If you ask pool designer Josh Himme what luck means, he’ll tell you there’s no such thing. There’s only preparation meets opportunity. If Josh’s motto sounds familiar to the design and construction community, then his sweat equity is paying off big time with beautiful custom-made pools dotting the Pittsburgh landscape.
“I got into the industry as more of a fluke than a plan. In 2013, my brother introduced me to my job with Professional Pool Services,” says Himme. While doing pool construction, Josh did attend college part-time and did well, but decided that designing pools was more satisfying than any lecture. The delight of seeing clients and their families creating memories in their backyard pools profoundly changed the trajectory of his career. While working up the ranks at Professional Pool Services, Josh was introduced to many professionals who shared his passion.
“About three years into the job, I developed a close working relationship with Jeff Blunkosky. At the time Professional Pools Service was one of PSW’s trade partners and I was in constant contact with Jeff. Over time, the partnership separated due to both businesses going in different directions. Jeff had some very ambitious goals and was on a direction that was inline with my own goals, leading to an eventual career opportunity. Jeff provided me with the school of hard knocks business knowledge outside of design and construction. It’s been four years and I haven’t looked back.” Since Josh has led the pool design services at PSW, the pool-related deliverables and sales have increased dramatically. “Over the past four years, my responsibilities. have expanded and I have since shed the majority of my previous tactical role.” Others in the industry have noticed too. In 2021, Josh was named as one of 30 Under 40 in the Pool Industry by Pool Pro Magazine.
Josh enjoys educating clients about the construction process. “There’s a lot to consider when building an custom inground pool. It’s not just about aesthetics, it’s also about function. Pools are a living and breathing entity. Swimming pools require hydraulic plans, lighting plans, electrical, drainage, and plumbing schematics. The pool is the centerpiece, but there are other aspects in design that also make it that centerpiece. What dictates shape, size, and configuration, is how your family will best utilize it. Pools are an investment, but it is the type of investment that costs you money and time. A good designer takes those things into consideration.
It takes a lot of collaboration between skilled trade partners before the client enjoys their first dip. When speaking with Josh, it becomes apparent that the pools of today are a vast difference from pools a generation ago. Today’s modern pools are statement pieces, status symbols, and built for multi-use. The pools today employ smart technology and resemble resorts. They are used actively during the day with kids splashing down waterslides and jumping off the built-in boulders. At night, they set the stage for a relaxing atmosphere with scuppers and light displays that change colors over cascading waterfalls. Landscaping and hardscaping are built around the pools to frame the backyard with lush greenery.
Outside of work, Josh is heavily involved with competitively racing ATVs. “After a productive work week, there is nothing better than turning your brain off and surrounding yourself with good people, and going to a race.” You can also see Josh from time to time working at a local music venue. “I’m a people person and have always had a passion for live music.”
This well-rounded pool enthusiast certainly has the blueprint for success. Whether it’s putting together a bid package engaging in live music or racing ATVs, Josh juggles all his interests and hobbies with ease.
“Advice I would give to anyone interested in pursuing the trade industry would be to listen to your gut. There is nothing greater than hands on experience and first-hand knowledge that can prepare you for the next steps of your career. And finally, find a knowledgeable mentor. Learn from the best to master your craft, you’ll gain experience immediately, and from the right people, who can steer you to success.”