The traveling swim school concept finalized its FDD this year and has already garnered international attention.
Baby Otter Swim School was initially designed for children with no fear of the water. Marlene Bloom, founder and program developer, realized that her daughter was fearless around water but was not yet old enough to be accepted to traditional swim schools. Now, with the help of Spadea Lignana Franchise Attorneys, Baby Otter Swim School has begun franchising to bring age-inclusive swim lessons to communities across the country.
“Baby Otter Swim School is based on a five-day program,” Bloom explained. “In five days’ worth of private lessons, we teach anyone as young as eight or nine months — as soon as they’re able to crawl — all the way up to senior citizens how to turn, kick, reach and establish other lifesaving skills.”
Mindy York, president of Baby Otter Swim School, joined the company after finding her own child at the bottom of a pool and administering CPR. Later, lessons with Bloom left the child totally equipped to be in the water. After a firsthand experience with Baby Otter Swim School, York was moved to invest, bringing the value to even more families.
“My background is in business,” she said. “I got involved, and we started expanding. We built this one child at a time. Now, we’ve developed an ‘our school, your pool’ model that is not only the world’s fastest learn-to-swim program but provides franchisees the flexibility of a mobile business.”
The two had been considering franchising for years when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, slowing everything down. However, when families began hitting the water again, Bloom and York hit the ground running.
When Marlene created this program no one was addressing children under the age of 4. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of five. York added that the two alone cannot save all of the children who will potentially drown, and they were more than ready to grow the team.
Working on expanding the brand and providing necessary education, the two knew they would need franchise legal advice.
“We spoke to Harold at Spadea and started working with him,” York said. “We were treading water there for a while with COVID, and when we started working with them, things just started happening. They’re great; there’s not one person at Spadea we haven’t enjoyed working with.”
Baby Otter Swim School has access to the Client Access Portal (CAP) that Spadea Lignana launched a few months ago, a cloud-based platform that helps house franchise agreements, franchise disclosure documents (FDDs) and state-specific restrictions in one convenient and easy place. The system “allows franchisors to easily know where they can sell and where they can’t. The cornerstone of the program is an ‘ounce of prevention’ mentality to prevent small problems from becoming big (and expensive) problems,” the firm’s website states.
As Spadea Lignana worked to develop the Franchise Disclosure Document and other necessary paperwork, the Baby Otter Swim School leadership team could focus on finding interested franchisees and increasing brand visibility.
Now, the brand has already secured five deals between Florida and New York and is monitoring interest for additional territories as far as Ecuador.