The PoolMate is 10 years old !
We first started selling the very first PoolMate back in September 2009. Amazingly we sold out of the first batch before we even got it and the rest is history.
I’m rushing things, let’s go back 2 years before that to 2007 when we first had the idea to develop a swim watch. Swimovate is my husband Jim and myself, we were doing triathlons at the time and wanted a watch that would track our swims. We had cycle computers and heartrate monitors but there was nothing around for swimming. To cut a long story short we were made redundant and the time was right for us to take the plunge and set up Swimovate. Jim developed all the electronics, embedded software and made it suitable for large scale manufacture, our son Chris designed the first case and I found a factory to make them for us and started spreading the word- the first PoolMate was coming to life.
Of course there were lots of trials with the long suffering swimmers in our triathlon club, it wasn’t easy to get it working with all swimmers and all strokes and some clever software was needed. There was a patent to write and file and even a trip into Dragons’ Den*.
It took longer than we thought but some how we persevered and truly believed we could launch something to make a difference. We learnt so much along the way. I remember speaking to everyone and anyone with any interest in swimming hoovering it all up and taking things on board. As soon as I put out the first press release we had retailers and distributors contacting us and orders stacking up which takes things back to the beginning of this post to September 2009.
It was a rollercoaster few months and before long we had sales in 60 countries and the PoolMate seemed to be the right product at the right time and be the thing swimmers had been waiting for. Of course I skirt around all the hard work we put in, it wasn’t without hours of effort and innovation. Somehow it didn’t feel like work at all, it was an amazing adventure we were lucky enough to be on.
Now 10 years later we still have the largest range of swim tracking watches on the market and sales all over the world. Thank you to everyone we met along the way, especially the swimmers who spent their hard earned cash on a PoolMate or two. We aren’t going anywhere and look forward to helping swimmers track their swims for a good few years yet.
Keep on swimming
* Dragons’ Den was an experience to say the least. I didn’t get funding, didn’t cry or make a fool of myself but we obviously didn’t make good enough TV to be broadcast. Although devastated at the time we were so glad in the end to have the 100% control of our business that we still have today.
If you want to hear more about our story you can meet us and find out more here.