Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jaclyn Gerakios, Co-Owner of Fin Pin Shop, located in Pinellas Park, FL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I run Fin Pin Shop with my Co-Owner Yasmin, advocating for marine life through ocean-inspired products. Our story began in 2016 at a shark convention in Tampa, where we met and bonded over wearing the same shark leggings.

As we are both biologists who love the ocean, we quickly became best friends (“sisters”) and decided to start a project that would make a difference for the oceans we love. Our products donate to over 20 nonprofits supporting research and ocean conservation while tapping into important messaging. Our customers are awesome people who help us help the ocean.

Tell us about yourself

I am an avid ocean advocate with a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Marine Biology and a Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Environmental Education. I am a volunteer supervisor with our local sea turtle patrol and I live in FL with my husband, son, and rescue animals. I am also a professor of marine biology at the local university.

Yasmin believes art plays a powerful role in fostering environmental awareness and creates all of our designs with that goal. She obtained a Master's degree in Environmental Science from Drexel University and MBA from Florida International University.

We started with enamel pins and have expanded to products like stickers, apparel, jewelry, bags, and other accessories. We work closely with our nonprofit partners, which has helped us make waves on social media and build an audience of people from around the world who want to help save our oceans and have fun doing it.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment has been being able to give back to over 20 different nonprofit groups. We help sea turtle rehabilitation, breast cancer research, and more with our donations.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of our biggest challenges is operating space. We are a small business that is run entirely out of a house. We have quite a few wholesale accounts (aquariums, museums, rehabilitation centers, and educational facilities) that order large quantities from us along with our individual customers. We ship our products to people all around the world.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Have confidence.
  2. Just keep swimming and
  3. Give them some-fin to talk about!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Watch our fin-tastic video here!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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