“You can’t fail if you haven’t tried.” That philosophy has guided Deb Weaver through the ups and downs of the pool business for 24 years. Indeed, she says it often, and small wonder.
She began her industry career as a purchaser for construction at a building/retail/service firm in Lancaster, Pa. She’d been there 14 years when the company folded. What to do now? Weaver says she looked at Brenda Miller, who also worked there, and said, “What if we start our own business?” So they decided to take a leap of faith and established Red Rose Pool Service Inc. in the same city.
This year, Red Rose is celebrating 10 years in business with 400 active customers and a nine-person staff. Red Rose handles residential and commercial accounts.
As if that weren’t enough, their firm also offers holiday lighting services, as well as another business that provides septic tank service and rental of portable toilets. The units come with amenities that most don’t have, such as built-in hand sanitizers and hooks for bags — not to mention fancy units such as the VIP Boudoir restroom.
Meanwhile, back on the pool service front, Weaver says they don’t have much trouble as women service professionals, but there have been moments. “Early on, occasionally a caller would want to talk to a manager,” Weaver recalls. “Brenda or I would come to the phone and they’d say, ‘Can I talk to a man?’” But the business is well-established now, and its Website makes it clear who’s in charge. “They know the company is woman-owned and, nothing against men, but with women, things will get done; they’re detail-oriented,” she adds.
To any women out there contemplating a pool service career, Weaver says, “You’d better have broad shoulders, and you have to have drive and ambition. This business keeps everybody challenged.” She pauses, then adds, “You can do it!”