|How did R & S Pool and Spa in Maryland Heights, Missouri get started in the industry? Stephanie Aubuchon, Store Manager for R & S Pool and Spa laughs when she says, “It’s an interesting story about how that happened!”
In 1971, Mike Sakovich opened a small appliance repair business where he fixed household items such as vacuums, fans or anything that needed repair. A client brought in a pump for Mike to repair which led to a contract repairing pumps for the local pool and spa industry. That contract led to the beginning of R & S Pool and Spa, a full retail and installation company for above ground pools and hot tubs.
Service and repair is still a huge part of R & S Pools and Spa according to Aubuchon. Customers know when they call or visit the showroom, the person helping them is an expert in the pool and spa industry. “Our Customer Service reps each have between 20 to 30 years’ experience each,” she says with pride. “We have both an in-house and field service repair department and we stock a huge inventory of repair parts so customers can get exactly the part they need when they need it!”
Aubuchon is hoping for a cold winter season and a warm summer next year. “Cold winters help us sell more hot tubs but warm summers really help with pool sales,” she says with a grin. Staying busy in both seasons allows the company to grow from 14 to 25 employees in the summer during pool building season.
R & S Pools and Spas brought the Nordic Hot Tub line back into their showroom earlier this year. “We had been a Nordic Dealer before and decided to do it again,” states Aubuchon. Her favorite things about the line are the price point and the lifetime shell warranty. “And we like our rep too,” she adds.
Stephanie Victory, Regional Sales Manager for Nordic Hot Tubs is impressed with R & S Pools and Spas. “R & S has the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff!” states Victory. “They also have the most beautiful showroom in the St. Louis area!” She is looking forward to working with Aubuchon and the R & S Sales Team to grow the Nordic presence in the St. Louis market.
Aubuchon has this advice for other dealers, “Help your customers help themselves! Give them as much knowledge as possible!”
Stephanie Aubuchon and the R & S Pool and Spa Sales team can be reached through the website or find them on Facebook.
R&S carries a great inventory of chemicals, accessories and parts!
|Beaufort, North Carolina was established in 1709 and was ranked as one of “America’s Coolest Small Towns” in 2012! It is located on the Inner Banks region along the Atlantic coastline. This is where John Dunson moved his home based services as Dunson’s Pool & Spa Service in 2005 from Raleigh, NC.
John is no novice to the pool and spa industry. He has worked for over 20 years building pools and doing service work on hot tubs and pool equipment. In 2002 John decided to leave the dealership he was working for in Raleigh, NC to pursue his own hot tub and pool service business, with the blessings of his then employer.
In 2005 John, Lisa and two daughters moved to the Beaufort area where John continued in the pool and spa service industry working from home. However, it soon became apparent to John and Lisa they needed to have a retail location and showroom. In 2012, they opened Dunson Pool & Spa Inc. at 1630 Live Oak Street and haven’t looked back. “I have become passionate about hot tubs,” says Lisa with excitement.
Lisa knows customer service is the thing that sets Dunson Pool & Spa apart from the competition. “We are the first spa dealer in Beaufort,” she states. “We’re small and we give that small town personal touch to our customers. We prefer to educate our customers rather than upselling them on products they do not need.”
“I didn’t know the first thing about water chemistry or spas when we started this business,” says Lisa with a hearty laugh. “Thankfully Nordic keeps it simple and easy to learn!” She credits husband John, his previous employer Rob Lawler and Nordic’s support team for being supportive and helping her grow in the pool and spa industry.
Dunson Pool & Spa has recently become a second-generation business. Joining their sales staff is their youngest daughter, Casey. “She is proving to be a huge asset to our business, learning the specs on the Nordic spa line as well as water chemistry,” says Lisa with great pride.
Lisa is looking forward to the upcoming year for sales and expansion. “Beaufort is a Coastal Town with a lot of rentals in the area. We have many customers with multiple tubs and the Nordic line fits in well with its simplicity and low maintenance.” There are plans to expand with an exterior showroom which will allow customers to visualize a hot tub in a more natural setting. “Currently we have a 900-square foot store, but we’ll be able to show more, and sell more, with the expanded ‘living space’ showroom,” states Lisa.
John was familiar with Nordic Hot Tubs before opening the store, so bringing the Nordic line into the Dunson showroom was an easy decision for both he and Lisa. “We were already familiar with the simplicity and durability of Nordic,” says Lisa. “No repair calls! It’s a beautiful thing!”
Giving back to their community is a big priority for the Dunson’s. John & Lisa give annually to the local Elementary, Middle and High Schools, as well as Lisa being an active member of the Beaufort Lion’s Club.
Lisa has this advice for other Nordic Dealers, “Don’t be too brand specific but also don’t take on too many brands. That just confuses your customers.”
Dunson's Pool & Spa will be hosting a Nordic Truckload Sale Event this Friday through Sunday, November 10 - 12, 2017. Join them and their Sales Team for an expanded selection and great deals on Nordic Hot Tubs!
John, Lisa, Casey and the Dunson Pool and Spa Team can be reached through the website or find them on Facebook and Instagram.
A beautiful Nordic Hot Tub installation by Dunson Pool & Spa.
Another gorgeous installation by Dunson Pool & Spa of a Nordic Crown XL™.
|British Columbia is Canada’s most western province. With rugged, natural beauty it provides up to 25,000 miles of coastline along the Inside Passage, the coastal route extending from Puget Sound up into the Alaska Panhandle.
Located on Vancouver Island, is the port city of Nanaimo, with a population of approximately 100,000. It is here where David Sauve, owner of The Soakhouse, relocated, looking for a quieter way of life after leaving a career in radio advertising. “I grew up in Vancouver, but my wife and I wanted to slow our life down,” says David. “We came to Nanaimo and we love it!”
David began searching for a hot tub when a doctor recommended a hot tub for back therapy for his wife, Carmen. He was thoroughly disappointed in the experience. “There was just so much conflicting information that we ended up confused and frustrated” he states. While visiting friends who owned a hot tub, he and his wife discovered the exact model they wanted but there wasn’t a dealer in Nanaimo.
David attended hot tub shows, learning everything he could about the tubs and the industry. In 2008, he opened The Soakhouse at #102 – 2520 Bowen Road in Nanaimo and, based on his own experience, he determined to offer an outstanding experience to his customers. “My main thing is a WOW factor for our clients,” states David. “We even had our sales desk designed to facilitate conversation! We want our customers to talk to us and spend time here!”
Even with a soaring ceiling height in the showroom, David has been careful to keep the atmosphere friendly and relaxed. He is methodical about design, placement and even music selection in the showroom and the hot tub wet-test rooms. “We essentially entertain our customers and it’s all about their experience here,” says David.
The Soakhouse opened a few months prior to the recession of 2008, which wasn’t exactly what David had planned. “We opened into a crashing market,” he says with a wry grin. Determined to weather the economic downturn, he went into survival mode, worked with his manufacturers and maintained fiscal responsibility. The pride is evident in his voice when he says, “We kept the customers’ experience high, but our costs low!” David was able to maintain operations and thrive by maintaining a focus on the customer’s experience. “It was during this time we instituted our ‘6 month touch’ follow up program with customers. It shows them we care!” Additionally, he was able to barter with a high-end photographer for many of the beautiful shots they now use in their ads, brochures and on their website.
David is excited about the coming year, “It’s going to be really good for us as we look forward to continued growth.” He finds himself, and the business, in the rather remarkable position of having a completely new team. “I think we have our best team, ever, in place, right now. It’s going to be exciting to see how they gel and grow together over time!”
In 2013, David ‘discovered’ Nordic Hot Tubs. “Nordic has great quality, they look good, they feel good and are a great value proposition for our customers,” he says with enthusiasm. “Our clients have nothing but good things to say about these tubs!” David also likes the interaction he has with Nordic as a company. “Nordic’s people are always professional and friendly and I’m glad they are on ‘our’ team!”
David has these words of advice for other dealers and is confident when he says, “Know your clients, that’s number one. Know your market and know yourself!”
David Sauve and The Soakhouse Sales Team can be contacted through the website. You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
The Soakhouse located at #102-2520 Bowen Road in Nanaimo, BC.
A Nordic Crown™ displayed at The Soakhouse in Nanaimo, BC.The Soakhouse showroom in Nanaimo, BC.
- Spa & Pool Store
- Aquatic Spas
- Family Pools and Spas
- The Swimming Pool Super Store
- 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