Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Micha Seal

Watermelon Swim’s mission is to grow a community full of safer swimmers and reduce the risks while increasing confidence in, and around, water. It was awarded the Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award, in 2018, for the 51-250 employee category.

Seal got her start in the aquatics industry, in 1979, when her mother, Therese Seal, founded Seal Swim School in an above ground pool in her backyard. In August 2021, Seal took a risk and pivoted away from a strong brand, with name recognition in the Tampa Bay area, to embark on her own. She acquired 100% of the four, indoor, locations and rebranded them into Watermelon Swim.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES?

I am no stranger to adversity. From 1998-2002, Seal Swim School was operating in a leased location. We had approximately 500 students at that location and we knew our lease would not be renewed due to this growth. Our goal was to find property and build the first free-standing, year-round swim school in the area.

For the next three years, the business was run out of my family home until property on Dale Mabry Highway was found that fit our needs. After many rejections, money was secured at a very high rate and our dream was realized. We built our first state-of-the-art facility with innovative pool equipment in 2005.

My most recent obstacle was embarking on my own and rebranding into Watermelon Swim in August of 2021. This was a huge risk, considering the tough financial years leading up to the change, the personal aspect of separating from my mother, and business partner, and the strong brand recognition we had worked to establish in Tampa. I embraced the obstacle and we are now stronger than ever with immense growth on the horizon.

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY?

Our giving tree is one of my favorite ways we give back to the community. We have built this program over the past 10 years and our entire team enjoys participating. Our giving tree aims to give back, directly, to the Tampa Bay community. We have an application process to connect us with local families struggling during the holidays. We aim to provide an entire holiday experience for those families – sometimes including trees, decorations, dinner, gifts, etc. The outpour of generosity from our team, and clients, is inspiring!

You May Also Like
Scenes from TBBW’s Women Who Win panel presented by ISPS (PHOTOS)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, in partnership with the Institute of Strategic Policy Solutions, in St. Petersburg, presented a panel discussion with three winners of TBBW‘s 2024 Women Who Win

Read More
Recap: CEO Connect with Fred Lay

Fred Lay is incredibly open and honest about his early experiences. He admits to his mischievous nature. He’s actually just a pretty transparent guy, in general.  He runs his business,

Read More
On the Scene: Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties’ Glow Gala (PHOTOS)

More than 500 attendees gathered to support the Habitat mission at the sold-out Glow Gala, presented by Crown Automotive Charities and the Hawkins Family Foundation.  The event, at the Vinoy

Read More
TBBW presents the finalists for Apogee Awards 2024 (VIDEO)

After a record-breaking 10 hours in the Tampa Bay Business and Wealth office, five external judges selected 45 finalists for the 2024 Apogee Awards, in addition to two exceptional honors

Read More
Other Posts
Scenes from TBBW’s CEO Connect with the McKibbons (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth held its June CEO Connect with John McKibbon III and J.B. McKibbon IV, of McKibbon Hospitality, at Hyatt House Tampa Airport/Westshore. Presenting sponsors for the

Read More
South Tampa Chamber recognizes TBBW’s Bridgette Bello as a Champion for Women (PHOTOS)

The South Tampa Chamber presented Bridgette Bello with the inaugural Bridgette Bello Champion for Women Award at an event held at the HCA South Tampa. The South Tampa Chamber’s Bridgette

Read More
Scenes from CEO Connect with Paula Woodring (PHOTOS) (VIDEO)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth held its May CEO Connect, at J.C. Newman Cigar Company, in Tampa, featuring Paula Woodring, chief executive officer and founder of RELTCO. Presenting sponsors included

Read More
On the Scene: Halos and Handbags event gives back to PACE for Girls (PHOTOS)

Ryann Halo, of Salon Halo, and Gretchen Bauer, of BSWANKY, co-hosted an event at Salon Halo, in South Tampa, to benefit PACE for Girls. Food was provided by Chef Rosana

Read More
TBBW on the scene halos and handbags cropped