Folks We Love with Claire Hoban, scientist
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
I’ve always felt compelled to work hard and pack as much into my life as I can manage, and to collect meaningful experiences with loved ones along the way. I’ve learned that time is our most valuable resource, and to spend it wisely. So I explored different roles in a bunch of different fields and now I’ve got to a place where I’ve filtered out the stuff that doesn’t interest me, and can focus on what does. Now my time spent working is on things that I am really passionate about, like health science, farming, writing and my startup that couples together maternal health and fashion… and I’m fortunate enough to do the vast majority from my laptop with our son in my sights. Of course, none of this would be possible without the encouragement and support from my husband (who Teresa set me up with). We met when I finished school, travelled a lot, worked hard and made a ‘tree change’ about 18 months ago. We fell pregnant just after we got a whiff of that fresh country air and now have an 8 month old son.
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
Henry, 8 months
Champ (our nova scotia retriever), 7 years
Oscar and Felix (alpacas), 3 years
How did you choose your kids names?
We both just loved the name Henry. It would pop up in places on our travels, so we always associated it with fun, love and good times. Since Henry was born, we discovered that my dad really wanted to call me Henry (if I was a boy) after his uncle… so I think that our family was always destined to have another Henry!
Home is on Bolt Hoban Estate (@bolthobanestate) nestled among the vines and sheep in the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia. Wine country, cheesemakers for neighbours and close to the beach – my favorite things!
Lots of projects are coming to fruition this year! Essentially, I’m a scientist who has also studied fashion design and business, has worked in events, venture capital and startups and is learning about life on a farm and winery. I’m at the tail end of writing up my PhD in pharmacology (specializing in herbal medicines), running our farm and coordinating events (@bolthobanestate), my gorgeous friend Erin and I are about to launch our range of premium delivery gowns to keep women empowered and confident at the most crucial time (@haves_designs), I’m just starting a blog (waxlyricalblog.com) and I’m learning to code to work in data science. Without a doubt, the best and most joyous occupation of my time is being Henry’s mama.
What’s on your manifest board?
It’s a jumble! Some words to live by, some scientific hypotheses I plan to test someday, beautiful gardens and veggie patches we hope to create and cultivate, places to see, things to do, project ideas, tablescapes and cheese boards (I love entertaining), farm weddings, and pretty dresses and things that make me feel happy. A bit of everything really!
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
A slow start to the day, coffee in bed, reading a story with Henry, a trip to our local farmers market in Willunga, doing something on the farm together (herding the sheep, picking grapes, planting trees), inventing our own recipes for a meal to share together, opening a Mclaren Vale shiraz and watching the sun go down over the vines (perhaps from the bath!).
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Henry can’t quite talk, but boy can he laugh! Nothing makes him cackle more than our dog, Champ. Also, if I’m trying to be funny and am missing the mark, he gives me his fake, pity laugh to try to make me feel better, which then makes me crack up and in turn makes him laugh. Ten points for trying, mama!
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
My parents taught me about Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and the power of manifesting the life you want when I was quite young and I guess some of it stuck. When I was a teenager I wasn’t entirely sure what to dream of, (other than planning for Teresa and I to have babies that could grow up and get married together one day!) In terms of career, I have always been torn between creativity and analytics – and it seems that trend has continued – so why not do both, I say! Much of what I am living is what I have hoped for though, I’m very grateful.
What are some things you really believe in?
Keeping an open mind. Saying ‘yes’ – you never know what good may come from it and what you may learn. Being positive. Social justice is a big one for me too. Freedom of information. Really feeling your goals as if they have already been achieved. Being as good as your word. Doing the right thing for the right reasons. Conservation. I believe in the legacy of good thinkers like Francis Bacon and Marie Curie. Both have had a lasting impression on me, and have influenced the world in so many ways. Making sure you contribute something positive and meaningful to the world, and not to be a passenger or just a dreamer, but a ‘do-er’.
Where do your passions lie?
Bringing new ideas to life, science, health, (particularly maternal health), living on the land sustainably, tracking emerging startups, entertaining family and friends, visual art and poetry.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
Trust your instincts. Don’t take things too personally – it’s probably not about you and you don’t know what people may be dealing with. Make the most of your time, energy and opportunities.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
Trust the timing of your life. You can’t force something if it isn’t meant for you, and if it is, be patient.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
Meeting my own expectations of being the best I can possibly be because he deserves no less.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
Most people are good, surround yourself with them. You make your own luck. If you have the opportunity to make someone smile, take it. Make happiness your main goal.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
1. Emotionally – My husband
2. Spiritually – The knowledge that women have been doing this forever with far little resources, and I just joined their club
3. Physically – The sound machine that plays ocean noises (probably more for us now than Henry!)
4. Mentally – The internet! There’s a wealth of helpful knowledge out there – look no further than YZM!