Parent Spotlight: Phylicia Teymer of Inner North Outer Experiences

When I returned to work after my son was born, I was even further inspired to bet on myself for my family and to help cultivate a partnership between communities and their natural environments.

Phylicia Teymer

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Raised on hardworking Midwestern values, I’m originally from the City of Waterloo, Iowa. The daughter of an electrician and a former farmer, my parents and community gave me a humble foundational understanding that taught me the value of community connections, the importance of belief and supportive program structures for children and families, and the need for ways to mitigate the impact of life’s hard pitches.

I was raised in a home shared with many. My family fostered children, often with special needs, which I feel came from a deeper understanding of the need to provide a haven, belonging, and memories. Our parents also highly pushed education as a means to find a way to flourish as the world evolved. Through this, I grew up gaining a deeper appreciation and realization of the needs in communities and the various factors that influence them.

Our family initially moved to Austin seven years ago due to a job relocation. Prior to making the jump to start Inner North Outer Experiences LLC, I worked for over a decade in Fortune 500 corporate marketing leadership and sales, gaining experience in the cloud & cognitive computing tech space across security, analytics, AI and cloud-based technologies. 

Phylicia Teymer and partner pictured smiling with their toddler.
Phylicia Teymer and family.

In 2023, you left a career in tech to start your own small business creating family-centered nature experiences to promote connection and wellness. What motivated you to make this change?

This was a huge decision that ultimately stemmed from two major reflections made during the transition into parenthood.

My personal inspiration stems from my cherished childhood adventures with my father. Despite facing significant memory loss today, he holds onto some of the outdoor memories we created together and the profound impact it had in helping overcome life’s hardships.

About 2.5 years ago, I experienced a very premature labor. Through this experience, I recognized the need for greater connection opportunities in local communities to support families. When I returned to work after my son was born, experiencing the impact of the “Motherhood Tax” in the corporate world, I was even further inspired to bet on myself for my family and to help cultivate a partnership between communities and their natural environments to empower well-being, connection, and growth.

Inner North Outer Experiences offers camps that engage caregivers alongside children in nature play and outdoor adventures. Why was it important to you to foster experiences that involve the whole family?

As much as we’ve seen significant advances in technology and the good that comes from harnessing the power of technology in our lives, we’re also seeing the negative effects in numerous, perhaps unexpected ways. Global and economic stressors, digital overstimulation, and fewer community services are contributing to increased levels of stress and anxiety and mental and physical health concerns, impacting overall well-being among children and adults.

Recognizing the larger factors at play and remembering how much nature play and outdoor experiences were a vital part of my positive childhood memories and bonds with my family – I wanted to build a supportive bridge, help strengthen our family and community bonds through fun outdoor learning experiences, and spur reciprocal appreciation for the benefits that can exist between humans and nature.

This is why I’m excited to lead our upcoming Nature Expeditions for Young Adventurers and Families Mini Day Camp Series with dates between April and July locally.

We’re also building our first Nature Expeditions for Young Adventurers and Families Activity Kits. We plan to take pre-orders for in the coming months and sell them throughout the U.S. to enable families everywhere to make lasting memories and build bonds in their local green spaces. We’ll provide fun activities and materials for different seasons.

Nature guide Phylicia Teymer bends down to show something to children who are gathered around her in an outdoor space.
Phylicia leading a nature expedition.

In recent years, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disability advocates have fueled a growing conversation around accessibility and visibility in the outdoors. What are some steps that individuals, community groups, and/or cities can take to create inclusive outdoor spaces?

Important steps to take to create inclusive outdoor spaces include gaining a greater understanding of both the needs and typical barriers to those who are more hesitant to embrace outdoor spaces given non-inclusive history in public parks and green spaces. There’s a complex historical perspective to consider in how different communities have been treated in the past in outdoor spaces, and despite advances in human rights, these concerns are valid.

It’s important for those in outdoor spaces to make all feel welcome, ensuring they’re both seen and fully embraced in our outdoor spaces. We need to challenge biases that may exist in these spaces and ask what’s needed in these spaces to feel more welcome, including knowing what’s important to consider from an ADA perspective to gender, race, and orientation perspectives. It’s there we’ll find ways we can continuously adapt our green spaces, behaviors, and activities to create more inclusive outdoor spaces.

There’s a complex historical perspective to consider in how different communities have been treated in the past in outdoor spaces.

Phylicia Teymer

We’ve talked about the challenges of belonging to the sandwich generation, caring for aging parents while also raising kids. What do you like to do to tend to your own well-being?

I learned this far later in life than I should have, but the importance of creating boundaries for your own well-being and the importance of investing in your own self-care and understanding what impacts your energy reserves, both positive and negative. We’ve all heard the “secure your own face mask before assisting others” phrase.

I use the outdoors, including my backyard, as a space to recharge, reflect, and reassess, like a daily check-in with myself. I love using natural elements as a means to ground myself and bring myself back to center, which aids in calming any anxious thoughts that may creep in.

I also practice gratitude, even on challenging days, to help my mind refocus perspective on what’s abundant in my life and what I should be so thankful for.

I’m not perfect by any stretch: I’m a work in progress, and progress is more important. I’ve learned to plan, yet to allow plans to be fluid and to embrace the “we’re okay and we’ll figure it out” mentality. This has helped reinforce abundance and release the impacts that perfection or scarcity mindsets can have on people – which I’ve had to overcome in my life. Overcoming them has had a positive impact on my life and well-being. It’s one of a few areas I’d like to help others with in the future as well.

Cheers!

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