Home Innovations Spas

Posted in Dealer Spotlight

Home Innovations Spas was founded by Paul Walz in 1990 and has 2 locations.  The store in Lincoln, Nebraska is at 2001 Highway 2 while the store in Omaha, Nebraska is at 13813 Industrial Road.  Employing approximately 8 full time employees, Home Innovations offers hot tubs, swim spas, and a full range of chemicals along with spa accessories.  Walz also services the products they sell and employs 2 fully trained and certified service techs.

Deb Christ, General Manager, says there are a number of qualities that set Home Innovations Spas apart from the rest. “Customer service is the first thing” according to Christ. “Fair pricing is also something we are very aware of. We don’t fluctuate on that very much so when we give a price it’s our very best.”

Having been in the spa industry for over 26 years, Christ feels advertising is always a moving target.  “Knowing the best way to get the word out about our company is very important” she says, “But also we have to pick the best value for our dollar.” With so many advertising options available, Christ knows that narrowing down to the ones that will reach the wider audience is the best choice for them.

Christ is looking forward to continuing their sales growth this year.  What she and Walz have been very excited about is watching their employees step up and grow within their positions. “We continue to emphasize employee training” states Christ.  That gives both herself and Walz a lot more time and freedom to look at the larger picture and develop the longer horizon for Home Innovations Spas.

Becoming a Nordic Partner in 2011 was a great decision according to Christ. “When Pete Westfall (now Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nordic) came into our showroom and told us how reliable Nordic was we thought ‘yeah, right’. But, we can count on our fingers the number of service claims we have had in the past 5 years with Nordic.”

Christ enjoys telling the story of how Westfall really hit it off with her dog, Gia, who happened to be in the store when Westfall came calling. “He gave Gia a squeaky rubber duck and we named it Mister Pete.  Gia and Mister Pete are inseparable. We’ve even given ‘Mister Petes’ to our friends pets too!” Christ states with a laugh.

What advice does Christ have for other dealers in the industry? “Take good care of your customers! They refer their friends!” says Christ. “The goodwill you generate with your customers will come back for sure! Listen to them and don’t confuse them with all kinds of information. Hit the price points they are shopping for.”

You can meet the Home Innovations Sales Team at the Nebraska Sate Fair from August 25 - September 4, 2017!  

Paul Walz, Deb Christ and the Home Innovations team can be reached through the website.
      HomeInnovationsSpa Logo200 PaulNDebDeb Christ, General Manager with
Paul Walz, Founder/Owner of
Home Innovations Spas.

Home Innovations StorefrontHome Innovations Spas 
at 2001 Highway 2, Lincoln, NE.

Home Inn OmahaHome Innovations Spas Omaha, NE location at 13813 Industrial Road.

Home Inn DelvyAnother hot tub delivery by the
Home Innovations Delivery Team!


Kinney Pools

Posted in Dealer Spotlight

The idea to start his own pool business came to Ed Kinney in 1972 while he was working for another pool builder.  He finalized his decision, quit his job and started Kinney Pools.

 Ed tells the story how, on the first day of Kinney Pools, his wife made a sign to put on his car to help advertise.  Ed drove to the neighborhood 7/11 for coffee and before he got back home he already had a week of pool work scheduled. 

Kinney worked out of his garage at first but then rented a building as the business began to grow.  In 1976 he built a new building at 2155 Route 88 East in Brick, New Jersey.  With business still growing, he expanded on the site in the 1980’s. Today, Kinney employs up to 25 people in peak pool season.

Although Kinney began with pools, he expanded to include hot tubs along with the in-ground and above-ground pools, supplies and chemicals.  For a while he also sold outdoor furniture but made the decision to specialize in just pools and hot tubs.

When asked what sets Kinney Pools apart from the competition, Amber LiPira, General Manager replies, “We are family owned and operated.  We have a huge brick and mortar store with a well-educated staff.”  Melanie Durham, Assistant General Manager, concurs, “It’s about a 4,000 square foot building, with an 18 by 36 foot in-ground pool and 2 above-ground pools set up outside with a complete service area.” LiPira adds, “After so many years [in business] it’s hard to come across something we are unfamiliar with!”

As with most brick and mortar stores, Kinney Pools is beginning to see an increase in competition from internet pricing. When asked how they overcome this obstacle, Durham states quickly, “With Service!”  She goes on to explain, “We back everything we do.  If our customers have an issue with something we are right there the next day.  We’re here to stay!”

Both LiPira and Durham are excited about 2016. They are already full-swing into the pool season and they know it’s going to go up from here. They are both looking forward to an increase in sales and building up the in-ground and hot tub departments.  “We just want to keep our customers happy!  That’s the most important thing!” adds Durham.

Kinney joined the Nordic Family in 1996 and feel the Nordic line is a great fit for the store and their customers.  LiPira states, “[Nordic tubs] are a simple yet functional hot tub.  The limited number of complaints and servicing required make this a perfect fit for us.  They are resilient tubs!”  Durham agrees and adds, “We also appreciate the exclusivity Nordic gives its dealers.”

If Durham could give advice to other dealers she states, “It’s all about Customer Service! We have a fantastic team that gives great customer service.  Ed treats us like family and that makes us want to do our best for him and our customers.”

Contact Kinney Pools through the website or find them on Facebook!

      Kinney Logo Kinney Pools People 2Left to Right: Ed Kinney, Founder and Owner;
Amber LiPira, General Manager;
Melanie Durham, Asst. General Manager.

Kinney StorefrontKinney Pools located at 2155 Route 88 East in Brick, New Jersey.

Store IIThe Showroom at Kinney Pools.

storePool Accessories Wall Display
at Kinney Pools!


Soo Fireplace and Stone

Posted in Dealer Spotlight

Nestled along the St. Mary’s River and 3 blocks south of the world-famous Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie (pronounced: Soo Saint Marie) Michigan, Soo Fireplace and Stone has been going strong for over 30 years.  Opened in 1981 by Don Earl, Sr. Soo Fireplace and Stone builds and installs HVAC systems, hot tubs and everything to do with hearth products.  Earl, Sr. founded the business on the ethic of keeping the customers satisfied, happy and comfortable.  Don Earl, Jr. makes sure that the guiding principles his father founded the business on are still in practice today.

Bill Smart, Sales Manager for Soo Fireplace and Stone, states, “The thing that sets Soo Fireplace apart is high service…good quality service.”  Smart knows that, as is the case with so many smaller family-owned businesses, they have to stay ahead of the competition in order to retain customers and attract new, loyal long tern customers.  “The family ethic shows in our work,” states Smart. “We have around 14 full time employees who are long term and well- trained.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been obstacles for Soo Fireplace and Earl, Jr.  Smart indicated the recession of 2008 hit them quite hard.  “But, we were careful during that time,” says Smart. “We didn’t have to lay anyone off and we didn’t take out any loans.”

Smart is looking forward to a great 2016 for Soo Fireplace and Stone.  “We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing,” states Smart. “We’re getting more efficient and organized with more storage.” Smart adds with a chuckle, “We’re always looking forward to making more money!”

Soo Fireplace and Stone joined the Nordic family about 3 years ago.  It was a good decision according to Smart. “We like the fact that their made in Grand Rapids. We’ve been to the factory and it’s clean.”  They know the tubs will be shipped and arrived in good condition. “We also like that they offer additional Nordic Wrap insulation” states Smart. “I also like the longevity of the shell, the fact that there are minimum service calls and that the Nordic brand is affordable and easy to sell.”

To make and keep good customers over time, Smart advises other dealer to be honest. “The customer must know what they are getting. If you don’t know something, find it out!”

Don Earl, Jr. along with Bill Smart and the Soo Fireplace Sales Team will be hosting a Nordic Truckload Sale this coming Thursday, May 19 through Saturday, May 21, 2016.  Joining them will be Rusty Hendges, Nordic’s Regional Sales Manager for the Upper Great Lakes Region.  Join them from 8 am through 5 pm for some of the best deals on Nordic Hot Tubs!

Soo Fireplace and Stone can be reached through the website  or find them on Facebook!  
      Soo Fireplace Logo Soo Fireplace staffThe Soo Fireplace and Stone Team.