Entrepreneur & Owner, Water Babies
Paul started out as a chartered surveyor but adventure soon called and he took his family to a Caribbean island to live out his dream of working as a master diving instructor.
Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for Water Babies everywhere), an out-of-season hurricane destroyed the village they were living in and forced the family back to the UK. As a stay-at-home dad for a couple of years on their return, Paul soon discovered the importance of structuring the day and finding interesting, fun and educational things to do with his baby daughter. So he took her swimming one day…and the rest is history.
The family relocated to Yorkshire where Paul and his wife, Jess, began Water Babies in 2002, working from a high-tech desk (the top of a fridge) with one old phone and a staggering £5,000 start-up investment. But within a month, Water Babies had 100 customers and, not long afterwards, a franchise network.
Paul is absolutely hands-on with the business, insisting on the highest standards in everything: for several years, he personally trained every single one of our hundreds of teachers. At one point, he was solely responsible for dipping every single baby in our thousands and thousands of underwater shots.
Paul now takes a more strategic, overview role at Water Babies, which has a network turnover of more than £25 million and teaches more than 50,000 babies and toddlers around the world to swim every week.