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Local company going to the dogs

By: Leah Rosasco, Loomis News Correspondent
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CRYSTAL BLUE PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR

What: Local father-son plumbing, heating and air service company

Mascot: Aly, the drooling bulldog

Locations: 3129 Swetzer Road, Ste. C; and 3528 Cody Way, Sacramento

Information: 577-5020, crystalblueplumbing.com

 

Business is booming for a local plumbing company that has gone to the dogs.

Aly, an 8-year-old English bulldog, has helped increase recognition for Loomis-based Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating and Air just by posing for a few pictures.

Since 2011, Aly has been featured in the company’s marketing materials and on its service trucks. Tim Sjobeck, Crystal Blue Plumbing co-owner, said she is now beginning to have a following of her own. 

“She has her own fan base,” Sjobeck said. “People just love her.” 

Sjobeck said company technicians have heard a noise around their truck while they are out on a call and they see people posing for photos next to Aly’s picture on the truck.

Aly, who Sjobeck has owned since she was a puppy, is named after Mount Alyeska outside of Anchorage, Ala., where Sjobeck lived for 15 years.  Sjobeck first used Aly’s image on a poster when the company was chosen as the business of the month by Costco. The poster featured a photo of a drooling Aly with the caption “Got a leak?” Sjobeck decided to use the same image on other marketing materials and he added the image to the back of the company’s trucks. He said the response has been overwhelming.

“Because of her photo, our trucks are easily recognized and in our business that’s really important,” Sjobeck said.

During the past several months the company has also been recognized with various awards for their use of Aly’s image and marketing efforts. In addition to winning Plumbing and Mechanical magazine’s Truck of the Month contest for December, Crystal Blue Plumbing was given a 2012 Business Excellence Award by the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce for its use of social media in spreading the word about their business, as well as other local companies.

“We asked other local businesses to join us in a contest we had on Facebook to help us pick the next photo we use of Aly in our marketing materials,” Sjobeck said. “It was a great way to increase name recognition for us and others who do business in the area.”

Loomis Basin Brewery was one of ten local businesses that participated in the contest. Owner, Kenny Gowan, said he also uses social media to reach out to his clientele so he was happy to support a fellow small business.

“Marketing is like throwing darts in the dark,” Gowan said. “I try to help fellow local businesses whenever I can.”

As part of the contest, area businesses donated items for a prize as well as shared links to participating businesses via social media.

“Facebook and other social media sites are definitely a less expensive way to get the word out about your business,” Gowan said.

Sjobeck started Crystal Blue Plumbing in 2010 with his father, Mylo Paisley, 72, who has worked as a licensed plumbing contractor since 1976. For nearly 35 years, Paisley ran a plumbing company in San Jose that focused on new construction, but when the downturn in the economy caused a slowdown in new construction the father-son pair decided to start a plumbing service company. 

“It’s wonderful to work together,” Paisley said. “I tried to teach him this stuff as a kid and he hated it, but it turns out he’s great at it.”

Neither of the men imagined they would use Sjobeck’s dog in their marketing plan, but both are pleased with how popular Aly has become.

“It makes sense that she’s part of our brand because she is part of the company and she’s part of our family,” Sjobeck said.