Poolstore International Ltd

Success no pipe dream for this Auckland business

  • Poolstore International

    Lew and Tracy Taylor. Their motto is: 'We have the answers'.

Husband and wife team Lew and Tracy Taylor own Poolstore International, supplying pumping and filtration equipment to the swimming pool industry.  Lew’s been in the business for 38 years, but it wasn’t until 2009 that he bought the company from its Australian owners.

“Back in 2004, I was approached by the directors of the Australian company to establish Poolstore International in the New Zealand market.  In 2009, I was offered the opportunity to buy it outright, which I did,” says Lew.

Initially the Taylors found it difficult to break into the industry, and getting their products recognised by the trade, was a challenge.  “The first 18 months were rocky, but by 2009, the brand had established its place in the New Zealand pool industry.  We bought the business in a recession, in a market that’s not growing particularly rapidly.

“Most of our customers are ‘mum and dad’ businesses, builders and pool builders. We needed to broaden our services and my decades of experience in the pool industry now sees me on site spending three or four hours a day sorting out issues and troubleshooting on site and advising clients on Poolstore products.  We have a motto: We have the answers,” he explains.

Lew, a member of the New Zealand Pool Builders Guild, has been involved in writing the New Zealand Water Treatment Standards, an industry guide for the training and qualifications process.  The Guild has a diploma programme that encompasses nine separate trade qualifications, and is working with councils and at government level, introducing new standards that will give contractors the ability to sign off Code of Compliance certificates, which are required at every step of the job.

A community pool in Paengaroa, south of Te Puke is Lew’s latest commercial project.  He has been involved right from the start of the 11 month job, working on the pool design, and building of the filtration and piping systems.

“I work closely with the designers, architects, builders, engineers and sub-contractors – everyone has their own part to play in the large scale project that doesn’t only involve the pool construction; there is fencing, heating, dressing rooms and filtration and other aspects to oversee.  I ensure that all aspects of the build are compliant whilst managing the expectations of the client.  In most cases my role is a labour of love, but without it, contracts can go horribly wrong,” he says.

Buying a business during a recession needed some strong guidance for the Taylors and it came in the form of Moore Stephens Markhams director Tarsha Hazleman.  “She oversaw all of the business dealings and when it came to us buying the business, she helped us through that process and ever since.”

The purchase meant the Taylors were faced with some tough decisions.  “If we were going to grow and develop the business, we needed to invest capital,” says Lew.  “We said goodbye to our boat and other assets – it was a bitter pill to swallow.  But we trusted Tarsha implicitly and followed her advice.  Had we continued down the same path that we were on, our business might not be here now.  She’s never let us down.”

For the Taylors, Tarsha is “part friend, part business partner”, and the advice she gives the couple has resulted in great rewards.  “Moore Stephens Markhams has helped us to grow our business and increase profitability.    We’re now secure and we’re looking to the future with confidence.”


Published Autumn 2013.

Serious about your success?