This month, WINK News’s partners at Gulfshore Business are honoring their 40 under 40. Forty people who are rising stars in their industries but also making a profound impact on the community.
About a third of the people honored were born and raised in Southwest Florida. Then there’s a whole other group whose family or job brought them down.
For one man, taking the blind leap from South Dakota to Southwest Florida was just one part of the adventurous risk.
If it involves My Little Pony fishing rods, kayaks, and underwater sea scooters, chances are the “Kayak DIY” YouTube star has tried it, reviewed it, and posted about it.
Justin Lammers’ studio is on the canal right behind his Cape Coral home.
“It’s hard for me to, you know, kind of sit still. But a couple times a week, I’m actually filming content, you know, in the backyard,” said Lammers.
The internet really has a mind of its own. Lammers never knew his rise to YouTube fame would start with Photoshop DIY and pimples.
“I was teaching people how to like remove acne in senior photos. Why? Because I had acne in college. And it was something that I found useful, like I was self-conscious about it,” Lammers said.
Now, companies ship all kinds of water products right to his house. All crave his video reviews that reach thousands of people online.
But the journey to his success was trying at times. It forced him to move from South Dakota to Southwest Florida.
The warm weather, sunshine and water allowed him to start a business renting kayaks, and create content year-round.
“And so we ended up actually buying this property sight unseen. It was a fixer-upper. 100-year-old lady lived here. And we had to put a lot of work into this dream,” said Lammers.
Lammers went to school to become a nurse, then re-invented himself, and now lives in the moment.
“And I love the feeling that with this career, it just keeps surprising me and I can keep growing,” Lammers said.
Getting to his more than 81,000 followers on YouTube wasn’t always easy. At one point, the doubt started creeping in, and his family questioned his choices.
“You know, they definitely were skeptics. I still have some family members that are saying, you’re not gonna give up your health care career, are you? You know, like, no matter what you got to keep doing, I’m like, well, I love it. I love what I do in health care. But like, this creates time for family. And I can do much bigger things,” said Lammers.
That’s perhaps Lammers’ biggest message. That family time. Precious moments with your children are truly priceless.
“My daughter sailor, I just want to be able to see her grow up. So, you know, everyone thinks with YouTube, you know, it’s about the money. It’s about, you know, the fame and all that stuff. But for me, it’s really about the time that it creates,” said Lammers.