|Cozy Cabin Rustics is one of those 'American Dream' success stories.
Thirteen years ago, Arthur Card began selling locally handmade, rustic furniture in and around the Plymouth, New Hampshire area. The fact that he didn’t have a permanent location did not deter him from his vision. The products he sold were niche market products and he was very successful selling from trailers, out of storage containers and at art and craft fairs.
In 2004, he purchased the vacant Sears building located at 742 Tenney Mountain Highway in Plymouth, New Hampshire, settled down and opened shop. Seven years later he opened a 2nd location in Meredith, New Hampshire. Then, in 2015 he opened a 3rd location in Tilton but is in the process of consolidating that into his newest store, acquired January 2017, in Lincoln, New Hampshire.
John Cameron, General Manager of Cozy Cabin Rustics, enjoys selling to a niche market. He states, “What I like most about Cozy Cabin Rustics is that we sell full-fledged into our market. It’s all handmade and…well…rustic!” The 80 artisans they represent make hand-crafted, unique one-of-a-kind furniture and art. He feels Nordic Hot Tubs fit well in that niche with its product simplicity, quality and reliability.
So, how did Cozy Cabin Rustics begin selling hot tubs? According to Cameron, he came up with the idea of carrying Nordic Hot Tubs because he wanted a hot tub for his personal use. He then pitched the idea to Arthur Card. “I’m one of those researcher people,” states Cameron. “I did the research, liked what Nordic had to offer and Arthur gave the ok!” It was late fall of 2016 when they took their first delivery of Nordic Hot Tubs.
One of the biggest challenges Cozy Cabin Rustics faced has been the transition from selling out of trailers into selling from permanent showrooms. The logistics and mind-set is different from being mobile to becoming stationary. However, Cameron and Card have found that multiple locations work well for their business. “We currently have 4 locations but are in the process of closing the Tilton location because we opened the Lincoln store in January of this year,” says Cameron. “We should be completely moved in June.”
The current year has already proven to be a great sales year and Cameron anticipates the trend continuing. “We have a strong product line at present,” he states. “In fact we are selling hot tubs before we can even get the displays set up! We’ve put out the signs and have already sold the inventory!”
As Cameron was researching hot tub lines to bring into the stores, what impressed him about Nordic Hot Tubs was the simplicity and energy efficiency. “I was looking for hot tubs specifically manufactured for colder climates and Nordic stood out.” He relates this story about his own Nordic Hot Tub, “This past winter our power was out for 3 days! And it was cold! When the power came back on, I lifted the lid on my tub and it was still at 84°! After 3 DAYS!” That was proof enough for Cameron as he says, “I’m sold on it!”
Cameron offers this advice to other Nordic Dealers, “It’s a lot easier if you own the product. You aren’t really selling; you’re telling your story based on your experience with the product. It’s not just a sales pitch then.”
Cozy Cabin Rustics will be hosting a Nordic Truckload Sale from Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5, 2017at the Plymouth, New Hampshire location. Join Card, Cameron and Cozy Cabin Rustics’ Sales Team for some great deals on Nordic Hot Tubs!
Cozy Cabin Rustics can be contacted through the website or find them on Facebook!
|Tim and Catherine Love opened the Pool and Spa Connection at 8705 Asheville Highway in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995. Twenty two years later, they have 18 employees and a second store located in Greenville (Simpsonville) at 108 Batesville Road.
The Loves have been in the pool and spa industry for many years. When Tim was in college, he started building pools, learning the trade from the ground up. In 1995, as Catherine states, “Tim got the itch to start his own business and here we are!” The Loves have that perfect blend of skill sets as husband and wife business owners. Catherine’s background is in finance and manages the retail and business portion of the company while Tim handles outside sales and construction.
In addition to hot tubs, Pool and Spa Connection builds in-ground pools, is a Bio Guard chemical dealer and carries Big Green Egg outdoor grills. They also repair and renovate pools, sometimes even filling them in! “We take care of pools from birth to death,” says Catherine with a smile. “About the only thing we don’t do is above ground pools!” she adds.
Catherine feels that what sets The Pool and Spa Connection apart is their service. She states, “We service what we sell of course, but we are knowledgeable about all brands.” They have a dedicated, in-house service department which Love says makes them more responsive to the customers’ needs. “A product warranty is only as good as the people who sold you the product,” she says. “We are not like some other businesses out there who offer a ‘Tail Light Warranty’…you know…when the warranty lasts only as long as you can see their taillights!”
Being in business for twenty two years, the Loves have seen the market cycle up and down. 2008 stands out for Catherine as a year they ‘weathered’, survived and came out stronger. “It was rough but we made it,” she states. She feels the survival of the Pool and Spa Connection is attributable to being willing to do what it takes. “We have a great staff here and they are willing to go the extra mile,” she says proudly.
Another challenge was expanding and opening the 2nd store in Greenville. “We’re too big to be small but too small to be big,” Love laughs. To make it work she and their staff ‘wear a lot of hats’ but keep it all about the customers. “We can’t do it without the customers and we can’t do it without the employees,” she states.
This year is proving to be a good year for the Pool and Spa Connection. The pool season is busy and the Loves wouldn’t want it any other way. “We’re going to meet and exceed last year’s sales,” says Catherine. Although they are on track to make this a record sales year, Catherine’s goal is to also keep everyone safe.
The Loves added Nordic Hot Tubs to their product line in 2010 and Catherine is very happy with the results. “I like their reliability and that they are closer to us here on the East Coast than other manufacturers,” she states.
Catherine has this advice for other Nordic Dealers, “Stick to the Nordic story! Talk about Simple, Therapeutic, Affordable and Reliable.” However, Catherine feels the most important thing is to be honest, sincere and have personal integrity.
Join Tim, Catherine and the Pool and Spa Connection Sales Team as they host a Nordic Truckload Sale this Thursday, May 25 through Saturday, May 27.
Contact Pool and Spa Connection through the website or find them on Facebook.
|After serving in the Army, Keith Bathgate entered a career in industrial sales. Then, after 22 years in sales, he decided to get into some mischief! He had a few ideas about what he wanted to do in civilian life but felt he needed some expert advice. So, he did what anyone in his situation would do, he asked his 3 young grandsons for advice. The boys, then ages 7, 5 and 4, came up with a few ideas but settled on advising Poppa to sell ‘little swimming pools’.
Bathgate personally experienced the relief of hot water therapy and began pursuing his young advisors’ idea. He contacted a friend who was in the pool and spa industry and founded Aqua Spas in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 2010. Currently Aqua Spas has a staff of 4, including Bathgate, his daughter and grandsons.
What sets Aqua Spas apart is Bathgate’s unwavering commitment to do what he says he will do. “If I say I’m going to do something for a customer, I do it!” he states. Just recently he completed service calls during the severe storms that cut through the area. “We told the customers we’d be there and I wasn’t going to let a little weather get in the way!” He adds with a chuckle, "Yeah, I got wet."
When asked what the biggest obstacle for his business has been Bathgate quickly responds, “That would be cash flow!” He works hard to build and keep Aqua Spas as a debt free business. “I don’t do debt!” he states emphatically. “We're expanding and moving to a new store in early August and I’m investing in that but have to keep everything else going as well.” He concedes it is a balancing act at times but knows that his business is poised for significant growth which makes him excited for the move.
Aqua Spas has a great line of products for people with active lifestyles. In addition to hot tubs, Bathgate’s grandsons advised him to carry skateboards, long boards, cruisers and gear. Bathgate also decided to add a line of grills and Trikke™ Carving Vehicles for the adult enthusiast. He gives riding lessons for the Trikke™ “like a drill instructor,” he says with a laugh. However, when his customers finish his course they are confident on the vehicle.
It was 2013 when Bathgate decided to bring Nordic Hot Tubs into his showroom. “The Nordic Rep had called on me for years before I made the decision. I’m just cautious that way,” he explains. When he finally ‘pulled the trigger’ he realized he had made a good choice. “I really like the simplicity of the Nordic tubs!” he states. “Everyone can understand how to work them.” He feels Nordic is a great hot tub for families to enjoy as they fit within a wide range of budgets and have a simple, “not fussy”, yet thoughtful design. “Plus, Nordic is one of the most enjoyable companies to work with!” he adds.
Bathgate offers this advice for other dealers, “Enjoy the business and talk to your customers! Find out what they want!” He encourages business owners to stay involved with deliveries. “I show up with every delivery and don’t leave until the customer is sure of how it works and has all their questions answered. The last piece of advice he offers with a sly grin and then a hearty laugh, “Don’t sell in my territory!”
Bathgate and the Aqua Spas Sales Team can be contacted through the website or find them on Facebook.
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