The story behind Blue Thumb
Water Feature Inspirations
Learn about our brands
Blue Thumb manufactures equipment & supplies to help you install & maintain ponds, waterfalls, and fountains easier. We market these products under the Aqua Bella, PondBuilder, and Formal Falls brand names.
The short answer is anyone interested in water features! The longer answer is our focus is on assisting professional installers, landscapers, designers, architects, retail stores, and distributors market, sell, and install water features easier. But we'll always do our best to serve homeowners with their requests too.
I was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan and aside from my four years studying International Business at Eastern Michigan University I’ve lived there all my life. Aquariums were a passion of mine growing up as a child. So much so that I started Blue Lagoon Aquatics as a senior in high school (1992) cleaning aquariums at doctor offices after school. After college I came back to Saginaw and purchased a local pet store so I had somewhere to operate my maintenance business from. It was 1996 and the pond industry was about to go into major growth mode.
Many customers were coming into the store requesting pond supplies which eventually lead to us installing ponds professionally. In 1998 I decided that managing the pet store was robbing us from focusing on what we did best- water features. So I sold the store and purchased a building to operate our water feature installation/maintenance business from.
Not only were we installing our own water features but we were getting requests from other landscapers to educate them on how to install them properly. I saw the need for education & training with quality equipment and so by the end of 2000 I sold off the install business and opened Blue Thumb Distributing, Inc. Blue Thumb would focus exclusively on everything relating to ponds & water features.
We grew steadily along with the rest of the pond industry but still felt we were not assisting customers exactly as we wanted. We wanted a line of water feature equipment that met the quality demands of our customers. We wanted a product line that had all the features our customers were requesting and we determined the only way to get that was to invest in our own tooling and create our own product line.
We put all our ideas and feedback from customers into our own design and created the PondBuilder brand of water feature equipment. We now control the quality, availability, features, & benefits of the products we make and I am extremely proud of what our team has accomplished in such a short time. PondBuilder products are now available throughout the US and Canada at the finest distributor & retailer establishments and are installed by like-minded professional installers.
We completed a 25,000 sq ft expansion of our warehouse allowing us to become more efficient packing orders and live up to our goal of shipping all orders within 24 hours of receipt. The expansion allowed us to expand our R&D space which will help us in perfecting existing products and develop tomorrow’s products and ideas.
More recently in March of 2014 we acquired Aqua Bella Designs, a manufacturer of top-of-the-line fountain systems including vases, copper trees, bubbling boulders, and basalt columns. Aqua Bella basins are manufactured under the name Aqua Box and hold a patent with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. The acquisition provided us with a quality and time-tested product line and immediate access to a nationwide network of Landscape Architects and Designers.
Today, Blue Thumb focuses on assisting our customers in becoming more successful promoting, selling, and installing all types of Ponds, Waterfalls, & Fountains.
Our business is blessed to have each of you as customers. We appreciate your loyalty to us and take your success and business seriously. Please feel free to contact us directly should you ever feel the need- I’d love to hear from you!
Don't take our word for it. Here's what a few of our customers have to say about our company.
Take a Look
Your business and success are important to us. That is why we’ve selected the best support staff you could ever want! I want you to think of each of my employees as an extension of your staff. Each is dedicated to helping you become more successful with water features. We mean that.
Key Accounts Manager
E-Commerce / IT
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