Rob Galloway, Owner and Operator of Jones Brothers Air & Seaplane Adventures, did what most people don't, but should take the time to do. After selling a family printing business in South Carolina that he'd been a part of since graduating from Wofford College, Galloway took some time to figure things out. He wanted to do something that he would really enjoy and also something that would allow him to utilize his business background. That's when he stumbled upon flying.
"It seemed like a really fun thing to do," he said. "I signed up for flight school through Airline Transport Professionals and moved to Jacksonville for six months. During flight school, I identified seaplanes as a great opportunity. It seemed like a really good niche. I made some calls to various seaplane operators to get more information and, after I graduated from flight school, I met with several of them in person. One of those in-person meetings was right here in Tavares. I told the owners about my desire to open a similar business in the Carolinas. It basically turned into an unexpected job interview with them extending me an opportunity to work under them and learn the business. They even mentioned the idea of me partnering with them at some point."
In 2012, Galloway joined the Jones Brothers Air & Seaplane Adventures team. It didn't take long before discussions centered around a minority partnership, then a majority partnership and eventually, negotiations that ended in 2015 with Galloway purchasing and becoming the sole owner of the business.
Galloway shared some early challenges he faced as the new owner of Jones Brothers Air & Seaplane Adventures. "First of all, just getting used to this particular business was a challenge," he said. "I knew business, but not the business of aviation. Running an aviation business is a lot different than running a printing business. I had to learn the ins and outs of various regulations and how to work with the Federal Aviation Administration. There are a lot more rules and regulations than in the printing business. The costs are also extremely high. I told myself that I would never get into another business that required a high capital outlay and one where the maintenance costs were astronomical, but that's exactly what I did."
Nevertheless, Galloway is extremely content and loves to fly. He also loves giving his clients an opportunity to do something that, for many of them, is a bucket list item. Services include day trips, sightseeing tours, as well as seaplane ratings and instruction. Galloway credits a great relationship with the city and the branding of Tavares as, 'America's Seaplane City', as key factors driving the growth of his business and attracting seaplane enthusiasts from around the world.
Together with his wife Meghan, managing the office, and mother-in-law Bridget, managing the marketing and social media, Galloway is focused on growing the business and increasing their name recognition across the country. He wants people to know Jones Brothers Air & Seaplane Adventures and he's doing things within the community to build that recognition.
What advice does Galloway have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Not to sound cliche, but follow your dreams," he said. "Visualize what you want and go after it with persistence until you have accomplished your goals or taken the steps to make your goals attainable. And even then, look for a different twist or approach."