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Community Highlights: Meet Teresa Restom Gaskill and Egle Mateo of The Art of Science, LLC

Hi Teresa and Egle, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourselves.
We are Egle and Teresa, owners of The Art of Science, LLC, in Saint Petersburg, Florida. We started our business in 2015, investing $300 of our own money! The idea for this business came when, as parents, we struggled to find high quality, affordable summer programs that offer a breadth of disciplines. We decided then to combine our strengths (Egle is an artist and Teresa is a biologist), and design a trial program for the summer of 2015 to see if there would be any interest. To our surprise, it was a great success! Parents and kids enjoyed the high quality, creative, outside-of-box projects, and requested we offer the program year-round. Now, we offer after school programs in eight different schools, summer programs every year, and, recently, we have added adult classes. We feel that part of our success is due to our diverse background. Egle grew up in a rural area in Lithuania, where manufactured resources were scarce. They had to use the natural resources available to make most things they needed, which required creativity and critical thinking. She studied at the School of Applied Arts and at Stepo Zuko Art School, in Kaunas. Teresa grew up in a very large city in Brazil but always loved nature. She spent 5 years in the Amazon, working with forest ecology for her masters study. She also lived 7 years in Hawaii while doing her Ph.D. in Botany. She is a professor at Saint Petersburg College. Due to these diverse backgrounds, we always make a point to infuse different cultures in our projects.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Because we are a small business, and care about the quality of our teachers and our work, the profit margin is not large. For that reason, we chose to reduce expenses by doing all the administrative work ourselves as well as a lot of the teaching. When we started The Art of Science, we didn’t know anything about how to run a business. Now, we created and maintain our own website, we maintain the books, manage and purchase supplies, prepare advertisement materials, etc. We have learned a lot! Another challenge is that we don’t have a space dedicated to the business. We provide after school classes in the school buildings, and rent a temporary space for summer camp. Having a permanent space, would allow us to offer a larger variety of classes and services.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The Art of Science, LLC, provides high quality, hands-on, extra-curricular activities and summer programs that combine art and science. We are a women-owned, small business located in St. Petersburg, Florida. We have a very good group of enthusiastic and dedicated teachers, who are an essential part of our business, and we are so grateful to have them. We offer classes that integrate art and science for kids and adults, such as: – after school programs – summer camps – adult classes – birthday parties – private classes – and we offer project kits for purchase on our website

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Due to Covid-19, our in-person classes are temporarily on hold. However, we are offering our projects for purchase on our website (https://www.theartofsciencellc.com/) with video instructions.

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