Cailley Hammel
Cailley joined the AQUA team in August 2012, and serves as the magazine's managing editor. She commonly writes about the hot tub industry, marketing and retailing. Follow her on Twitter @CailleyH or send her an email at cailley@aquamagazine.com.
  • Tuesday, May, 08, 2018 Retail Report 2018: Holding Steady

    The retail landscape has evolved both dramatically and rapidly over the past several years. E-commerce giants like Amazon have continued to grow in influence and power, even expanding into brick-and-mortar formats. Consumers are more empowered than ever thanks to the internet and smart devices, which afford them the ability to perform extensive research and compare prices before (and even during) an in-store visit. Customer expectations are also higher than ever, with convenience becoming...

  • Thursday, April, 19, 2018 Retail Giants Turning to Private Label

    Privately labeled products have long been a helpful tool for pool and spa retailers. First, name-brand alternatives are often cheaper, which make them appealing to price-focused consumers. Second, and more importantly, they provide a clear reason for customers to return to your store: “You can’t get this anywhere else.”

    According to Retail Dive, a news outlet for the...

  • Tuesday, April, 03, 2018 The Wellness First Approach

    For many on Long Island, the phrase "hot tub" is synonymous with Ocean Spray Hot Tubs & Saunas. (It's only natural when your business has been around nearly 40 years.)

    However, for the last year and a half, the Ocean Spray team has made a collective, concerted effort to change what people think of when they think of the company. Instead of "hot tubs," they're going for "wellness."

    According to Marketing Director Kristy Verity, the shift was inspired by Watkins' rebrand...

  • Thursday, March, 01, 2018 Growing Bigger — in a 600-Square-Foot Showroom

    Rocky Mountain Hot Tub Company (Breckenridge, Colo.) is an anomaly in the hot tub industry. While some dealers boast about their expansive showrooms and countless display models, RMHTC owner Jake Olweiler finds he doesn’t need a 5,000 square foot store, or even 1,500.

    Six hundred square feet is plenty.

    That may sound crazy, but RMHTC has seemingly found the answer to a riddle many pros in the pool and spa industry encounter: How do we make more money while still staying...

  • Thursday, January, 25, 2018 Lonza Awards $25,000 for Retail Makeovers

    Lonza made a splash on the first day of The Pool & Spa Show by awarding a total of $25,000 to the winners of its first Store Makeover Contest.

    More than 100 retailers from across the country entered the contest, providing 200-word essays about their stores and why they deserved to win a makeover. Three retailers won $5,000, and the grand prize winner took home $10,000.

    The winners included:
    West Region Winner: Elk City Pools & Spas, Elk City, Okla.
    South...

  • Thursday, January, 11, 2018 Hiring Hot Tub Salespeople

    Your top salesperson just gave his two weeks' notice. What do you do?

    For many hot tub dealers, the answer is "panic."

    Such a reaction is understandable — a hot tub dealer's revenue rests almost entirely on salespeople's shoulders. And in a field where great salesmanship hinges on thorough product knowledge, the idea of finding a new person, and starting from scratch, can sound intimidating.

    The pool and spa industry may be known for long tenures, but eventually,...

  • Thursday, December, 21, 2017 Q&A with Roberta Prygon, Pleatco's 2017 Perfect Pool Gal

    At The Pool & Spa Place (Cranbury, N.J.), Roberta Prygon is the glue that holds everything together. As acting general manager, she has a hand in all facets of the business, from managing the construction crew and creating service routes to overseeing...

  • Tuesday, December, 12, 2017 7 Ways to Incorporate Ultra Violet in the Backyard

    What does the future hold for backyard design? As it turns out, it’ll likely have something to do with the color purple.

    Last week, Pantone announced its new Color of the Year: Ultra Violet. This “dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade” was chosen for its complexity, counterculture sensibilities (Prince was an early pioneer of Ultra Violet, after all) and mystical qualities. As Pantone writes on its...

  • Thursday, November, 30, 2017 What Would You Do: Before-and-After Photos

    A service tech is pushed by his customers to “show his work” with before-and-after photos of pools on his route. Is that a fair request, or are these customers asking too much? Industry pros share their takes:

    The Question

    Steve Crowley
    Crowley Pool Service | Canton, Mass.

    “Does anyone else take before-and-after pictures at every cleaning? I have been forced to do this on top of leaving a report at every pool. I’m just...

  • Thursday, October, 19, 2017 Rooftop Sophistication

    The project you see here looks clean and elegant, but make no mistake: It certainly wasn’t easy to achieve. A small 20-by-30 foot deck, unusual material selections, a concurrent interior remodel and a homeowner’s association were just a few challenges the Pool Environments team (Plano, Texas) faced.

    Then add in the height factor. This project was 270 feet, or seven stories, off the ground.

    “It was a challenge from the start,” laughs Reconstruction Project Manager Mike...