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How Agnes Davis Came To Start “Swim swim swim I SAY”

agnesdavisThis summer is the perfect time to teach your child to swim or to put them into swimming classes, especially if you are Black.  According to the latest stats a whopping 70 percent of Blacks Americans don’t swim. This can be dangerous. This is where Agnes Davis steps in. Her New York City-based company, swim swim swim I SAY, is helping close the swimming gap.

Swim swim swim I SAY operates out of upper Manhattan home for tots, children, adults, fear of water students, special needs students (including autistic individuals), home pool instruction, pool parties, and stroke correction swimming lessons. And it is the only female minority-owned Upper Manhattan swimming company.

Starting swim swim swim I SAY was a career transition for Davis, who started the company after losing her job as a medical professional. According to Davis, was wrongly terminated as a cardiovascular perfusionist and need not only a new job but a new purpose in life. She decided to turn her passion into a business, all while in her late 40s.

“When the rug was pulled out from under me. I lost my job/career and I got blindsided which was way too late to the game and way too late to the transition party. My world went spiraling in a direction I had never ever experienced before and I saw no halting in the downward movement in sight,” shares Davis, who has a B.S. in biology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. “After the tears, shock and realization that everything had changed, it was time to figure things out. Looking back, I would advise anyone to start their transition before the above can happen to you. If you have an outside passion different from your 9-5 career or an extension of your 9-5, pursue it and explore the road ahead. It will only cost you time but it may lead to many rewards and an entirely new venture.”

Davis also went through a life transition as well. “The life transition, which was a spiritual transition, came before the career transition but I kept ignoring the signs. The universe kept trying to tell me in a nice, delicate and quiet manner to make changes in my life but I did not listen. The universe, now shoved me into the transition. I was no longer deaf or blind to the path I needed to explore. Having to explore and depend on my spiritual side gave me a deeper awareness of myself while discovering my real ‘core’ not the career that I thought kept me whole,” explains Davis.

Making these transitions were not easy. They came with challenges. “It’s like jumping of the cliff without a parachute; I had no net. Everything I had worked for was pulled out from under me. I was blacklisted in the very small tight-knit industry that I had spent more than 15 years building a repetition. My back was up against a wall and I had my wits/smarts as my compass. But let me say this, I had one hell of a compass to work with,” she says.

The process gave her some experiences she’d like to pass on to others thinking about making life and/or career transitions. “Being tired, disgusted or just wanting something different are just some situations that present a catalyst for you to make a change. Block out the negativity and open your eyes to travel a completely different path in a completely different direction. Have an idea, researched the industry, looked at the competition and research in depth into the industry to really know the positives and negatives. If you are entering a very crowded industry, make a niche or two to stand out from the pack. This is a must to your success,” she advises. “Bring something different to the table that would make you unique to all the rest already in business for years! Believe me, it can be done!”


About the Author

Ann is a freelance writer who started her professional career at the NY Trend more than two decades ago. Ann has since gone on to write for a number of major outlets including: Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire, Pathfinders, Frequent Flier, Playboy, The Source, Girl, Upscale, For Harriet, The Network Journal, AFKInsider, Africa Strictly Business, AFKTravel, among others.