George Mason University helps Cameron catch a table

Cameron Smith took a sculpture class at George Mason University. His first assignment was to design a standard piece of furniture with a unique spin. “I have always been fascinated by aquatics and cool, unique things. Growing up I went fishing with my dad often, and I had a few small-fish tank,” he explains. “So I decided to make a glowing fish-tank-aquarium coffee table with live fish inside.”

With the A+ he received for the class bolstering his confidence, he made a few more. “Given my ambitious personality, I readied myself for the challenge of reproducing this AquaTable. Before I knew it I was selling units, only a month later!” he says.

A Mason faculty member referred Cameron to the Mason SBDC. Business Advisor George Siragusa was instrumental in guiding his through the development and expansion of his business. “George has given me so many great tips on so many different aspects of business,” says Cameron. “Some things I have learned to improve on as a result of these meetings, include valuing my time more, communicating with customers better and more efficiently, and expanding the reach of my business.”

Hearing that aquariums are relaxing and have healing powers, Cameron thought, “I’m going to try and put this in some offices!” Today, six months later, AquaTables can be seen at pediatric dentist offices, occupational therapy centers for kids with learning disabilities, DC night clubs, vape shops, hookah bars, and restaurants. “I love that my business gives me a greater sense of purpose as I am doing something that I am passionate about,” he explains.

“Running a business by yourself is no joke, especially as a full time college student,” Cameron explains. “The Mason SBDC has helped me find ways to make it easy! I am very thankful for them.”

In nine months, AquaTables has generated sales of $7,000 and created 2 jobs.
Virginia SBDC