|If you live in or around Albuquerque, New Mexico, the place to make your backyard dreams come true is Pool & Spa Mart, known as Carefree Spas. Owner, Tom Gervais, and General Manager, Shane Brummett, have built a solid reputation within the local market as the company you can trust.
Gervais began selling satellite dishes in 1982 and was doing very well. However, a perfect storm of events changed the course of his career forever. The satellite technology started to become obsolete plus, he ran into a legal issue that essentially closed his business. “I went broke because of a lawsuit,” states Gervais. “It was a good lesson and taught me to do my own research!”
Beginning again was not an easy task. Out of cash flow, Gervais decided to leave the electronics industry and sell hot tubs. He began to talk with a local electronics businessman who became his mentor. “I started over with his help and sold hot tubs out of a tent in the parking lot!” chuckles Gervais. Eventually he moved inside the store, renting about 1000 square feet in the corner. “It worked out well and I had my own storefront by 1986,” says Gervais. He now owns 5 stores within the greater Albuquerque market and hasn’t looked back. “I’m a self-made man but, I had help!” he quips.
Shane Brummett, General Manager of the Pool & Spa Mart Store on 1st Street in Albuquerque, says it’s easy to come into work every morning. “We have a great store here with hot tubs, 3 different kinds of stoves: wood, pellet and gas, gazebos, pergolas and swim spas.” Brummett feels that selling quality products along with a great staff are the things that set his store apart. He states, “We employ nice people and we sell good products!” Gervais agrees and states, “We pick products that have a competitive advantage, a unique story if you will.” He feels that with the mix of quality products he offers, it gives his company a niche in the market that sets them apart. Additionally, each store specializes in a different product line, allowing the staff to be product experts within that brand.
Overcoming the recession of 2007 was another obstacle that Gervais and Brummett have weathered. “Almost overnight we went to selling half of what we had been doing in the years earlier,” states Gervais. Brummett agrees and says, “I didn’t know if we were going to get through it. I thought I’d have to go back to school for another career!” But, Pool & Spa Mart did make it through by closing some store locations and cutting expenses. “It worked!” states Gervais, “We outlasted 27 different hot tubs stores in this town!”
Both Gervais and Brummett are looking for a great 2017 for Pool & Spa Mart. Brummett states, “I’m looking forward to writing more business. We try to keep it simple, and small but with great quality!” Gervais is optimistic about next year too. “I can’t see it going anywhere but up!”
Bringing Nordic into their hot tub lineup was a decision both Gervais and Brummett feel was a great one. “Nordic has the least service on anything we sell…by far! It’s a good name and easy to work,” states Brummett. Gervais agrees, “Nordic is reliable! It’s the most reliable line we sell. They are simple and customers love them!”
When asked what advice they have for other dealers, Brummett quips, “Carry Nordic!” But he goes on to say, “Don’t get too big too fast. Stay steady and do what you do best!” Gervais has this advice, “Hire nice people and take good care of them! Let your managers run the store. Let it go and don’t think you’re the only one who can do things right. My managers run the stores better than I can!” Gervais also advises, “Don’t let the business run you, learn to step back and lead a more balanced life.”
Gervais, Brummett and the Pool & Spa Mart Sales Team can be reached through the website.