Texas Swim Academy, owned by Bruce and Kathleen McMordie, is an aquatic safety academy located in Katy, Texas. Texas Swim Academy started as a home-based business in 2004 and has expanded to a new 7,800 square foot facility with the help of the SBA and its resource partners.
The business idea came when Kathleen was looking for an infant aquatics survival program for her daughter. Having worked at a hospital as a registered nurse with near drowning patients, Kathleen wanted her children to learn water survival skills. Three of her older children were successful with a similar program when they lived in Austin, but after moving to Houston, finding an instructor in the area who taught this program proved unsuccessful. When she couldn’t find an instructor in town, she expanded her search and found an instructor from Dallas who was willing to travel to the Houston area to give lessons. To make the instructor’s trip to Houston worthwhile, Kathleen invited other children to take lessons.
When Kathleen’s daughter was of kindergarten age, she decided to train and become a certified instructor of the same program. In 2004, she started teaching the infant aquatic survival program at her home pool. The business took off and they eventually outgrew their home pool, limiting the number of lessons they can offer. With a passion to continue providing lifesaving skills to as many young children as possible, Bruce and Kathleen decided it was time to expand.
In 2009, Bruce and Kathleen heard about the Service Corps of Retired Executives’ (SCORE) workshops offered at the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. They attended several workshops including “Write a Winning Business Plan” and “How to Start a Business.” They also received assistance from the University of Houston Ft. Bend County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Katy, Texas. The workshops combined with private counseling through SCORE and the SBDC helped Bruce and Kathleen prepare for the expansion.
With the business plan completed and details of the project ready, they applied for an SBA loan through Member’s Choice Credit Union. In November 2011, they were approved for an SBA 7(a) program loan to help fund the project. Three years of extensive research and planning finally paid off. Their new state of the art swim academy opened in September 2012 and includes a 30x60 ft. pool (four lanes) for group lessons and swim practice and five 12x12 ft. individual pools for private lessons. Texas Swim Academy offers year round indoor infant aquatics survival classes, parent-child classes, stroke development classes, water aerobics, and swim parties.
Bruce and Kathleen are proud to see their dreams come to fruition. They started their home-based business with one employee and now have a staff of 15. “The accomplishment of expanding from a home-based business to being able to employ people is rewarding,” said Bruce. “I enjoy teaching and working with my employees,” adds Kathleen. While Kathleen continues to teach, Bruce manages the business and already plans to expand the business to have an evening swim team and include competition swimming and host swim meets.
For more information about Texas Swim Academy, visit their location at 3514 Greenbusch Rd., Katy, Texas or visit their website at http://www.texasswimacademy.com. For information about SBA’s resource partners, SCORE and SBDC, visit their website at http://www.scorehouston.org and http://www.sbdc.uh.edu.