Microbiologist Shereen Sabet fell in love with SCUBA diving the first time she tried it with her husband in 1996. As she became more devout in her Muslim faith, however, finding appropriately modest swimwear was a frustration. Shereen discovered that the diving drysuit gave her the coverage necessary to allow her to participate in water sports and still have full coverage dictated by her faith. She also realized that there must be women from many backgrounds who could benefit from such a garment—whether because of faith, physical issues or simple modesty. After testing several outfits, Shereen launched the Splashgear line, which offers colorful swim pieces—shirts, pants, skirts and hair covers— in a variety of colors and sizes.
As her business was getting started, Shereen applied for her business license and picked up a brochure about SCORE. At the urging of a contractor, she reviewed the brochure, researched SCORE online and turned to Orange County SCORE and mentor Tony Calderone, who had retired after serving as vice president of sales for Russell Athletics.
Shereen’s sales continue to grow. In her many media interviews, Shereen highlights SCORE as a contributor to her success. A story by the Associated Press went viral globally, bringing her new customers overseas.
Shereen has been a speaker at an American Express OPEN/SCORE Speed Coaching event, a SCORE Women in Business breakfast, and a SCORE chapter meeting. Moving forward as the economy improves, Shereen’s business is expected to continue its growth not only in the U.S., but around the world.
Shereen also uses broadband for her business. “We switched to high-speed Internet for the speed in accessing our e-commerce web site,” she says.
Shereen has attended several low-cost SCORE workshops. “I have no background in business—I’m actually a scientist,” she says. “These seminars are incredible. You get to hear from people in different industries who provide the basic info you need to get started.”
SCORE mentor Tony Calderone helped Shereen set up contracts with agents and distributors, figure out the appropriate commission rates and terms and conditions, and explore the possibility of expanding her online business into retail stores in the U.S.
“It’s just incredible having access to somebody like him,” Shereen says. “He’s helping me with the ins and outs of retail. It’s really awesome!”