Member Spotlight: Sarah Garrahan
How long have you worked in the pool & spa industry?
Nine years this November
What was your first industry job?
Blithe Sales Co., an independent manufacturer rep group. I'll be celebrating my ninth anniversary on November 1st! After completing a Double Major in e-Business and Marketing, I was hired to 'take us into the 21st century.
How has being a part of NESPA impacted your career?
In my experience, being part of NESPA has opened many doors to new opportunities, including meeting & working with people throughout the region I might not have met otherwise, making new friends, and growing my professional network! It has also allowed me to grow my leadership skills - as 20/21 President of the Penn-Jersey chapter and Chairwoman of our Women in the Industry Committee. NESPA and Penn-Jersey have provided me a platform where I can be creative. It's also provided me with the support to follow my ideas through to fruition! It has been such a blessing to work with these great people, and I strongly encourage anyone looking for professional development to get involved in their chapter!
What are the key skills or traits a person needs to be successful in our industry?
Discipline/Consistency. Every day: Show up, ask questions, get a mentor, learn what you could do better next time - perfect what you do and add to it. "Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. A small habit—when repeated consistently—grows into something significant." - James Clear (Sign up for his newsletter! Read his book, Atomic Habits.)
What is your favorite pool project that you have worked on and why?
At Blithe Sales, we get to talk to a lot of Pool Builders, Retailers, Service Companies, but we don't have much involvement in the projects themselves. So when I think of a "Favorite Pool Project," I think of Fire! Since I started working at Blithe Sales, we've always had a fire line. It just looks just stunning next to a pool. I truly love them all!
Tell us about your favorite Pool & Spa Show memory?
I love SO much about the Pool & Spa Show. Mostly getting to see everyone in one place in the same week! Aside from Penn-Jersey's awesome Hospitality Party at Cuba Libre the last couple of years (when we were in Atlantic City), The Outstanding Achievement Awards are one of my favorite things! I have been a judge for a couple of years, and I absolutely love seeing the winners announced. Lastly, Blithe Sales won the Best Booth award in the 10x10 category a few times! So that was pretty exciting!
When you aren't working, you are…?
- Chasing around a two-year-old! ;)
- Spending time with family, outside as often as possible.
- Running to Lowe's - working on projects, DIY crafts, gardening, etc.
- Sipping margaritas on the patio with my husband
What is something that most people don't know about you (fun fact)?
I used to bartend for a while. I actually met my husband when I was working one night!
Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by good people, who give "something" their all, hold a strong work ethic, and have put their hearts into creating something to be proud of. Whether that's focused on creating a strong family (my Mom and my grandmother) or their passion for what they do, hard work and determination, and out-of-the-box thinking (Clint Blithe).
What's one thing - either industry-related or not - you learned in the last month?
Being self-conscious holds me back. Going outside of my comfort zone can be tough, but it makes the next time a little easier. Before I know it, I have a new comfort zone! Author John Shedd on taking risks: "A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are built for." Source: Salt from My Attic
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Applebee's Southwest Chicken Irresist-A-Bowl (sans tortillas)!