“As a child, I always imagined myself wearing a power suit and going to an office and doing ‘business things,’ but I had no idea what that entailed,” recalls Rishona Hyman, Founder of Aqua Essence.
Though she boasts a Master’s degree in social work, Rishona has worn a different kind of business suit for her job since 1995—a swim suit.
“To this day, I’ve never even taken a business class,” she laughs.
On a mission to instill confidence in the water for people of all ages, Rishona founded Aqua Essence—Manitoba’s leading swim school.
She’s always been drawn to the water—synchronized swimming, water polo, and lifeguarding are all a part of her repertoire. As a university student, Rishona worked for a local company as a swim instructor. It was her father who realized they hadn’t been taking off taxes and that Rishona would have to shell out an unexpected lump sum from a student-sized wallet. He encouraged her to continue to teach swimming, but do it on her own.
So, she did.
Figuring it out as she went, Rishona started her own swim class gig that fall with 35 students. By the following spring, her class size doubled and she hired her first employee.
Once she completed her Master’s degree, friends and family assumed she would be done with swimming.
“That was never a part of the plan,” says Rishona. “It’s a job I love to do. I love swimming, I love teaching, and I love kids.”