Pla-Mor Pools is closing in on its fourth generation of owners. “Our first grandson has been born, and we hope he will be the fourth generation,” says Jennifer Clements, whose in-laws started Pla-Mor in 1968. Her husband is the current owner, and the couple’s four sons each work at the store.
“We have taken a very proactive stance when it comes to those relations, how they need to guard their relationships and that they need to work well together,” Clements says. “We don’t want to leave a legacy of what a lot of family businesses are, which is heartache and headache.”
Each of her sons has unique skills, she says. “With the way the business has changed since my husband and I took over, it’s going to need all four of them,” Clements adds. “We hope they continue to see each other as allies.”
Unique is a word that Clements uses a lot to describe the business, including its name and founders.
“[My father-in-law] is an individual, and he always wants to do things differently,” Clements says. “The idea behind the company was to create fun for families. He wanted people to be able to play more, but he wanted to do it with his own twist. He didn’t want to spell it the way everybody else would spell it.”
While Clements says she sometimes wishes for the Y and E to be in Pla-Mor, “it’s one of the things that makes us unique,” she says. “When my father-in-law was looking at new products, he was always looking for something unique, something that had value that nobody else offered.” Another unique opportunity that came along for Pla-Mor was the chance to partner with an NFL team: Pla-Mor Pools is the Hot Tub Provider of the Washington Redskins Training Camp, Clements says. Three years ago, the team approached her to see if Pla-Mor would like to become a partner and manage the team’s hot tub needs during their annual Training Camp session in Richmond, V.a. “By the end of our negotiation, they said, ‘We think this is a good fit,’ and they offered us an opportunity to sign on as a long-term partner,” she says.
Clements provides two hot tubs — one hot and one cold — for the players to use while they are at training camp in Richmond. When she got the call, she knew Bullfrog would be the right product.
“I was very glad to have such confidence in the product,” she says, “and that it was going to do what the team needed it to do.”
C.E. “South” Southworth has been with Pla-Mor Pools for 16 years. The store manager for the Mechanicsville location, South is like a member of the family, Clements says.
“He’s sure and steady,” Clements says. “He never self promotes. We can always rely on South to have the company’s back and our customers’ backs.”