With a decade of working for Taylor Swift in Nashville, Jimmy Chapin decided to take some time off at the beach with the megastar’s company sold. His father, Jimmy Chapin, Sr., was already in the Destin area, contemplating purchasing a rental company. The international marketing director of Big Machine Label Group, young Jimmy managed marketing for Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry and more for the label. He also owned a small hospitality company that focused on Nashville’s large tourism market. So, as Jimmy hoped to take a few days of downtime and soak up some rays on the beach, his father actually asked him to help get a new business off the ground.
“The timing ended up being very serendipitous. The company I worked for sold the same weekend that we closed on the purchase of Sand Dollar One, so I knew it was the right time to make a formal move,” Jimmy said of his move from the recording industry. He’d been considering his next move for a while, and the opportunity to start a new business with his father, affectionately known to many as “Muscle Man,” plus live at the beach, was a no-brainer. His husband, Nate, comes from a hospitality background, as well as a real estate background, and Sand Dollar One blends both of these fields beautifully.
The rental management business is a tough one because it requires the highest standards of service and quality, and the knowledge of the local market is essential. Granted, there are a plethora of rental companies in this popular area, but Sand Dollar One stands apart. With beach properties in Seagrove, Destin, Grayton, Panama City, Inlet Beach, Seacrest, Miramar, and Santa Rosa, the business earns wonderful reviews from its clients. “They take care of the renter and the home owner; everyone associated with them is top notch,” reads one online review.
“There are a few key elements that set us apart from the rest, first of which is our staff-to-owner ratio. We maintain a portfolio of about 50 properties and have a staff of 10 (and more in the summer season), which allows us to provide extremely specialized service to our homeowners,” Jimmy Sr. said, adding that the team is able to get specific with each property owner’s personal goals, needs and preferences. Sand Dollar One does it all, including managing the booking, revenue, home maintenance, guest needs, housekeeping and more.
Downtime is rare, given the nature of the business. A vacation is short, sometimes only a few days, so every hour counts, especially if accommodations need to be tweaked. And even though Sand Dollar One is responsive around the clock, the endless ocean and white sand beaches are always there for a quick, restorative break.
“The most challenging part is the schedule, because it never really stops,” Jimmy said. But this world traveler is unfazed by the nonstop industry, although he admits to being a bit shocked.
“That [schedule] may also be the most surprising part as well - how this industry is constantly active and moving,” Jimmy said.
Nobody on board is looking for things to slow down. The company recently added quite a few amazing new properties to their cache, as well as hired several key staff members that are already an asset to the team. And spring break is just around the corner, so the goal of Sand Dollar One is “to continue giving specialized service to our homeowners and ensure we are providing the best service of anyone on 30A,” Jimmy Sr. said.
This McCallie and Belmont grad spent 14 years in Nashville creating a career that involved stars that are practically untouchable. And at first a family business wasn’t even on his radar. But so far, it’s a nice change. “I created a career totally independently, so it has been a shift to now working with the people who are closest to me. It has been extremely rewarding,” Jimmy said, adding that when things aligned so perfectly for their careers, neither he nor Nate hesitated. And if you know this fun family that includes mom Erin and sister Branden Craig, both artists, you understand the appeal of a family business. Although the couple is back in Nashville, Sand Dollar One is going strong under the family patriarch’s care.
“Nate and I got to work with my dad and start a true family operation. I am so thankful to be able to build something with my family,” Jimmy said.
Find out more at sanddollarone.com.
* * *
Ferris Robinson is the author of three children’s books, “The Queen Who Banished Bugs,” “The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds,” and “Call Me Arthropod” in her pollinator series. “Making Arrangements” is her first novel. “Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity” is a collection of true tales about man’s best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com and you can download a FREE pollinator poster there. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.
By Ferris Robinson