Finalist Q&A: Otter Bay Wetsuits

Otter Bay Wetsuits manufactures custom wetsuits for cold water diving. They also do repairs and alterations on existing suits.

How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what, or who, is your main source of motivation?
My business, Otter Bay Wetsuits, was started after my grandparents closed their business, Monterey Bay Wetsuits. I worked with them for ten years prior, and wanted to keep things going, but couldn't afford to purchase their business. They sold it to someone else, who couldn't make it work. In the meantime, I decided to start from scratch, as I loved my work, and wasn't ready to quit my dream.

What is a unique feature of your business?
The main feature of my business is offering custom wetsuits and drysuits to divers. We also do repairs and alterations, on a quick turn around. Mine is the only company close to this diving capital who offers this service and deals with the customers face to face, rather than them having to try and order something through the mail.

What are your thoughts on the connection between small business and the local community?
I have always believed in small businesses. It is wonderful to deal personally with the community, and have something to offer my neighbors that they can't find anywhere else. Once a year, we hold a student lottery, offering a marine science student a custom suit to help them be comfortable in their studies and future work.

Why should the Idea Cafe regulars vote for you?
If I am to be the recipient of this grant, it will go towards the student lottery this fall, and we shall be able to give more than just one suit away to our entrants.


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