Kristin Myllenbeck wanted a cute pool. That’s all.
When summer runs hot, people might turn to the city’s splash fountains, nearby lakes, even a garden hose. But the Seattle-based fashion stylist, who applied her keen eye at Nordstrom for over a decade, couldn’t find a wading pool that reflected her hip sartorial ways.
A swift Google search for “kiddie pool” begets those ubiquitous blue basins, you know the ones: plastic with wavy motifs on the sides. They get the job done, sure. Nevertheless Myllenbeck, a mom to a three-year-old, was determined her toddler would splash around in something that wasn’t so aesthetically objectionable—something cool for grown-ups, too.
So, she started an inflatable pool company.
“We’re living in smaller spaces more than ever and more people are moving to urban areas,” says Myllenbeck. “But, like, we’re still hot.” With a business degree from the University of Washington and years of fashion industry wisdom in tow, Myllenbeck dived into the pool game. When her company Mylle (pronounced like the word mile) debuted last year, orders zoomed in from California, Texas, and New York.
The pools, constructed from heavyweight vinyl and stretching about five-and-a-half feet wide, are decisively trendy but never succumb to garishness: a simple black grid pattern on white, an Italianesque speckled terrazzo print, an of-the-moment deep green.
In the world of inflatable goods, floaties the shape of a giant slice of pepperoni pizza are rampant. When it comes to her pools, however, Myllenbeck passes on quirkiness in favor of an interior design approach. Take her Capitol Hill townhouse. Everything in it makes her happy—the carefully chosen couch, a specific kind of string lights on the deck—“and it just seemed weird to spend time creating an environment that I liked [to] then have something crazy in it,” says Myllenbeck.
In scantily air-conditioned Seattle, an elegant pool could become as vital as a couch. And maybe hold just as many friends.
► Get In, the Water's Fine: Find Mylle inflatable pools ($100–$115) at mylleshop.com.