We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Barton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
There are many factors that can go into this decision, yet one ultimately determines your path. This is derived from perseverance and the strongest inner feeling – hope. How far are you willing to go even when all roads seem to lead to a brick wall? When an individual must make this decision, there are controlled and uncontrolled issues that play a role. As for me, as an entrepreneur, I have been hit with this contemplation twice since opening my business five years ago. Regardless of finances, environment, staffing or a mass pandemic, I always had hope and a reignited fire within to keep pushing. That passion I started out with when my swim school was only an idea, is stronger today than it was then. In my business, we strive to create happier, healthier as safer communities through swimming. The desire to keep families water safe, enjoy a great sport and explore the aquatic life, is what lights that fire within. So it was my job to find viable financial solutions, use creativity and updated research to overcome the obstacles. So when asked, “How to know whether to keep going or to give up?”, you must first know if that passion is still as strong as when you started. If it is, you will find hope and persevere. The great ones always do.
What should our readers know about your business?
With a few social projects for water safety under her belt and an extensive wait list for private swim lessons, Kristin Gilliam Barton knew it was time to begin the ground work to building a business. Driven by a passion for teaching stroke mechanics efficiently, promoting water safety and bringing the magic of aquatic life to local communities, she formed KISO Swim School in 2013 from Miami, Florida. Shortly after the business was established, Kristin moved to Boca Raton, Florida, with her husband, where she opened the pool gates to her first location and welcomed 200+ members within the first year. Growing in numbers and expanding in territory, she is excited to introduce KISO Swim School to new families every day. Kristin grew up with a very healthy and athletic background, that contributes to her success today. Swimming by the age of two, she had a strong sports influence from her mother, Erva Gilliam, who played tennis and is now currently the Director of Operations at the University of Florida for the Gators Swimming and Diving Team. Her father, Dr. Jeffrey Gilliam, integrated a healthy eating lifestyle at an early age. He now owns and operates Physician’s Choice For Weight Loss Inc., a premier lifestyle weight-loss program found in clinics all over the Eastern United States. Sharing 30+ years of swimming knowledge, Kristin brings experience to KISO Swim School cultured through her swimming and coaching career, as well as from a Bachelor Degree in Recreation and Sports Management from the University of Florida in 2008. As a collegiate swimmer at UF, she had the opportunity to swim alongside Olympians and under the coaching instruction of various top USA Swimming Coaches. Adding ‘mother’ and ‘business owner’ to her portfolio, she is excited to bring all of her knowledge to the forefront so others can not only learn, but enjoy this amazing sport.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our family loves Mizner Park in Boca Raton and Atlantic Avenue in Delray for a fun drinks and shopping. True Food Kitchen is by far a favorite restaurant for fresh and healthy food with a lovely ambiance. Lastly, a visit to Spanish River Beach where the water is beautiful and perfect for families to veg out for some Vitamin Sea is perfect.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The members first and foremost are the magic ingredient for success. We aim to provide the highest quality customer service, teaching curriculum and learning atmosphere. In doing so, we attract members that give us their feedback on how to continue our growth and improve, as well as spreading the word of KISO Swim School to others. Additionally, the support team is the glue that holds it all together. Our amazing coaches and admin uphold the values and philosophy of KISO Swim School and continue to make a positive impact on our communities. The continued education network, such as National Drowning Prevention Association and Water Smart Broward, have also been amazing in updating statistics and providing marketing tips to help us succeed. Lastly, my family is the strongest support I have. They believe in me and what KISO Swim School stands for. Their continued encouragement and advice is certainly a critical role in my overall success.