Locally-owned Swims & Sweeps was established in 1989 by Clayton Sherwood in Manhattan, Kansas. With $500 in hand, a hope and a dream, Clay took out an ad in the local paper for chimney cleaning services. He loaded his Shop-Vac into the backseat of his 1969 Mercury 4-door, tied his ladder across the roof and went to work.
In Jan. 1990, he relocated to Topeka, where he worked part time at Devlin’s Liquor store at night while he continued to grow Swims & Sweeps during the day. Clay distinctly remembers walking through Topeka neighborhoods handing out business cards and hanging door hangers, all while wearing his top hat, to promote the business.
He was able to purchase his first business van with the help of Russ Briggs in June that year, and in August when the first Swims & Sweeps Yellow Page ad was published, the phone began to ring.
Opened 1st Brick & Mortar Location
On Oct. 31, 1992, Clay opened his first brick and mortar store at 335 SW Jackson St. and hired his first employee. In 1994, he moved the retail operation to 6th and Topeka Blvd., and has operated there for more than 20 years.
Throughout the years, business continued to thrive and Clay was able to purchase the property, as well as two other local swimming pool companies in the area in 2001 and 2007, expanding Swims & Sweeps to three locations throughout Kansas. In 2014, business came full circle, and Clay opened his fourth retail location back in Manhattan.
Clay doesn’t take all the credit to his success. His mom Ester has been by his side for the last 23 years, and with her help and encouragement, he’s been able to grow the company to what it is now. He has also relied on the help of a good bank, Kaw Valley Bank, Craig Heidemann, Lori Dutton, his CPA, and advice from a good friend, Mike Meyers at Core First Bank.
Our Commitment to You
Swims & Sweeps has 20 full-time, year-round employees, and employs an additional 4 to 5 employs during peak season. With nearly 30 years of personal experience and a knowledgeable, well-experienced staff, Swims & Sweeps is commitment to providing you with quality work, reliable service and exceptional customer care. We are insured and bonded for your protection, and we offer custom solutions as needed.
We proudly serve Topeka, Manhattan, Lawrence and the surrounding areas with our four locations, two of which are in conveniently in Topeka. For more information, give us a call or stop by one of our retail locations today. We look forward to seeing you there.
Bryan House, General Manager
20+ years in the pool and spa industry
Hobbies: Safari Adventures and Renovating homes
Shea Kells, Service Manager
CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
Hobbies: Cooking and Spending time with my wife and 2 small children
Kathy Benedict, Store Manager
Expertise in industry: National Fireplace Institute woodburning Specialist, Gas burning Specialist
Hobbies - Gardening and Woodworking with her husband 25+ years in industry
Melissa Davidson, Store Manager
Doughboy University Certified
Hobbies Spending time with family and being outdoors at her pond
Bridgette Kells, Store Manager/Social Media
10+ years experience
ClearCare Chemical Certified
Hobbies: Music and spending quality time with her children and 2 pugs
Austin Boatwright, Service Tech
CSIA Certified Chimney sweep
Hobbies: cooking and teaching his cat, Lisa, tricks
Larry Dixon, Pool Installation Supervisor
Doughboy University Certified
Hobbies: Riding his motorcycle and playing with his dog