We had the good fortune of connecting with Tessa Rhodes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tessa, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
My decision to create an online version of my swim school has proven to be very successful. The plan was to start with courses on how to teach babies to swim. I began collecting video footage of my parent/tot classes about a year ago. When I had to close my swim school temporarily due to COVID-19, I was blessed with the gift of time. And not knowing how long I was going to remain closed, I decided to seize this opportunity and jump in full force, working tirelessly every day since the COVID-19 lockdown began. And now, my recently launched Online Swim Academy is live and attracting students from all over the world. The Online Swim Academy is a membership site that provides in-depth quality swim instructor training for swim instructors, aquatic facilities, and parents. So far, the curriculum consists of 3 in-depth courses on how to teach babies between 0 and 12-months of age with a 4th course on the way to teach the 12 to 18-month-old. It’s been very exciting to see the interest in my online courses grow. When so many swim schools are closed due to COVID-19, I’m glad that I can offer an alternative to in-person swim lessons for a fraction of the cost.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Established in 2013, Desert Aquaventures is the Coachella Valley’s only year-round, indoor swim school offering private lessons for ages four months to adult. And in addition to having the only indoor swim school with a saltwater pool set to a warm and comfortable 90 degrees, there are a few other things that set us apart from other swim schools in the area. First is my continued effort to educate parents of children with a fear of water through my website www.tessarhodes.com which is dedicated to the subject. Also, the recognition that my swim school has received. I have the only swim school in the Coachella Valley with all 5-star reviews on Yelp. I am so grateful to all the families that took the time to write the most wonderful reviews. Thank you! I wouldn’t be a successful business owner if it weren’t for you and all the other families that have put their trust into my hands by enrolling their children in Desert Aquaventures. I also send out a water safety newsletter regularly which is intended to bring awareness to the world of the alarming statistics of drowning and how to prevent it. Most recently is the launch of my Online Swim Academy. It provides in-depth online swim instructor training for instructors, aquatic facilities, and parents who want to teach their babies to swim themselves. And finally, I create YouTube videos that are filled with great tips to motivate children to want to learn to swim. I post these videos on my Desert Aquaventures Facebook page and in my private Facebook group which was established for swim instructors and parents of kids with aquaphobia.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would explore beautiful downtown Palm Springs, preferably on a Thursday night during the weekly night market VillageFest with all its stalls of art, gourmet foods, and crafts. Hiking in Indian Canyons and playing golf would be on the itinerary. The week would also have to include my favorite eateries. Upscale and delicious Spencers. The best Greek restaurant, Yiannis Greek Taverna, Pollo Dokys for the yummiest Peruvian food and my favorite Mexican restaurants, Salsas and La Perlita.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank my husband, Ross, for his love, support, encouragement, and belief in me. I also want to thank baby Jaxon and his mom, Brittany, for their participation. I managed to capture every one of Jaxon’s lessons on video (pre-COVID-19) for my online courses. A special thanks to them both. I couldn’t have done it without them.
Tessa Rhodes, Ethan Rhodes, Michael Derbigny, Maricela Manjarrez