The Sunshine Coast company builds sustainable wood-fired tubs by hand in a 4,500 sqft Sechelt shop.
Mixing family and business can get ugly. It often becomes impossible to separate work and personal lives, and if things start to turn sour, the bell can’t be un-rung.
But AlumiTubs co-owners Laura Andersen and Josh Logan acquired their wood-fired hot tub business from their friends in 2018, and since then the married couple has successfully been navigating the delicate balance of running a company together.
“There have been times where it’s been all-in and there really is no separation,” says Andersen. For example, when she was in the hospital giving birth to their daughter, Logan was taking calls and responding to emails. And when she was on maternity leave from her full-time job, she launched the AlumiTubs website while pushing her baby back-and-forth in the stroller.
AlumiTubs. Co-owner Josh Logan supporting the production process
Their secret? Focusing on their individual skillsets while sharing the same basic values. Andersen, who has worked as a growth marketer with companies like Shopify, Lululemon and Hootsuite, concentrates on lining up customers. And Logan, with a background in logistics, is the boots-on-the-ground brains of the production, often helping their eight-person staff manufacture the tubs in their 4500-square-foot Sechelt shop.
Together, they make hot tubs for off-grid and rural properties across North America. But AlumiTubs, which have been around since 2002, are not traditional in any way—there are no buttons, bells or whistles; they’re made with an aluminum foundation; water is heated by wood instead of electricity (like a campfire in the tub); materials are locally sourced and sustainable; and the product can stand the test of time. Tubs built 22 years ago are still in use today, according to Andersen, and she says there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be for another 22 years.
“We do a phenomenal amount of volume out of a very small space, with a very lean team,” she maintains. When they started, they were shipping 50-100 tubs a year. Now they’re into the hundreds, with a trailer full of tubs going out every week. The company has grown six-fold over the last few years, with a customer lineup of 10 months—and that’s with a website and word-of-mouth.
Andersen credits their growth to the innovation behind AlumiTubs (they’re lightweight, portable, pre-assembled and ready to soak in that day) and also to the couples’ dedication to supporting local communities. “We are proudly small-town, we do small batch and exclusively build our hot tubs by hand so that we can pressure test the quality of each and every one…you’d be hard-pressed to find a lake country or cottage without an AlumiTub at this stage.”
The couple admittedly doesn’t have a work-life balance, but Andersen calls it a blessing that they’re able to do something they enjoy: “It means a lot to us to know that what we’re creating are special moments outside, at the cabin, in the cottage, where people can connect in a more meaningful way… and while it has its challenges, it’s our whole life.”