In that minion-colored machine, you can explore the world below the surface…without having to hold your breath… Along with my friend at EdgeUp Marketing I simply had to pay a visit to hear his story.
Jayson is a 30 year old entrepreneur, who after having lived in Holland for ten years, moved back home to the island of Curacao. He always knew he wanted to have his own business…but there were certain criteria he wanted his business to meet: His venture had to have an added value not only for him..but also for the island. But let’s go back to the start shall we?
It is understandable that after having lived abroad for a decade, that one would frequent the beaches… and Jayson was no exception. He started diving, and continued on to get his diving certification. Jayson enjoyed it enormously… but it also got him thinking: There had to be a way, for a person to experience all the wonders under water…without having to go through the long (and expensive) process of becoming a certified diver. Drawing inspiration from Waterworld, a Kevin Costner movie in which it was possible to be underwater in a bubble, he decided to start researching the possibilities.
One of the things he found was the possibility of a helmet, but after gathering more information on those, he decided it wasn’t what he wanted, keeping his criteria in mind. He still didn’t know exactly what it was he was searching for… but when he stumbled across the scooters, he felt in his gut that this was what he had been searching for. When he saw how much money it would take to start this business though, he was discouraged.
Jayson went on to work at a bank and actually really enjoyed it, but the idea of his own business stayed on his mind. For Jayson unhappiness wasn’t a reason to quit his job: it just wasn’t what he wanted for himself. After 3 years he decided that it was a risk he just had to take: he made his business plan, got a part of it financed, and took the plunge (pardon the pun, but it was right there, I had to!)
Aquafari is a reality, and what I personally find great about this dynamic company is that they aren’t only looking out for themselves, but also closely work with Carmabi to take care of that very world they want others to explore. Along with good intentions, one needs a good plan: Jayson’s advice for anyone wanting to start their own business, is to make a business plan. You might think you know everything about a certain field, but a business plan makes you think things through and plan things out in a way that you otherwise wouldn’t have. It also shows potential investors that you are serious about what you are doing, and are prepared for all that may come your way. The finances were a challenge: according to Jayson one thing to keep in mind is that although you make a budget, a lot of times unforeseen expenses can still sneak up on you, and you have to be creative and still find a way to work through it all. Aquafari started off small. At first Jayson didn’t have a dive shop, so he had to load up all the scooters on a truck in the morning, go to the beach, wash them after, and take them back home.
But little by little things picked up, and his dive shop location became a reality as well, along with a pier to make taking the scooters in and out of the water easier. One of the best things about his job according to Jayson is the reactions of people after they have been on a trip; from being scared at first, to being ecstatic after. Jayson offered us the opportunity to experience this first hand.
I hesitated… Why? Here is a fun fact: I’m scared of fish! So..many…fish! Can you tell?
So maybe feeding the fish was just a bit too much for me… But I had an amazing time, and I wholeheartedly think that this is something to put on your bucket list.
I saw some pretty cool creatures, faced one of my fears, and gained memories that will last me a lifetime. And to think that none of this would have been possible, if Jayson hadn’t decided to go after what he wanted. Jayson is evidence that anything you want to accomplish is possible (on land, AND underwater) if you just go for it…
A very special thanks goes to the super friendly and patient team at Aquafari, who made the experience a blast: Shenna, Emelton, and Andy; I’d go looking for Nemo with you guys again anyday!
Be sure to check out Aquafari’s Facebook page to find out more!