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Conversations with the Inspiring Kim Shults

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Shults.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in San Diego. I grew up swimming competitively and have always enjoyed the water. It’s definitely my happy place. I began working as a swim instructor in my freshman year in college (UC Santa Barbara) and have been teaching for 28 years now. I love showing others how to create a healthy, happy relationship with water, gain confidence and improve quality of life.

Education in all forms has always been important to me. I received my teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California and taught English and ESL (English as a Second Language) for 12 years. But, no matter where I am or what I’m involved in, I always seem to find myself back in the water.

My zest for learning and passion for the water inspired me to start the non-profit, Face in Water. It provides me with a platform to share swimming and water safety education for families, schools and organizations worldwide.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have definitely been some bumps in the road, but it is all part of the journey. I find that most of the obstacles I have encountered, while seemingly unbearable at the time, have led me to the next chapter in my life adventure.

I went through one phase of my career when I heard “No” so many times that I thought I was completely incompetent and really doubted myself and my ability. I was in a vulnerable place in life and found myself on a downward spiral into negativity and self-deprecation. Thankfully, I have supportive friends, family and colleagues that helped guide me through that time.

Starting a business or organization takes focus and perseverance and it’s important to keep things in perspective. My advice to young women is to stay true to your integrity throughout the process because it will not go smoothly at all times. Life happens, so be open to unexpected circumstances, as they could lead to new opportunities you didn’t even know existed.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Swim Kim story. Tell us more about it.
Many people don’t realize that drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4. This statistic drove me to create DIY Teach-You-Child-How-to-Swim Packages online for parents, grandparents and caregivers to create a healthy aquatic environment for children, starting at birth. It’s an incredible feeling to empower families with this lifelong, lifesaving skill. Proceeds from every package purchased go to Face in Water non-profit, which allows us to reach underserved communities.

Face in Water has also sent me on Swim Missions as well. So far, we have sponsored swimming and water safety outreaches in Uganda (2017) and an orphanage in Honduras (2018, 2019). Bringing this information to communities in need is a rewarding, life-changing experience.

Clients and friends refer to me as “The Swim Whisperer” since I can teach any individual how to be more comfortable in the water, regardless of age or ability. I specialize in anxiety and fear, so I work with many adults that have a lifelong fear of swimming. I also work with a lot of special needs, especially autism, as water is such a wonderful medium for therapy. I find that a holistic approach to aquatics brings so much added joy to one’s life.

I am always up for a challenge, so I love it when clients tell me that they have tried everything, but just can’t seem to learn how to swim. Bring it on!

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
My mom is definitely the biggest inspiration in my life. My father died when I was 14 and she was 43. At that moment, she made a choice to become a survivor instead of a victim. That has been a huge influence in my life- watching her rise up from a life she didn’t sign up for and find happiness and success for herself.

Brene Brown is my go-to girl for studying human behavior in and around the pool (and in life in general). She is a research professor that studies courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. Her work has been influential for me in teaching adults with fear.


  • DIY Teach-Your-Child-How-to-Swim Packages: $30-$95 Teach your child a healthy relationship with/ respect for the water. Proceeds go to Face in Water non-profit.
  • Breakthrough Swimming Session for Adults: $150 Conquer your anxiety/ fear in one session!

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 858-247-1549
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @faceinwater
  • Facebook: @faceinwater
  • Twitter: @faceinwater

Image Credit:
Kehaulani Crooks at Wonderstruck Photography

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