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@Work: Bubble Makers

March 17, 2005 – Deanna Cunningham says that she and her husband ended up in St. Croix a little over three years ago, then they accidently got started down the road to forming their business called Bubble Makers. and now she has a job that is "wonderfully fun. I get paid to play with people."
Deanna and Stephen raised their family in Colorado where they were part-owners of a dive shop, but she says they wanted to be located somewhere in the Caribbean. "We had never even heard of St. Croix at that time," she says.
She and her husband looked around St. Thomas, but found it too crowded. They then looked at buying a business on St. John. "We liked the business, but we couldn't afford to live there."
Someone told them about a business on St. Croix. They came and looked at it. They didn't buy it, but they moved here.
They looked at buying several established businesses, but could not find one they thought would work for them.
One day Marti Gotts of Vacation St. Croix called to asked Deanna if she could help out by greeting some visitors to the island and Bubble Makers, a full concierge service, was born.
She says the business just kept expanding until she and her husband were making a good living from it and "We just love it, meeting people every day."
She says the concierge services they offer are unique on the island. Their customers are people who come down and rent vacation villas. The services are like those offered at the concierge desk of any major resort. "We do it all," she says. "We offer a worry-free vacation."
Their expertise is diving. Deanna is a PADI instructor and Stephen is a PADI assistant instructor. They will come right to a visitor's pool and give lessons there. More experienced divers are taken out on charter dive trips.
Deanna says the success of the business comes from the personal touch the couple gives their customers. "We enjoy people. We make friends with many of them. We love to give them a great experience on our island."
But they offer many services besides dive packages. They pick guests up the airport, provision their rentals, find babysitters for those who need them, make reservations at restaurants.
They also schedule island tours. She says, "We work with some wonderful people on the island."
They are the only full-time employees the company has. Deanna says she likes it that way, although at times, it would be nice to have someone answering the phone.
She says their jobs and business have actually become "a way of life" and she doesn't know if any one else could actually fit into that.
Bubbles has a couple hundred clients a year "at least," according to Deanna. The couple stays connected with 30 rental villas which turn over guests every week. Word of mouth advertising also seems to work for the company. Deanna says, "Friends refer friends and friends of friends refer friends."
She says business slows a little in August, but "picks right back up in October."
Bubble Makers has a Web site at Bubble Makers. The phone number is 719-7201.

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