Meet the Humans of the Keys

Meet the Humans of the Keys

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kipp and Maegan Reda (2) - Island Time Pools


Maegan: When we met, Kipp was working for Steve at the Pool Company. He had been there for about 10-11 years. But, we had been talking about starting our own business. I was working as a bartender, but most of my paycheck went to pay day care. It just didn’t make sense to spend all our money to pay someone else to raise our kids, so I made the decision to stay home. When Steve decided he was selling the pool business, we talked about buying it. But it wasn’t practical for us; we didn’t have the money to make that initial investment. So, we just decided to take the plunge and do it on our own and it’s been the best decision we could have made. We started our own pool cleaning business, Island Time Pools. That was a year ago in November.
Kipp: We just pieced it together. We started with 8 accounts, and an old beat up pickup truck. My old boss helped us with some equipment. We were finally able to get a trailer, then got a little bit nicer truck and better equipment. People have been very supportive and helpful, and seem to want us to succeed.
Maegan: Now a year later we have 36 customers. We’ve been so fortunate! So far it’s mostly been word of mouth. We really haven’t advertised or anything. I haven’t even made us a Facebook page yet! Thankfully, we haven’t really needed to do anything like that yet. It’s been very rewarding seeing our business grow.
Kipp: We do a lot of residential houses, lots of vacation rentals, but now we’re licensed to do commercial pools too. We just picked up the Ragged Edge pool. That’s a nice spot. So far all the people we work with are nice and friendly. We like to make people happy. When they’re happy, we’re happy and everybody is happy.
Maegan: And we get to work together. It works for us. I saw my parents working together in the store my whole life. But, it’s different because we aren’t in an office together. He’s out working and not here a lot, so we talk on the phone a lot.
Kipp: Or we talk business at 11:00 at night after the kids are in bed.
Maegan: I like to go with him on the weekends. I enjoy it and it gets me out of the house. I’ve even cleaned a pool by myself, so I know I can do that. I’m interested in learning more and helping more.
Kipp: And, we have our son Bryce. He is already thinking about saving money for a car, so we pay him by the hour to come work with us. Ideally I would love for this to stay family owned and operated. Because, you know, you can trust your family.
Maegan: I saw my parents have a lot of trouble with employees. It’s hard to find good, trustworthy people.
Kipp: Some of the houses we go to are multi-million dollar homes. We’re at some really high dollar places. I wouldn’t want anyone working for me that I didn’t feel was completely trustworthy. So, I like the idea of a family business. The clients need to know they are getting someone they can trust.
We clean all the pools once a week. Even in the rain, sleet or snow!... but seriously, no matter what, I’m there once a week. Even after dark sometimes. You can always turn the pool lights on. You just have to watch out for crocodiles! There is one pool I clean with a grotto, and the only way to clean it is to get in there. I just know one of these days there will be a croc in there and I won’t know it. The owner told me not to worry about the croc because it wouldn’t attack unless I threatened it somehow. I said, “Oh, you mean like coming at it with a pole and backing it into a grotto?!”
Maegan: Lots of people don’t realize how difficult it is to keep a pool cleaned and the chemicals balanced.
Kipp: Pools are human fish tanks.
Maegan: We had a weird thing happen at one of the rental
houses a while back. There was a shrimp hatch in the pool, and then sand fleas, and they just took over the pool and the filter. It was stinky! You just never know what you might have to deal with. Simply letting dogs swim in the pool can really mess things up. At these vacation rentals especially. We’re always learning more. We are going to start going to trade shows this year to learn more about what’s going on in the industry.
Kipp: We just want to keep cleaning more, growing the business, and build our own little Key-sey empire. But we want to keep it manageable. I don’t want to grow so large that we can’t do a good job because we’re too stretched out.
We get to see some of the most beautiful properties, a lot of them on the ocean or the bay. And working with the rentals, we meet interesting people from all over the world. The regular homeowners are all super nice too. For most of them, it’s their second home, or third home or fourth. I would love it if in 10 years these girls are working with us and helping run the business. We don’t want to live anywhere else. The Keys are home. With us both being born and raised here, we know a lot of people. That’s been a huge help to us getting the business going. I’ve been doing this for 14 years. We are just a good Keys family, trying to raise our family and make other people’s time here fun. We like to make people happy.
Maegan: We just got six new pools in the last month. We can just hope that will continue.
(To contact Kipp & Maegan about Island Time Pools,
call 305-741-7375, or email islandtimepool@gmail.com)

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