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Jonathan and Jessica Rust

35 | Co-owners | WaterDog Pools | New Orleans

Jonathan and Jessica Rust

WaterDog Pools
New Orleans

Jonathan and Jessica Rust met when Jonathan moved to New Orleans to help gut and rebuild homes after hurricane Katrina. Jessica was a local resident that lost everything in the flood, decided to volunteer and was paired with Jonathan’s crew. “It’s been life ever since,” Jessica says.

After that, they worked together in the construction industry, and it was taking a toll. “At the end of each workday, I physically couldn’t walk because of back pain and nerve damage,” Jessica says. “Something had to change.”

The Rusts wanted flexible and steady work that was not as physically taxing as construction. In 2014, they started WaterDog Pools. Jonathan had spent his teen years working for his family in the pool service industry, but the couple relied heavily on Google and YouTube in the beginning to spread the word about their business. Both say that building a reputation on reliability and honesty garnered success.

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“She’s the feistiest, hardworking woman I know,” Jonathan says of his wife and business partner. “She taught herself how to market and brand a business during the wee hours of the morning. During the day, she does repairs and service work. I’ve never seen someone hustle to get to the top more than that woman.”

“Jonathan is the most humble human I have ever met,” Jessica says of her husband. “He excels in customer service because he actually still cares about people. He taught me to work for people who need it, even when they cannot pay. ‘Treasures in heaven,’ he says. Our customers love him and treat him like part of the family.”

The duo never puts money before reputation, Jessica says, and is always working to be better. They don’t have employees, only taking on work they can tackle themselves, so that they can maintain a flexible schedule for time with family, friends and volunteering in the community through their local Jehovah’s Witness church.

“We got our foothold in the industry through hard work and a good reputation as a reliable company that communicates well,” Jonathan says. “We’d like to hold on to that.”

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