Ian Fyffe wants to raise your personal happiness quotient.
Food, for many of us, may be the ultimate hedonistic dip, but Mr. Fyffe, owner and operator of the Hamptons-based Harbor Hot Tubs and Sparkling Pools, believes that the key to a happy life is all in the water.
“I started the company [Sparkling Pools] in 1981,” he said, “after working cleaning pools while I was going to school at Wharton, getting an accounting degree.” The summer work parlayed itself into a lifelong career; he opened his business between his junior and senior years of college. Since the company’s inception—although Sparkling Pools opened in 1981, Harbor Hot Tubs was close behind, opening two years later—Ian Fyffe has been building pools and installing hot tubs for the grateful denizens of Eastern Long Island. Three years ago, he added to his oeuvre a retail location in Southampton, where shoppers can come to see his integrative work.
“One of the reasons I went back into the retail arena was that I wanted to share things that made me happy in my life: hot water therapy, saunas, hot tubs, cool pool construction, beautiful backyards… all of those things that we worked on from the outside in,” he said. Mr. Fyffe expanded his retail space to include what he considers “metaphysical tools”: prayer flags, sage, essential oils, and crystals, to name a few. He believes wholly in the relationship between environment and mentality. “If we can’t help you from the outside in, we can help you from the inside out,” he added.
In short, Fyffe’s businesses are about making people—and himself—happy. “I spent a month in India in an ashram … I find myself drawn to ancient cultures. Water carries information. I like dealing with water, both as a medium for art, but also as a livelihood. I like building beautiful things. I love water on all levels,” he said. His pools and hot tubs, then, are part of an integrative experience; he marries landscape with design, shying away from what he considers “cookie-cutter pools.” Even the aesthetically displeasing above ground hot tubs get a new vision at Harbor Hot Tubs, where installations are blended into the environment, using wood, masonry, and other building materials.
Like any respectable dining experience, home design is an art. Sparkling Pools and Harbor Hot Tubs constructs both gunite and concrete-walled vinyl pools with this ethos in mind. Showcasing his eye for design, Mr. Fyffe presents prospective clients with a three-dimensional take on their backyard, offering them the tools to help envision the final product. Further, the companies use a multi-fold approach to pool construction and hot tub installation, employing color theory and architecture. “We look at it as way more than putting a hole in the ground and putting water in it,” Mr. Fyffe said. “If it’s really cool, we want to do it.”