In 2007, Heather Linton was working as a service advisor at an automotive dealership when her husband suddenly left his job at a pool company in Dallas due to unethical practices. With no prior knowledge of the pool industry, Linton supported her husband’s vision to start their own company, Swim Carefree.
Despite her fears — she jokes that she was terrified of the chemical side of the industry after twice failing high school chemistry — she embraced the challenge. As they navigated the complexities of starting a business, Linton learned everything from pool cleaning to filter maintenance, even if it meant spending nine hours on a single filter clean.
Her grit and adaptability paid off as Swim Carefree grew, allowing Linton to quit her job at the dealership. She transitioned into managing the office operations, hiring their first office staff member. After hiring more employees and learning how to perform remodels, Linton and her husband set their sights on pool building. Within 10 years, Swim Carefree had over 20 employees and a 5,000-square-foot showroom, office and warehouse.
After years of hard work, Linton knows the pool industry is not just a job for her; it’s a lifelong commitment. “I will never leave this industry; I love it to my bones,” she says. “The faces I get to see when a client sees the newly built or newly renovated pool are priceless.”
Beyond the day-to-day work, Linton wants to help create innovative and sustainable practices while fostering collaboration among industry peers to raise standards. To help realize this vision, she started a company called Integrity Consultants, which provides business and team coaching.
In addition to success in business, Linton is committed to community outreach programs that promote water safety and swimming education, as well as mentoring the next generation of industry professionals.
Linton’s advice to any new pool pro is simple: Don’t be afraid to fail. “Failure is a great learning experience,” she says. “Along the way, we have made a lot of mistakes, and we have learned from each and every one of them.”