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When Diana Goodwin first took swim lessons as a kid, she hated it. “I would sit on the edge of the pool and refused to get in the water,” she recalls. “At first it seemed like I was a hopeless case.” Her parents didn’t give up and decided to give private lessons a try. “That was all I needed, just a little one-on-one instruction so I could gain confidence.”
At the end of her first private lesson, the instructor threw Goodwin in the water in front of her parents. “I popped right back up swam back to the edge. From then on I’ve loved the water,” she says.
As a teen, Goodwin worked as an instructor at a local community pool. Again, the setting challenged her. “I had about eight kids every half hour and it was tough. You had kids that were doing well and those that needed more attention. That was impossible in a big class and I saw the hit it would take on their confidence.”
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At 19 years old, she started her own company, Swim For Life, providing swim lessons in people’s homes and in her own home. That was the beginning of what would become AquaMobile, which she launched in 2012.
“After college I was working in management consulting but had burned out,” she explains. “That’s when I realized I had this business model in front of me, but hadn’t paid much attention to it. That was when I decided to focus on what would become AquaMobile and do it on a large scale. I spent a year working on my MBA and developing a business plan. In 2012, I started the expansion throughout Canada and the U.S.”
Based in Toronto, Goodwin’s hometown, with U.S. headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Fla., AquaMobile now has more than 2,000 instructors on its roster, each of whom go directly to their clients’ homes for private swimming lessons. In that respect, AquaMobile has been described as “the Uber of swim lessons.”
In addition to the online-based platform, Goodwin believes the nature of both one-on-one instruction and the in-home, private setting are keys to the company’s success.
“With kids, oftentimes they just need one-on-one time where they can progress and get that confidence boost. With adults it’s often about the setting and comfort level,” she explains. “Oftentimes adults are overcoming a fear from something that happened to them in the past. Many feel more comfortable overcoming that fear in a private setting instead of a public pool with other people splashing around.”
For as far and wide as AquaMobile has spread, Goodwin doesn’t lose sight of the fact that her life experiences in the water set the foundation for the company’s considerable success. “It’s all about confidence,” she says. “With swimming, that confidence you gain in the pool will permeate into other parts of your life. I see how much I gained from learning to swim and I want other people to have that as well.”
For longer than I care to admit, the design snob in me has looked down my snooty snout on portable spas, or hot tubs, depending on the preferred terminology. (For this discussion I'll use my favorite term: "spas.") By whatever label, portable vessels that contain hot water were for many years more of a clunky appliance than part of the landscape, at least to my eyes.
It's fair to say that comfort and hydrotherapy, rather than aesthetics, have long been the driving element behind spa...
We always say that pool construction tracks closely with housing starts, and historically that has always been the case. But is that still true? And are there other economic indicators that are as correlative with the state of the pool industry?
Indeed, pools have tracked with housing starts. But then, in 2011, things began to change. Starts stopped prompting pools. Moreover, two new indicators began to explain a lot of things about the floundering pool business.
Here at AQUA, we spend a lot of time discussing the in's and outs of your work life, but what about life outside of work? On our Facebook page, we asked you to tell us about the hobbies and passions you enjoy off the clock. We got a wave of responses that included everything from motorcycling to music to statue making!
Have a hobby you'd like to share? Send photos to read more
Poolwerx recently partnered with Redlands Pool & Spa Center in California to be the latest franchise addition to the Poolwerx business.
“Pool maintenance is something that’s required year-round, and it is our mission to make sure consumers know the importance of creating safe pools for their family and friends nationwide,” says John O’Brien, CEO and founder of Poolwerx.
Sharon and Cal Boothby, the owners of Redlands, are a husband and wife duo who have been in the pool...