Jon Robert saw a void in Tulum for POC and took advantage of the opportunity to start the first Black-owned Yacht Club and the ultra-exclusive, MelaninTulum.
Jon took the time to give us more insight into his drive and determination. What a truly inspiring person.
“‘MelaninTulum’ is actually just a visual storyboard of Black and Brown people experiencing Tulum. When I was looking at Tulum’s Instagram pages, they all featured white blonde-haired girls.”– JON ROBERT
First, you’re amazing! What inspired you to start your travel journey?
Jon Robert: Well, thank you so much. Travel has always been a vital part of my life. Both of my parents were missionaries, and so growing up with them, they wanted me to have a global perspective and understanding of the world. So I’ve been traveling for as long as I can remember.
Your events provides the ultimate experience. Is this intentional?
Jon Robert: Very much so. I’ve been living in Tulum for six months now and wanted to curate for my guest an ultimate experience. So I took what I consider the best of Tulum and jammed into 5 days and 4 nights.
You have such a free-spirit. Have you always been this way?
Jon Robert: Yes, those who know me, and have seen my growth within the travel community can speak to it. I’ve always been who I projected through my social media. I pride myself on being able to say that.
I’ve learned that social media is filled with many personas, but when you meet the person, it’s not always consistent.
I aim always to be the consistent kind of human being filled with positive energy in all the spaces I come in contact with.
I recently went to Tulum for the first time. I loved it. What inspired you to start ‘Melanin Tulum?’
Jon Robert: So ‘MelaninTulum’ is actually just a visual storyboard of Black and Brown people experiencing Tulum. When I was looking at Tulum’s Instagram pages, they all featured white blonde-haired girls.
It was intriguing to me because it’s Mexico, and Brown people naturally occupy this space. I saw how Black people were occupying the space as well but still couldn’t find any representation. So I decided to fill the void.
Is ‘MelaninTulum’ open to non-melaninated people?
Jon Robert: No, haha, it’s a celebration of People of Color.
I love that you’re proud of your Blackness and body. What advice would you give men and women who deal with body image issues?
Jon Robert: Whew, loving yourself is a journey, not a destination. You have to work at it daily, especially being Black. I have an affirmation playlist on Spotify that I listen to daily.
India Arie said, “The words that come from your mouth, you’re the first to hear.” speak positivity out loud, hear yourself say, I am beautiful, I am uniquely made, I am worthy of love.
Plant seeds of truth and watch them grow, and every now and then, God will send someone to watering them for you.
What has 2020 taught you as a business owner?
Jon Robert: Whew, we don’t have enough time or liquor to cover all that. Haha. What I will say, is to give up the idea of perfection. What does that exactly mean? I’m glad you asked. We want instant success; we want everything to be amazing and perfect. But if we are honest, the imperfections are what makes us human and even wiser.
A profitable business always strives for perfection but also leans into its failures.
We based our current issue on self-love. What are some of the things you do to promote mental balance for yourself?
Jon Robert: So this may seem so simple but absolutely under no circumstance work on Sunday. As a man of faith, it’s my Sabbath, and I observed to the fullest. It’s literally my day to do nothing. It usually starts with some online church, a trip to the beach, and Pittsburgh Steeler football.
The other thing is set boundaries, whew that a tough word I know. Often we find the reasons we can’t find mental balance is because we lack boundaries.
Boundaries are essential in all relationships and can be a healthy way to restore mental peace. The other obvious answer is to travel. Travel allows me to reflect, unplug, and unwind.
I see you own a Yacht Club’ Tell us more about it.
Any shout outs?
Jon Robert: Umm, this hard wouldn’t want to miss anyone. I’ll say thank you to all those who support me rather they know me or not. 2020 has been such a fantastic year and so much positive energy for me, and I’m so grateful.