The Entrepreneurs : Sébastien Godeau

24.11.2017 - Editorial board

Since his early childhood, Sébastien Godeau has been driven by the will to invent and create. Over the years, he developed a passion for wood and for water, which he combined into one project,  Immerside, floating solutions. The idea was to create a floatable pool that could be installed in every kind of body of water. Based on the observation that natural swimming areas were increasingly lacking or dangerous, the point was to allow users to enjoy a safe dip or a swim in these swimming areas. 

© Sébastien Godeau - Portait of Sébastien Godeau on a sailing boat - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

Were you born or did you become an entrepreneur?

When I was in pre-school, I left the classroom telling my teacher I didn’t want to go to school. Born in a family of antique dealers, I was having too much fun in my father’s workshop, inventing and creating objects. Around 11, the idea of a surfboard materialised and it was my first sale ever. I sold it for 800 Belgian francs on beaches at the Belgian coast. After that, I did it again, selling baseball bats in boarding school.
In the family business, I did a great deal of made-to-measure furniture the clients couldn’t find on the antique market. Always inspired by antiques, I imagined aging techniques and made the furniture more beautiful and functional than the antiques originally were. Then the antique oak furniture sector went down. My parents gave up the workshop, retired, and I went into made-to-measure furniture. After travelling as a sailor on old sailing boats and a naval design school, working on traditional wooden and metallic construction, waiting tables in a starred restaurant and many other jobs, I finally settled myself. I bought a hangar where I made and sold made-to-measure tables. And where the old idea of creating a floating pool came to life.
In a nutshell, the advantage of my journey is that it allowed me to take chances, to open myself to inspiration and creation.

What radical changes do you expect in your industry?

I currently have plenty of ideas that never saw the light of the day and I can’t realise them all. In my work, a progress would be improving development methods for multiple projects connected with inventions and new products/brands and visions.

What's on your bucket list?

First, I would like to show my children nice things and, in time, move out of our house to open their eyes to everything and anything. Then I would like to go back to watersports, teaching windsurfing in particular. I actually built a project to help people with burn out. And then... finding the love of my life!

© Immerside - Immerside's pool by the Meuse - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

Who is or has been your mentor?

My first mentors were my dad, who always had such creative energy, and my mom, who gave structure to the family business. But all the people I meet give me inspiration. I like Philippe Starck. He designs with antique inspiration. And some of his closest collaborators got in touch with me about the pool, which made me proud of myself. I also look up to people like Alfred Mylne, a naval architect, to Einstein and Beken of Cowes, the photographer.

What is a problem you face every day that nobody has fixed yet?


What is / are your guilty pleasure(s)?

Doing exactly the opposite of what is normal. 

Which Belgian entrepreneur inspires you the most?

It’s difficult to say, so many of them are great! I am more inspired by artist/entrepreneurs like Magritte or Jacques Brel ; these people have an unforgettable Belgian touch with a lot of humanity and humour.

What is your favourite website? 

Immerside floating solutions, of course !

© Immerside - Immerside's workshop - BELGIANBOUTIQUE