Director of sales and marketing, Ultralift Cover Lifter Systems
Hydropool Hot Tubs in Mississauga, Ontario, hired Crystal Lengua, then just 19, as a receptionist in 2003. Lengua’s heart, however, was set on a marketing position, she says. She spent the next five years in evening college courses for business-related certifications. During that time, she was promoted to marketing coordinator.
During the 2008 recession, Lengua was temporarily moved to the retail side of Hydropool, and that’s where she developed a love for hot tubs. “I learned about how they were made, features, selling points and how to sell the overall experience and lifestyle that came with owning a spa,” she says.
Joined the industry in 2003
Marketing remained her passion, however, and in 2011 she started her own consulting business. “Naturally, I gravitated back into the pool and hot tub industry and took on clients for social media bootcamps, marketing strategy, branding and so on,” she says. In 2016, a headhunter working for Ultralift contacted her on LinkedIn about a marketing position. “The allure of stability that being an entrepreneur lacks was strong,” she says, “and I wanted to find more life/work balance.”
In 2014, Lengua received a Rising Mompreneur accolade for her consulting business and was featured in a local magazine. Since then, she’s had speaking engagements and taught seminars at The Canadian Pool and Spa Expo and The Pool | Spa | Patio Expo. She’s also written for several industry publications.
But her biggest accolade to date, she says, is her current position as 2020 president of the Pool and Hot Tub Council of Canada. “It has opened my eyes to our entire industry, pools and spas, and I couldn’t be prouder of it.”
Lengua says she sees a shift in the hot tub industry regarding the prevalence of women. Walking show floors now, she notices much more balance and challenges to typical industry stereotypes. Women support one another in this industry, she says, and they should lean into leadership opportunities where available. “We need to hold the door open behind us to ensure other women are able to walk through it,” she says. “We need to not only celebrate our successes, but also vocalize the achievements of female co-workers.”