre and in return, they gained the confidence they so richly deserved.

From there I loved theatre and I loved working with animals since I was a wee one. I joined the jr. Zoo Keeper program and from there I got a job with the LA Zoo. I conducting outreach programs that taught students about conservation, performed in shows, taught the zoo camp programs and took care of animals. This was a great job. I wanted kids to know that their actions can save the world. Jane Goodall is a huge influence on me. She is such an amazing role model and a strong advocate for conservation efforts.

I was offered a job by one of our sponsors so I went to work for them opening up a large LEED-certified building that hosted ” Green” events like eco-friendly fashion shows, music nights that were powered with solar and water power and more. I wore a hemp jumpsuit, produced programs for corporate companies that wanted to greenify themselves and ran the station called Helios House.

One day our big CEO came by and told us the project was not going to be funded anymore so one of the designers offered me a job in Joshua Tree building crazy futuristic homes that ran off the grid and actually moved! His name is Rex Beasley and he is an epic creator, a curator of moving architecture. He taught me so much and I managed his projects for him. I met my husband while all this was happening and my husband worked for him too.

When the project was over, I sought out my networking and landed a job as a naturalist at a nature center! This was my jam. I worked outside, maintained the trails, taught workshops, camps, provided education hikes for schools, tending to our animals and I was in charge of the museum and bug zoo exhibits. Life was grand. I got married and had a honeymoon baby named Hunter. We lived in Long Beach and life was grand. I needed a little bit more work so I bartended at an Irish pub, worked for a Boy Scout ranch in the OC and then 20 months later I was pregnant with our 2nd baby: River.

So now we had 2 boys: River and Hunter. We lived moved to a home in Santa Ana, had amazing neighbors, had some chickens and life was really good. I needed a higher salary so vector Control offered me a job with their mobile science unit. IT IS AWESOME. I drive a 33 foot RV with a huge mosquito on it and teach students about diseases and bugs! Life is still grand.

Throughout this life I hustled, I worked my ass off, did little gigs here and there, performed stand up comedy, NEVER slept and there, joined an all-girls band that talked trash on guys called The Monas (We write songs called Asshole fever, Tiny Tim and I won’t do it on the first date unless you buy me a 14 oz steak, crazy crap that that, LOL).

Has it been a smooth road?
Hell no, but if it was not smooth it would not have made me the person I am today. LA made me strong, a chameleon that can blend with a surface. I had skin like an alligator from auditioning over and over for dumbass parts I thought could get me somewhere. I am where I should be but the road was long, windy and had no water for days. There were times I just sat and wondered what the hell I was doing.

I lived with 5 people in a tiny space with 2 dogs, 2 cats and a tortoise. My rent was still high living with 5 freaking people, I lived paycheck to paycheck paying off my damn student loans and the degree I wasn’t using. The jobs I got was from networking, being at the right place at the right time and my experience. My roommates were the best though. We had such a fun time. I drank too much thought, never slept and had too many jobs.

My work ethic is top notch though from this experience. LA is a dark, magical place that I couldn’t leave for some reason. It has a hold on you. The pollution, the traffic, the industry…why are were letting it consume us? WHY? Because we are artists, movers and shakers and it just works. Plus, LA has the best damn food around!!! It’s like LA is that bad relationship you want to get out of but its comfortable. Sometimes its nice, other times you want to just leave and punch the wall. LA makes you cry and laugh in the same day.

The people made me stay too, Baz Francis, a musician from England stayed with us to pursue his dream with music showed me the magic he saw in LA and I regained my faith in this dirty city. He now is living the dream and lives here. My best friend Shay Kostabi created her own business here and taught me to MAKE yourself your own business and people will follow if you have the confidence you need. She is the strongest woman who is such a powerhouse. All my roommates and friends I have in LA are truly hard working people. They encouraged me every day when I was at my lowest. My best friend Lindsey and my sister always pushed me to keep going.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Hyland Nature (my own business) I work for Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation story. Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in education and conservation. My husband and I started a channel to encourage people to appreciate nature. It is called Hyland’s Nature and Hyland Nature Kids. We produce small clips of nature for nature lovers and small shows for kids. The kid shows are really to open the world of nature to city kids and parents too. We want to show parents that there is so much out to explore with your kids We are so many state parks, hikes and campsites available for little to no cost.

My husband is the workforce behind this because he is an editor and producer. He wants to create and educate at the same time with quality videos.

What sets us apart is we have a passion for the trails and our earth and our kids do too. Enough of the surprise egg youtube shows and watching kids open toys. This will not matter when our earth is crumbling apart and our oceans turn black.

GET THE HELL OUT OF poop filled, crowded, nasty ass Runyon Canyon and EXPLORE MORE. You do not need to hike that blank space of a trail.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Trends that we see are “Glamping” we want to focus on that for families and show them places you can do that. We also have partnered with my former boss Rex who is creating this type of place for hipsters and modern eco folks. People are starting to turn around, want more organic items, DIY stuff. I see the want for a change.

I see us moving this to Costa Rica or Idaho and making a glamping place together with eco-tours. It has been our dream. We would create a place for families to come, feel comfortable, have the amenities they desire with an eco-based program. We would take them on eco tours, provide organic food and teach them how to do this themselves as well in their everyday life- just taking little steps at least.

This place we would start would also have classes where they could learn how to make certain types of cuisine, yummy organic drinks, learn how to farm, learn how to live off the grid and ways they can conserve.

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