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The Kiddie Pool That Changed Everything

A few years back I spotted a deflated pool in my sister’s garage. She has 2 young kids & like most families they average about 1 per summer. I knew that if it stayed in her possession it was destined for the roadside trash can & ultimately a landfill where it would sit until her kids’ kids had children.

Despite having zero plans of what to do with it, I loaded it into my car & brought it home where it sat in my garage for at least another year. It wasn’t until my husband threatened to throw it out (the same way I threaten to toss the ratty sneakers he’s owned since high school that have been living in our closet untouched) that I started to play around with it.

After all, tassels can be made out of anything flexible that won’t fray & kiddie pools meet both those criteria.

Lo & behold- pool party earrings were born!

And although I’m not sure if it was their lightweight style, the neon colors, the fact that there was finally a use for these fragile inflatables once they’d met their demise or that customers were insisting that complete strangers practically stroke their earlobes with every earring compliment- they quickly became a best seller.

But there had to be more to be done with the abundance of material, so the experimenting continued! Melting layers together, cutting out shapes, combining shapes with other melted layers, then cutting shapes out of the shapes… there have been more earrings, bags, wallets & keychains made from the dilapidated pools, floaties & air mattresses YOU have donated.

Although I can smile that I’ve diverged a handful of inflatables from being worm food (except I don’t think worms eat plastic), the amount of this stuff that still get allocated to the trash is alarming. And as much as I’d love to leave you with something actionable or a better alternative, I’m afraid I don’t have the best answer of how not to trash perhaps the best way to stay cool in the sweltering heat.

There’s a company in Australia making a biodegradable version & I do still accept a few donations throughout the year (neon colors, cool patterns & the occasional neutral). But as my stash continues to grow I can’t use them quick enough before the space to house them simultaneously shrinks (send me an email with photos & I’ll tell you if I’ll take yours off your hands!).

I guess all of this is to say that I am crazy grateful for your support of this goofy idea. Thanks for cheering me on, buying the earrings, donating the pools & encouraging strangers to lay their hands on them. Here’s to changing the world one holey inflatable at a time.


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