Nicola Lott is the President of Notch Hill Educational Products, which creates hands-on, play-based literacy programs for parents who want to have fun teaching their kids to read.
What inspired you to start your company?
My Mom is a retired Special Education Tutor. She realized many years ago that children learn best when they don’t realize they are learning, so she began teaching using simple board and card games. She is passionate about what she does, so when she retired she was sad she couldn’t continue to help children. I suggested taking the games a step further by creating step-by-step programs based on the games for parents who wanted to teach their kids and have some fun, quality time together as well. Notch Hill was born from this idea.
What is your company all about?
Parents and children having fun together face-to-face across a table. The literacy is a by-product.
What’s your vision for your company?
To have an ever-growing group of parents who have followed our program and now have kids who are confident, passionate readers.
What excites you about what you’re doing?
Our programs are designed for all, from a child who has some challenges to a kid who is a natural reader. I am dyslexic and I love that in our programs everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.
What are some early examples of success?
We launched our first product in June of last year, and we’ve had some pretty amazing media coverage: the Globe and Mail, The Province (twice) as well as Savvy Mom and Yoyomama. Each time we have been covered my inbox has gone crazy.
The feedback from our parents so far has been tremendous. Here’s what one parent had to say just recently: “I am so excited about the learning system I purchased from you. The kids are really excited and we have only just begun. … I am honestly shocked at how interested they are and how they really like the characters and everything. They are having fun and so am I. Ted the Tiger is a morning favourite!” – Nicole Pasacreta, New Westminster, BC
What about challenges?
Well, I had a baby two months after our first launch. Since then, life has been about learning how to balance my life again. I spend my time either working, with my son, or being a wife. There is very little time left for me … when I figure that part out, I’ll let you know!
What’s next for you?
I’m going to be doing some community seminars and some lunch-n-learns in corporate offices around town. Also we’ll be at the BC Primary Teachers conference in October, so it will be interesting to hear the feedback from that.
Notch Hill Learning
This article was previously published on VancouverMom.ca