|Family Pools in Ashland and Wooster, Ohio, is truly a ‘family’ business!
It all began when Ken Uhler’s mother needed a pool liner replaced. At the time, Ken and his wife, Pam, owned an excavating company and installed the liner for his mother. Impressed with Ken’s work, the pool liner company asked if he would sell liners for them…and so it began!
The Uhlers sold pools and liners out of their garage, eventually opening a store in Ashland, Ohio and a second location in Wooster. When Ken and Pam retired, their daughters, Mary Pheneger and Becky Macar took over. Currently, Mary manages the Ashland location and Becky manages the Wooster store. Mary also serves as controller for the company.
As a full service pool and spa company they carry a full line of chemicals, pool toys and all necessary service and maintenance accessories. Pheneger feels that what sets Family Pools apart is their professional knowledge base. “Our staff is very knowledgeable about the products we sell,” she states. “They are caring and go beyond just selling, they really know what they’re doing with the products.”
Over the years Pheneger has noticed an increase in internet competition. She states, “The internet can cause us situations and can be a competitor.” The way she overcomes these situations is by offering the best prices on the quality products they carry. “It goes back to our knowledge base and our service,” she says with confidence. Pheneger knows that the internet can’t give the personalized attention her sales and service staff offer customers every day.
Selling pools and hot tubs is in Pheneger’s blood. She is excited that this year has proven to be one of the best sales years for Family Pools. “We have had a great pre-sale for our sale coming up at the fair! We hope to continue the roll!” she says with a wide grin.
Family Pools has been a Nordic dealer partner for about 5 years and Pheneger is satisfied with their decision to bring the line in. “Nordic is good to work with and they make a quality product,” she states. “We have great success with their product and we love their support.”
What Pheneger has learned over the years at Family Pools is to enjoy what she does. “I’m happy to come to work!” she says. Her advice to other dealers is to enjoy what you do, it is evident to customers.
Family Pools is hosting a Nordic Truckload Sale event this Thursday through Saturday, September 21 – 23, 2017. Join her and the Family Pools Sales Team for great pricing on great hot tubs.
For more information contact them through the website or find them on Facebook.
Family Pools and Spas located at
4182 Burbank Rd E
|Deep in the heart of Texas, in Longview to be exact, is the Swimming Pool Super Store. Founded in 1987 by owner, Cliff Gilliland, it is one of the premier pool and hot tub stores in the area.
Gilliland began his career in the hardware and plumbing business and, after selling it, had planned to retire. However, a long-time friend contacted him and asked if he would consider selling above-ground pools with him. Gilliland accepted the offer and did well, working his way from factory rep into distribution and, eventually, into opening his retail store.
Around 2002 Gilliland decided to bring hot tubs into his Super Store location. He felt it was a great way to round out the products offered to his pool customers and appeal to a wider range of clients. “We carry everything you could possibly need for hot tubs and above-ground pools,” states Gilliland. “All the chemicals, toys and anything you need to maintain your pool or hot tub.”
According to Gilliland, the Swimming Pool Super Store is unique because they are a family owned business and carry products no one else in the area carries. “We are also great at fixing water problems,” says Gilliland. “We just run a good operation here!”
Not one to talk about problems, Gilliland does feel the internet can be an issue from time to time. However, they overcome pricepoint competition by keeping ‘fairly decent’ pricing on their products and by taking care of their customers. “We know our customers well and our customers are so loyal we feel like we’re virtually married,” he quips with a wide Texas smile.
If Gilliland would like to see anything change this year it would be the weather. “The weather here has been cool and rainy which doesn’t work well with pool building,” he states. Gilliland knows that pool building is weather dependent but his experience with hot tub sales is, “they go in spurts.”
Swimming Pool Super Store became a Nordic Dealer Partner early in 2017. “We had heard about Nordic for quite some time and we finally got together,” says Gilliland. Stephanie Victory, the Regional Sales Manager for the territory agrees, “We are so glad to have Cliff and the Swimming Pool Super Store on board with Nordic. They are very knowledgeable, have great customer service and will add a great presence for us in the area.”
Gilliland is pleased with the Nordic Hot Tub line so far. “The people that run Nordic are nice and easy to work with and they do what they say they’re going to do,” says Gilliland. “The tubs are put together well, shipped well and I’ve had no complaints so far.”
When asked what advice he would give to other dealers he chuckles and says, “Well, everyone has their own way to run a business but, if I were to give any advice it would be to make sure your customers stay happy and give them good value. Nordic satisfies that for us here with a good product at a great price point.” Thank you Cliff!
Gilliland, and The Swimming Pool Super Store's Sales Team can be found on the website of find them on Facebook.
Cliff Gilliland, Founder and Owner of
The Swimming Pool Super Store.
A panoramic view of The Swimming Pool Super Store's interior showroom.
(click on photo for larger view)
|Starting out in Sag Harbor and recently expanding to their new location in South Hampton, Harbor Hot Tubs is growing rapidly on Long Island, New York.
Owner, Ian Fyffe, has been in the industry for 39 years and is passionate about offering his customers an all-encompassing backyard experience for both mind and body. Integrating elemental features of water, fire, sound and light within a backyard environment provides a sanctuary where inner and outer wellbeing is encouraged and nourished.
According to Alexander Holt, Chief Digital Strategist and resident Happiness Engineer at Harbor Hot Tubs, their mission is to help each customer elevate their Personal Happiness Quotient, or “pHq”. To that end they offer a wide range of high-quality hot tubs, saunas, massage chairs with integrated chromotherapy and outdoor grills. Additionally, they offer essential oil therapy and meditation music to further enhance relaxation.
During the summer months, Harbor Hot Tubs hosts Food Fridays, a community event where the public is invited to enjoy free food, music and massage at the Southampton location. “We have all kinds of free food for the public to enjoy,” states Holt. “Plus, they can take advantage of free reiki massage and a meditative music experience while they’re here!”
The biggest challenge Holt can recall in this past year is opening the new location in Southampton which had its own set of stressors. “We began reaching a whole new volume of perspective customers,” states Holt. “Anyone working in the retail field knows how hard it is to create a new store front. The challenge has been introducing our integrative products to our newly defined niche audience; a group of people interested in the holistic lifestyle of being happy with high quality products.”
With an eye to the future, Harbor Hot Tubs and Holt are working to bring a whole new aspect to the customer experience. As Holt states, “We’re working on Voyeuristic Shopping, which uses digital tools to help people visualize their backyard oasis.” As Holt explains it, this will include virtual reality and augmented reality to help customers create the backyard oasis of their dreams. “Oh, and there will definitely be a very hot app for that,” adds Holt with a wide grin.
Harbor Hot Tubs has been a Nordic Dealer Partner for about 16 years with the exception of a 5 year hiatus from 2010 to 2016. “We love the S.T.A.R philosophy of Nordic,” states Holt. “Our customers also love how simple the Nordic products are to operate!” Doug Sullivan, Sales Manager for Harbor Hot Tubs, agrees, “Our customers here, in the Hamptons, love the simple design and operation of Nordic hot tubs. They are quality-made tubs loaded with value and our clients appreciate that!”
Holt offers this advice to other dealers, “Be bold! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be unique and confident in your product offering and approach.” He adds that Harbor Hot Tubs makes it their mission to offer products and services that are more holistic. “People come to us as experts. If you are confident in that, customers respond well to it.”
Sullivan, Holt and the Harbor Hot Tubs Sales Team can be contacted through the website and on Facebook and Instagram.
Harbor Hot Tubs hosts Food Fridays during the summer. Guests enjoy free food, massage and music!
Food Friday at Harbor Hot Tubs is art!
A serene Nordic Hot Tub installation by
Harbor Hot Tubs.
- Hampstead Pool & Spa
- Van Dorn Pools & Spas
- Pinch A Penny 32
- Gritz Pools
- Urban Cedar, UK
- Viscount Pools
- Cozy Cabin Rustics
- Pool & Spa Connection
- Aqua Spas
- Island Spas
- Holiday Pools and Spas
- TAS Hearth and Home
- Le Dipping Parlor
- Spa & Deck Creations
- American Pools and Spas
- Tennessee Hot Tubs
- Bontrager Pools
- The Great Soak
- Rivertown Spas, Pools and Billiards
- Country Acres Pools & Spas
- South East Spas
- Royal Billiard & Recreation
- Altman's Billiards
- Paradise Pool and Spa - NC
- Long's Wet & Wild
- Minnesota Hot Tubs
- Hotwater Works
- Ratliff Pool Center
- Mister Spas
- Tropical Spas & Pools