How did you get into the pool business?
I come from a construction family and always loved seeing things being built - going from nothing to something. After college at St. Edwards University, I worked for a home builder, then a commercial real estate company, then for Big Red Dog Engineering, now WGI, where I got to learn about all aspects of a project, including civil, structural and MEP engineering. I was responsible for marketing and then human resources. While my entrepreneurial itch was being scratched, I knew I wanted to be doing more…
So you set up Tiny Pools!
I wanted to target yards like my own former yard where we built the first Tiny Pool - small yards, with difficult access, tight code restrictions, power lines - you name it! We have to think critically and get creative to make these pools work for our clients in challenging locations. We are passionate about not only bringing Tiny Pools to difficult spaces but about the environment and water safety, for people and animals. My family lost a small dog to a pool drowning when I was younger, and I had also begun supporting the Austin non-profit Colin's Hope on their amazing mission to prevent childhood drowning. So, as we were building our first tiny pool in my yard, I was also designing our patent pending sliding deck cover - a huge safety feature, and also an environmental one. It prevents evaporation in our hot Texas weather. Pools can wasteful and I feel strongly about building pools which are responsible to the space allowed. Bigger is not always better!
You're one of the few woman-owned construction companies in Austin.
It's no secret being a woman in the construction world is still somewhat of an anomaly. I have to work harder and shout louder to be heard. But I believe women bring a different perspective to home design and construction: we communicate differently and maybe hear different pain points and desires than others might.
Is getting a swimming pool tricky right now?
We are still in the midst of what we call "pandemic panic" around home improvement projects. Everyone continues to spend more time at home; no one knows how much longer the world will be like this. Extreme winter weather like we had in February 2021 also impacts pool construction and trades that are able to build your pool. We live in Austin where it's hot - lots of people want a pool, and not just from Tiny Pools! Pool building trades and materials are seeing a ton of inflation and vulnerability. There is so much demand that we are all having to predict and respond to in our pricing, construction timeframes, and more.
But we need to cool down!
We love Austin but it gets so hot! A pool is a big investment but one that brings family and friends opportunities to connect for years to come. Even though we get in the triple digits in the summer, being outside is a part of the Austin vibe - and a pool makes that possible!
And now you might be reality television stars?
We were so excited to be contacted by HGTV in early 2021 because they were interested in a potential show featuring Tiny Pools. We had several meetings and did some filming with them… we'll see if it goes anywhere!