By Mike Beas
Hendricks County Business Leader
Seems difficult to envision now, but there was a time when Rodney and Leah Williamson owned one of the more distinguishable above-ground swimming pools in their Brownsburg neighborhood. Theirs, you see, was the one with green water.
At the present time, the Williamsons, who own and operate Splash Pool & Spa in Avon, are in the clear, as are their three children and anyone else who splashes their way toward summertime enjoyment in the family’s in-ground pool.
Once pool-maintenance novices, Rodney and Leah are now authorities having owned their business for eight years. Furthermore, they are happy to share that know-how with customers regardless of whether they have questions regarding purchasing a pool, a hot tub or the chemicals required to keep them clean.
“(Past mistakes) are what gives us a good perspective for our customers,” says Leah. “Our experience is relevant. I’m very frank with our customers, and tell them, ‘This is what works for me.’ ”
It took Rodney, who previously worked as an electrical engineer, some time to figure out what worked best for him. His personal turning point occurred with the horrific attacks of Sept. 11. “Everything seems to go back to that day. I was covering five states with my old job, I had three kids, and it was time to get back home,” says Williamson, who, like Leah, his high school sweetheart, hails from Rushville originally.
Through various business contacts, Williamson discovered a need for a pool store in Avon, one the couple has already expanded on five separate occasions in terms of square footage due to a growing demand for what Splash Pool & Spa offers. In their first year (2003), the Williamsons did $200,000 in business, but in 2010 the number was $950,000.
Rodney Williamson, who has $1.2 million as his target number for 2011, is seeing green that no longer has anything to do with the color of his pool water. In fact, the hope is there will be a second store located on Indianapolis’ Northside, by the end of this year.
“I’m extremely glad we did this. It’s like walking off a cliff, but when you make that initial step, you’re in. There’s no turning back,” says Rodney. “It takes a certain type of individual who starts his own company.”