CAPE CORAL, Fla — Moving to a new state and starting a new business is not an easy thing to do. But Blake and Taylor Schwinn have a couple of things they rely on. The bond between them. And a love of the water.
Their story is the newest in a series called SWFL Florida Reinvented: Moving Forward. Each week, Fox 4 Morning News Anchor Chris Shaw, introduces a person, who has changed the course of their life to take a chance and start a new business. We then follow them through all the ups and downs of their first several months.
Blake Schwinn moved to Florida from Missouri a few years ago. He did it to be closer to family. But there was something else that drew him too.
“I love the gulf,” he says. “The water was like a magnet to us, and we were basically drawn to it.”
His son, Taylor, who also loves the water, was right behind him.
“I come down for Thanksgiving and two days in, I didn’t want to go back home,” he says.
Both men had jobs and when there was time, they took charter cruises. But they felt like there was never enough time for the water.
“We were driving by a boat reseller and the boat reseller had a few boats in his lot. So I told my son, let’s go in there and see what he’s got,” Blake says.
“Both of us were just like, ‘oh my gosh, this could be it,’” Taylor says.
They weren’t just looking at a boat. They saw a new path forward.
“The boat needed fixing up. But when you can see something that’s not built up already and you can envision it. That’s, I think, when we knew,” Taylor says.
They knew they could have a charter business. So they bought the boat and paid to fix it up. And Taylor went to school to become a boat captain.
In June they plan to start taking reservations for Chillax Custom Charters. They plan to offer trips on the water that are uniquely customizable, with an emphasis on a relaxed vibe.
Even though Taylor has changed the course of his career and even with the money the pair has invested, Blake does not consider it a risk.
“If we weren’t doing this, then we would trudge along our way,” he says. "Our kids would basically find some kind of job or career and we would then have to take time away from that to come on vacation, as opposed to living on vacation for the rest of our years.”
Who knows where the water will take them. But as long as they have each other and the water, they are exactly where they want to be.
“There’s been, maybe a couple times when we’ve been like, this may be a little more than we expected,” Taylor says. "But you go out the next day on the water and you’re like, ‘oh, yea, this is why I’m doing it.’ So, you know, I don’t see anything that could possibly stop us in our tracks.”