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Little did he know…

If you have ever watched the quirky but delightful romantic comedy “Stranger than Fiction” starring Will Ferrell, that line immediately takes you somewhere. While I do not have an omniscient narrator announcing my every move, that line feels poignant nonetheless. Little did I know that after writing my last blog post, the very next one I would write would be to announce a radical change to our business that everyone close to us seemed to expect except us, like a plot twist that everyone sees coming except the main characters. 

Back in February, when I wrote my last post, Julie and I had no intentions of taking on a line of new hot tubs. Over the last year or so we have put a lot of time and effort into defining and clarifying who we are as a company and what we are trying to accomplish. Selling new tubs just wasn’t part of the picture. In fact, bringing on a line of new hot tubs felt, in some ways, like it was contrary to our identity and direction. We’re “Unaffiliated!” We stand apart by not being aligned with any particular brand! Not only that, we are saving the planet one refurbished hot tub at a time!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Are you ready? Here it is. We have bigger, more exciting plans than bringing on a line of new hot tubs. Selling new hot tubs is a stepping stone for something bigger, better, and way cooler! Now don’t get me wrong. Our new hot tubs are very cool and I am absolutely thrilled to have this new solution to offer our customers!

So how did it happen? You see, we moved. And now that we moved, we have a showroom. We decided to put in a showroom so we had a place to display our refurbished tubs as our gravel parking lot where we displayed them at our old shop just wasn’t cutting it. However, there are only a limited number of tubs that we can refurbish in a year. Those can easily sell out in spring. If that is all we did with the showroom, that would mean the majority of the year, our showroom would sit empty. 

The showroom created a vacuum, and that vacuum created fertile ground for an idea.

The idea was conceived when a particular customer’s tub showed up in our store. (Incidentally, this was the first customer’s tub to be brought in to work on at our new location.) When he saw it, Colby, our lead tech and shop manager, fell in love. It was a cute, simple, easy to work with, Canadian made hot tub that used our favourite brand of spa components. 

He and I started talking. We walked through the different aspects of the scenario of carrying that line of tubs and came to realize that not only did bringing on this line of tubs not conflict with our big, cool plans, it supported them! I looked into bringing on that line of tubs, only to find out they were shutting down permanently. So I kept looking. I looked at all the Canadian brands I could find that did not have local representation, and was unimpressed. So, I looked at all of the American brands I could find and was only slightly less unimpressed. And then, like a message straight from heaven, a Bellagio Luxury Spas ad showed up in my Facebook feed. As one does with ads that show up in one’s Facebook feed…. I ignored it. I ignored it a 2nd time, and a 3rd time, then thought, “Wait a second! I am looking for a brand of tubs to carry. I should check this out!” Well, the more I saw, the more excited I got! I reached out and, long story short, here we are.

Ok, so what about “unaffiliated?” How can we be unaffiliated and carry a line of new hot tubs? Let me tell you where “unaffiliated” came from. Too many times, prior to naming our business, I had heard complaints from customers about new tub dealers trying to ‘shove a new tub down their throat.’ Not literally of course! What I mean is this. The customer inquired of a dealer about getting their tub fixed and the response they got was, “It’s not worth it. Just buy a new tub!” Since starting Unaffiliated Hot Tub Home Care, I have heard that same story so many times. Being Unaffiliated has set us apart. Customers knew from our name that we would be focused on fixing their hot tub, not trying to upsell them on a new one. We didn’t have that option.

The difference is, now we have the option. Now we do have new tubs that could be used to try and unnecessarily upsell a customer who is looking for a repair. The question is, what do we choose to do? Do we serve our best interests or do we serve the best interests of our customers? The simple fact of the matter is, I have always had that choice, only on a smaller scale. I have always had the opportunity to try and upsell my customers on something they didn’t truly need. It has always been a choice to put our customers’ best interests first. Yes, we are a business and we need to be profitable in order to feed my family, which is something I can’t take my eyes off of. However, I have always approached this from the perspective of, if I serve my customers well and do what is best for them, eventually, that will come around and bless us as well. My approach has always been to find out what solution best meets the needs of my customers.

Our situation has changed. Our values have not. I can 100% guarantee that at some point in time, and probably often, I will get the question of whether I think someone is better off fixing their old tub, buying refurbished, or buying a Bellagio. “What would you do?” they’ll ask. And I’ll tell them, “Honestly, what I would do isn’t necessarily relevant. The question is what do you value?” I will go on and ask them questions to uncover what they value and present whatever solutions best fit their values. That all being said, it is possible the name Unaffiliated is approaching the end of its usefulness.

Our motto is “Restoring peace to your backyard.” Our aim, with the products and services we offer, is to provide you with peace of mind. Sometimes peace of mind comes from making a significant investment in a product that has a great warranty, is built to last, and is backed by quality, trustworthy service. Sometimes peace of mind comes from making the frugal choice and keeping personal finances in a secure place. What does peace of mind look like for you?

So I mentioned we have brought on a line of new hot tubs. I am so excited about these hot tubs! I started working on hot tubs in 2002, was in the industry on and off until 2011, and have been working on all makes and models in the area since we started this business 7 years ago. Bellagio Luxury Spas is the first line of hot tubs that has ever gotten me really excited! Why? Because hot tubs shouldn’t cause headaches, and whoever designed these tubs clearly spent time working on hot tubs and was familiar with all of the various elements of hot tubs that end up causing people headaches. They designed the majority of those headaches out! And what can I say? They look really cool!

After all that, I am not going to take a bunch of time to tell you about Bellagio Luxury Spas right now, other than to say this. If someone who has been servicing all makes and models of hot tubs with industry experience going back 22 years says this is the first and only line of hot tubs they have gotten excited about and you are wondering what kind of tub you should get, do you think it might be worth your while to come and find out why?

We look forward to being of service any way we can.
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