When I spoke with Trevor Simoneau to learn about his story, the old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” came to mind almost immediately. Growing up outside Orlando, Florida, Trevor routinely watched space shuttle launches from the Kennedy Space Center, which sparked his interest in aviation. The more he learned, the greater his fascination with NASA and astronauts became. The opportunities for exploration and adventure spoke to him, and he dreamed of working in manned space flight. When he learned that most of his astronaut idols had roots in general aviation, he saw no choice but to explore it for himself. For a tenth birthday present, his parents gifted him an introductory Young Eagle flight, hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association, and he loved it. After becoming more familiar with the general aviation world, and wishing to pursue flight training himself, his next challenge was one with which many of us are familiar; finding a way to fund his flight-training goals. Trevor’s answer to that task was to start his own business.
Born from a passion for aviation and initially as a resource to further Trevor’s flight education, Chart It All began as a new idea to sell products on which aeronautical charts had been printed. Despite his young age, he jumped headfirst into his idea and reached out to family friends with small business knowledge to learn about basic business structure and to develop a plan for starting and growing the company. With their mentorship and his parents’ support, he began selling the first product, custom aeronautical chart shirts.
With each sale, Trevor’s tenacity increased, and he found himself able to expand and add to the product list. After several years, Trevor landed a deal with Sporty’s Pilot Shop. This was an incredible step forward for Chart It All, as it allowed the products to have a significantly wider reach. Fast forward to today, the company now produces and sells all types of customizable chart apparel and gifts. Using the slogan “Chart it. Fly it. Wear it!”, the company allows anyone to personalize items such as shirts, pants, sweatshirts, ties, and ceramic mugs with any portion of a sectional navigation chart or instrument navigation chart. Chart It All exhibits at AirVenture each year in Oshkosh, Wisc. and has collaborated with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Women in Aviation (WAI) on various projects.
As anyone can imagine, the road to building his successful company was not always smooth. Creating and running Chart It All continues to be full of many challenges, both expected and unexpected. Trevor exudes optimism when he discusses his company and is keen to talk about things which many business owners may not be. He believes that most of the learning has come from the experience of making mistakes. Their first Christmas season on the Sporty’s Pilot Shop website was incredibly busy and challenging, as until that point, the company had not experienced such high volume of orders. Throughout the years, he has encountered supply-chain issues, been forced to make tough decisions regarding the company’s future direction, and most recently face challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. These growing pains did not diminish Trevor’s spirit. On the contrary, he learned to embrace the challenges and use them to learn how to more efficiently run his company. To provide the best service to his customers, he worked to ensure that he could expand the product line without sacrificing quality or increasing the delivery timeline.
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, Trevor began receiving request after request for face-mask products. In order to both satisfy his customers’ requests and help frontline workers, Chart It All developed a new face mask product and promised to donate one mask for each mask sold. They first focused on their local area in Florida, but as mask sales continued, they were able to expand their donations throughout the country. All told, within just a few months, Chart It All donated $45,000 worth of masks to first responders, police officers, hospital employees, and fire fighters.
Trevor is currently a junior at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. As he became exposed to more industry professionals and learned the true scope of aviation, he developed a great interest in aviation law and policy. He has chosen to pursue a career path in that arena, as he is intrigued by the process through which aviation technology is safely tested and legally approved. Though he no longer aspires to fly professionally, he remains heavily involved in general aviation and plans to become a certificated flight instructor. His shift in professional goals comes as our industry approaches rapidly changing technology and overall systemic changes. He is studying to receive his bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and plans to enroll in graduate school to earn a Master of Science degree in Aviation with specializations in Aviation Safety and Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Following completion of these degrees he plans to attend law school. Trevor wishes to impact aviation policy and law to make meaningful changes such as in the development of advanced and urban air mobility (AAM/UAM), drone deliveries and electric aircraft. The complex legal challenges that surround developing technologies call for professionals who understand the industry to safely help the implementation process, and Trevor plans on being one of those professionals. While at Embry-Riddle, he has involved himself in research opportunities, ones that will undoubtedly impact future technological developments in our industry. One research project he has been pursuing involves the certification of pilots to fly electric aircraft. As this is an entirely new category of propulsion systems, a new set of training and certification qualifications must be developed and implemented. This is exactly that type of industry problem solving that Trevor hopes to pursue in his career.
Trevor hopes that his path in aviation will show others just how many opportunities exist in the industry. Specifically, he hopes to reach those who may be interested in aviation, but do not quite know how to become involved. When he first discovered this interest, he was a bit unsure how to move forward. Aviation can be tough to break into and the path to many aviation careers is not always clear. He had no association with aviation through friends or family so he recognizes how difficult it can be to pursue this passion without guidance. He hopes that his successes in business and education will inspire those with a similar passion and show them that there are plenty of opportunities for success.
Since its inception back in 2015, Chart It All has more than served its initial purpose. Looking forward, Trevor plans to expand the company’s impact on aviation students. He hopes to fund scholarships for students who, like him, have a passion for aviation but may not have the resources or understanding how to pursue that goal. He hopes the scholarships will also open young minds to all the opportunities within aviation. He believes that, in addition to becoming a professional pilot, greater awareness needs to be brought to other aviation career paths in demand, such as air traffic control and aviation management positions. Though Chart It All was initially formed with the sole intention of funding his flight training, running and growing the business has provided Trevor with experiences and knowledge that he will carry with him into his career. He has found great success following his passion and wishes the same for all future aviation professionals.
Editor’s Note: To see the line of products from Chart It All, visit their website: https://www.chartitall.com.