About Deep Ecology Hawaii
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A Brief History
Initially our company was named "Flippers Scuba". A total capital investment of $8000 was used to purchase a van ($1200), equipment ($5000), advertising ($400) and misc. expenses. With this investment we anxiously waited for the phone to ring. Ring it did, but few and far between. It wasn't long before the other partners dropped out and I ran the company. The first 2 years I did nothing but read and focus on business. This was definitely not my first love, but I saw this investment in time as necessary. Every penny made was put back into the company.
I traveled to the other islands and dived with companies I knew had solid reputations, such as "Ed Robinson's" on Maui and "Bubbles Below" in Kauai. To their credit they allowed me to dive at a cut rate while I was admittedly observing and documenting their way of doing business. I was then and am now impressed. Much of what we do now is based on the observations I made then. In the beginning, we had no retail shop and I was uninterested in having one. I felt that the time invested in retail would undermine the commitment I made to top rate service. After a year and a half the business began to show signs of success. Debts were being paid off and I was supporting myself, and one full time salaried instructor. Things were good and getting better. Then an opportunity arose to bring in an investor to fund the addition of a retail location. The way I looked at it, he would run the retail side under our name (which I controlled) and retain the retail profits. I would continue to run the service end of it and hold profits. The investor seemed quite serious and commissioned me to compile a budget, business plan and to find a retail location.
I was developing the business plan when I realized that my initial plan was not so different from any other dive operation. This really bothered me and I set out to develop a unique business concept that would reflect my outlook on life. Before I knew it, and with much advice, I had a plan that truly excited me and I knew would succeed. Ironically, the investor who was the catalyst for the retail side dropped out without even reviewing the business plan. This setback annoyed me initially. I quickly realized although the investment money was not there, the control over the business was 100% in my hands.
With our retail location in place, a massive clean-up and renovation occurred that was hugely done on donated materials and cheap labor. Neil and Chris, I thank you to this day. We managed to turn a run down neglected building into perhaps the cleanest, finest retail location on the North Shore. All this on a shoe string budget. As fate smiled on us over and over, it happened just when I needed it most. With most of the renovation completed, the money was quickly running out and we were on the verge of a total loss if new capital did not come in. It was at that time that my mother, Pat, was being given incentives to leave her job of over twenty years. Before you knew it a true family run business was is place and we opened our totally unique operation in May 1998, under our new name "North Shore Diving Headquarters."
Without doubt, we are Hawaii's fastest growing dive operation. Our accomplishments in education, environmental protection, customer service and loyalty has set us apart from all others. We have not only created a company that is successful in conventional terms, but more importantly we have saved untold amounts of marine life and started the ball rolling for the North Shore's first Marine Sanctuary. Due to this success we have made plans for expansion under our new name "Deep Ecology Hawaii." This name does not confine us to only North Shore locations, and more importantly, it gives us a name which reflects our unparalleled commitment to protection of the marine environment.
The commitment we give to our customers is that your money is going to directly protect our oceans. In only a two year period we have contributed in many ways to environmental protection, such as the rescuing of ten endangered Green Sea Turtles. This is what sets us apart. Special thanks to all those along the way who have made it possible- we couldn't have done it without you. In the future look for Deep Ecology's major expansion to locations around the world. The year 2002 sounds good to me !
Sincerely, Ken Nichols