How was this idea born you ask? Let’s start from the beginning, Jane and Mallory have run into each other at dozens of pool industry events over the last 15 or more years and always gravitated to each other being like minded but different. Their conversations would almost always lead to late nights chatting about the deficits or holes in the resources needed to take their businesses to the next level. Jane, with her coca-cola on the rocks in hand, late into morning, taught Mallory about the history of the pool industry on these occasions. Jane grew up in the pool industry, and Mallory did as well but in a much different way.
In January of 2022 on a dealer trip Mallory and Jane found the perfect spot in the sun to chat all day about their needs for training, their dreams of growth, and trading ideas on every aspect of their businesses. Each day, without even mentioning a meet up spot they met up around a fire pit to spend their days growing ideas. Enter Sue. Sue had just met Jane and Mallory in the meetings earlier that day and had no idea what she was getting herself into sitting in Jane and Mallory’s fire pit spot. While Jane and Mallory have spent their years in the prodealer division; Sue spent the majority of her years on the dark side of the pool industry, mass merchants. Sue expected to introduce herself to Jane and Mallory, and had no idea how long Jane and Mallory would pick her brain. Sue spent an entire day with Jane and Mallory. Sue heard them, noted their needs, and even extended her trip to hear more. Welcome to the light Sue!
By the end of the trip Jane, Mallory, and Sue had logged a full work week of brainstorming. They all said their goodbyes. Sue went back to her new position with a major manufacturer with her new ideas in tow while Jane and Mallory went back to their respective businesses excited to see what is to come.
The summer of 2022 flew by with all the challenges running a pool company. Jane and Mallory leaned on each other to laugh off the rough days as well as give each other guidance on how to handle unique situations. Mallory leaned on Jane more than Jane needed to lean on Mallory. Jane’s experience in the pool industry as well as company culture is unmatched. Mallory does not own a pool company herself but has taken pride in running three stores for most of her life. They were excited to reunite with Sue and her team later in the summer at a dealer meeting for Sue’s company. The day had finally arrived to meet up in Philadelphia. All parties were excited to catch up and share ideas. The three day meeting flew by and of course Jane and Mallory met up every evening to discuss the day’s events. These discussions almost always went into the early hours of the morning. The final day of the event led up to one of the topics that everyone wanted to discuss, training. Each dealer in this meeting said the same thing, “We need a better way to train new hires, and our existing team.” Jane and Mallory agreed. Mallory some seasons was training up to twenty new hires, TWENTY! After the meeting was over Jane and Mallory met up again without even having to make plans to do so. Both agreed there is a huge need for additional training for the pool and spa industry. At lightning speed they bounced their thoughts off each other and finally said, “Let’s do it.”
Jane and Mallory started their respective journey’s home and brainstormed over the phone while they traveled. By the end of the first weekend they had a concept, a plan of their first meeting to build the training, and a laundry list of items to train on. Their planning started on August 1st 2022, and if you are reading this that means their website is live. Stay tuned for the rest of their story of Toolbox for Excellence.