We had the good fortune of connecting with Marla Hunter and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marla, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I actually have two businesses that I run.

For my swim business, Live. Love. Swim!, LLC, I began it in 1997 after becoming a certified lifeguard and swim instructor. My Mum put me in swim lessons at the local YMCA. Since then I have always been swimming – swim teams and synchronized swimming. I noticed I was 1 of 3 Blacks that worked in the pool area and that the majority of the people that I taught did not look like me. I went on a mission. My mission was to show that ANYONE could learn how to swim no matter their race, colour, and/or cultural background. This is when I coined Live. Love. Swim!. Live. Love. Swim!, LLC became provider of private swim lesson and semi-private swimming lessons for infants, children, and adults not just in the United States, but globally (UK, China, and Nigeria).

My second business is, Live. Love. Teach!, LLC. I have been in education for almost 22 years. I have been a huge advocate for diversity within education since 2004, before it became the “thing”. I officially began my business with doing teacher workshops and developments in 2009. It was in 2014 that moved aboard to work in leadership at American International and US Embassy Schools. It was during this move that my company became a a global educational consulting education agency that empowers educators, students, parents and corporations. I now provide training and workshops that are designed for individuals and team members of all levels; both for educator and corporations. I also provide global coaching for educators and DEIJB (diversity, equity, inclusivity, justice, and belonging) trainings/services.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Both of my businesses are set around diversity and inclusivity.

In the swim world there are not may Black female certified swim coaches. Easy: for me it was easy to get the certification and training and also keeping it up. This also comes in my favour when it come to a certain clientele as well. However, there have been challenges because at most swim organisations I am the one and ONLY. I have heard negative things from nonPOC.

As a global educational consultant that also specialises in DEIJB it becomes competitive. I’m having to prove to schools and other corporations that I too can do the work of my nonBlack counterparts. I have to stand my ground when I focus on unconscious bias, cultural competence, inclusive leadership, women’s advancement, authentic leadership, and allyship.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In Houston – I’m a history person so I would defiantly visit Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Freedmen’s Town National Historic District, and the Houston Museum of African American Culture.
– Food and drink: Turkey Leg Hut, Kulture
-Things to do: Downtown Aquarium, The Funnel Bar, Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Marcia Hunter

Dr. Marcia Hunter is my Mummie. She is the reason why my drive and vision is how it is. I am the oldest of two children, of immigrant parents from Jamaica. I am a first generation American, Jamaican-American. My Mum taught me the importance of hard work but, yet being able to build a life that I enjoy and love. She’s also taught me how to love and care for others, as she does with my father, my brother, her students, and many others.

Website: www.msmarlahunter.com + www.liveloveswimllc.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liveloveteachllc/ + https://www.instagram.com/liveloveswimllc/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/msmarlahunter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/liveluvteachllc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liveloveteachllc + https://www.facebook.com/LiveLoveSwim

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.