KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - The year was 1969 and the place was Holland, Michigan. That's when a company called "Great Lakes Spas" was born.
In 2007, "Great Lakes" was bought out by Grand Rapids-based "Emerald Spas Corporation", creating a mega-company in Kentwood, which offers a more diverse product line in greater volume.
Five years later, the clientele is no longer just in Michigan; it's expanding nationally and internationally.
The birth of a spa, from the initial vacuum forming to the final packaging for each one, takes just three days.
"It's very economical what we do," said Kristin Woiteshek, who's the Director of Operations of "Emerald Spas Corporation" in Kentwood.
There are 25 employees needed for a spa, from its mold to somebody's backyard.
"We don't sell directly to consumers," said Woiteshek. "We sell to a dealer network across Michigan, across the United States and across the world."
Emerald Spas Corporation produces two independent brand names - Emerald Spas and Great Lakes Spas.
"We've done a lot to really support our Michigan-based dealers," Woiteshek added.
Emerald Spas' retail network stretches from one side of Michigan to the other. There's a store in Kentwood, another one in Hart and a growing footprint in Detroit.
"[Detroit] has been expanding," said Woiteshek. "They've opened their tenth store; they've opened three new stores this year alone."
Woiteshek also says that last year, 25% of all Emerald Spas were sold inclusive to the state of Michigan. This year, they're at 40%.
Emerald Spas also has dealers over seas in the Netherlands and Norway, accounting for another 25% of their business.
Kristin Wioteshek says the company is currently trying to reach markets in the southern United States, like Texas and Florida.