Many people dream of running an international company. Stefan Nikles of Aquas is actually doing it. Here’s an exclusive interview with him to reveal a bit about his background, his career in the shower business, and how he creates some of the most innovative products in the shower industry.
How long have you been in the shower business?
Since 1989, so that’s 28 Years now.
How did you get started in showers?
I was born into a family with a plumbing background. My Father was in the plumbing business since he was 30 years old; he still runs his own business at 77. Back in 1989 I was a Trader/Broker for Swiss Bank Corporation in Basel, Switzerland. And one day my Father called me and asked me to become his Sales Manger, double Salary, so I decided to join his company and stayed there for over 20 years until I set up my own business, Aquabella, that now has also the Aquas brand.
How do you come up with your ideas for different shower products?
I am very much into design and function, for over 20 years, and have developed loads of new products for a global clientele. I really like architecture, fashion and car design, so that inspires me.
How did you come up with the cross jet stream of the X Jet?
I wanted to have a different spray than the common nozzle spray. A spray with more force, more showering pleasure. A more invigorating spray that is soft to the skin as well and that performs at any pressure. So, as a team, we mixed it with a good ergonomic shape and cool looking design. The result was X Jet.
Aquas products are really cool, sleek and sophisticated looking. What inspired their design?
Nature certainly. I spend a good amount of time in nature here in Thailand and in Europe. Then certainly car design and industrial design in general help to shape our products.
What inspires you to keep coming up with new ideas for shower products? What inspires you to be innovative?
I believe in rejuvenation, in creativity. I work 7 days a week, but I find time to relax every day. I love my work, really love it. For me the biggest gift is an inspiring new product that then is successful in the market, much more than a big bank account. I want the money in the company and new products, not the bank.
What brand’s products do you love or really inspire you?
BMW, Apple, Hublot or Chopard Watches. All great brands because of great products with outstanding design and function.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where are you from? What was your life like growing up?
I was born and educated in Basel, Switzerland, and was very lucky to have greatly inspiring and loving parents who always motivated me to become what I am today. My 2 brothers and me had a great youth there. Today I am working with my youngest brother together, which is really great. My hobbies were and are languages (I can speak 7) and also sports (Football, Tennis, now Golf).
What is the one place you’d recommend people visit in your home country of Switzerland?
Hard to narrow down to one. See the beauty of any Alpine Village in my country, they are all beautiful. See the waterfalls, they are so inspiring. Visit the lakes. They’re full of beauty and inspiration.
What are a few of your favorite Swiss foods?
Cheese, chocolate, Swiss white wine, roesti (hash browns) with bratwurst.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Sports, travel, visit Asian countries and do merit.
Do you have any advice for readers about how to choose the right type of shower or brand of shower?
Don’t look too far. Get an AQUAS X Jet Shower in your home. Whoever has one, knows what I mean. It’s just great.