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
  • Thursday, August, 02, 2018 Building an Unforgettable Store

    For several years now, trade shows seminars, trade publications (ours included) and others have trumpeted the same message: Experiential retail is the present and future of brick-and-mortar retail.

    Translating that concept to your showroom, however, is easier said than done. Just ask David Isaacs, the third-generation owner of Isaacs Pools and Spas in Johnson City, Tenn. Over the course of just a few months, Isaacs executed a comprehensive redesign of his 8,000-square-foot showroom...

  • Tuesday, July, 10, 2018 A High-Scoring Approach To Generating Leads

    Let's face it: Lead generation can be a slog. While passive strategies like word-of-mouth are quite effective, lead generation often takes work. It's passing out business cards, sending direct mail to homeowners in your area, canvassing the neighborhood and setting up shop at home shows.

    Then there's the other side of the coin: following up on leads. If you've had a particularly strong home show, for example, you might have dozens of leads to sift through. With limited time and...

  • Thursday, July, 05, 2018 The Spa Industry's Best-Kept Secret?

    The rotomolded spa is somewhat of a black sheep in the hot tub industry. In a glistening showroom, rotomolds don't necessarily have the luster and curb appeal of their acrylic siblings. They often lack the luxe features customers love. And their entry-level price points don't turn the same profit (or commission) as, say, a high-end acrylic.

    "I've been in the business doing shows for 20 years. And I run into old friends of mine that I haven't seen in a long time, and they laugh at...

  • Tuesday, May, 29, 2018 Hot Tub Report 2018: Sales Still Hot

    Hot tub dealers have a lot to crow about. For example, 88 percent of our survey respondents said hot tub sales last year either increased or stayed even, an impressive testament to the category's staying power as well as the health of the economy right now. Spa retailers are also investing more in swim spas than ever before — year-on-year responses showed an 8 percent increase in 2017.

    With sales and outlook both positive, we sought to use this year's SOI to ask about the issues...

  • 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.

  • 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,...