Club Piscine Ottawa - Tania & Gina
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how Club Piscine came to Ottawa?
Our father was in a military so we moved around quite a bit. After 20 years of service, he retired and we settled down in Montreal where he started working at the Club Piscine Corporate Head Office. Club Piscine is a franchise model and has a total of 42 stores. The Gatineau location wasn't performing as well as it should have and our father was mandated to find a new potential buyer. After a few weeks of looking, he decided that he was up for the challenge. That's when he bought his first Club Piscine in 2003 and the family moved to National Capital Region to start a new adventure.
Very young, we started working at the store. We started bringing in carts, restocking and doing cash. With the years, we worked in sales, accounting, customer service, team management … you name it.. we did it!
G: Having a full-time job and a lot of responsibilities at a young age, I didn't continue on to university after I finished high school. About 5 years ago, I went back to get my degree in Communication.
T: I have always had a passion for business so Club Piscine was a natural fit for me. My Bachelor’s degree is in Business and I have an MBA from the University of Ottawa.
In 2007, our family opened the Nepean location. 10 years later, we started the transition process for that location. Since of 2018, we are the official owners :)
You started as a family business working with your father. Have you taken a different approach or focus than the Quebec stores?
We definitely have. Being a Quebec-based company, we have had to adapt our offering, marketing and our approach so that it resonates with the Ottawa community.
How would you describe the patio furniture available in your stores?
We pride ourselves in having the greatest selection of patio furniture in the Ottawa area. We have everything from classic to more contemporary styles. Also, when doing our purchasing, our goal is to have options for every budget. For example, if someone is looking for an outdoor sofa set or sectional, we have about 30 models to choose from ranging from $599 to $2999.
You also sell hot tubs and pools?
We do! We are very lucky to be the exclusive Jacuzzi dealer in the Ottawa area. We also offer free water testing services, accessories, replacement parts and repair services for pools and hot tubs.
When you aren’t busy making backyards and patios look amazing, what do you do for fun?
G: I like to be active as much as I can! Whether it is going for a run, going on a hike or paddle boarding. I also enjoy reading. I love business books and biographies about inspiring people. My goal is to continuously learn new things and evolve.
T: Work is a very important part of my life so I spend a lot of time at the stores. Most of my free time is spent with my husband; we love discovering Ottawa and finding local gems (especially restaurants). I’ve also taken up photography, which I am quite enjoying.
Is there a favourite place to grab coffee or lunch during your work day?
What do you love most about being in business for yourselves?
G: I would say it's the freedom. The freedom to create something, to try new things and to basically control your destiny. Don't get me wrong... it's ALOT of hard work... but knowing you are working for yourself and most importantly creating opportunities for our team is the thing that is most gratifying for me.
How does Club Piscine give back to the community?
T: Club Piscine has a partnership with CHEO where we donate money for every swimming pool sold. We also had a CHEO day at our Ottawa locations last summer which was sooo much fun. Our parents taught us how important it is to give back. It's essential for us to be an active corporate citizen in the community.
How has Ottawa supported you as business owners?
T: The Ottawa community has definitely been our biggest supporter. When we opened up the Nepean location, it was because we felt that there was a need for our business model in Ottawa. And then with the Orleans pop-up location last year, customers would make the trip to Nepean and keep asking us when we would open a store in the east-end. It is great to know that customers value your business.