“One of the early prototypes was a shadow box design that mounts to the surface of the wall,” he explains. “The design made it look like the back disappeared, but it was still surface-mounted. However, after getting input from designers and operators who showed a preference for recessed units, we made that change as well.”
As far as fitting into a range of spaces and designs, the Vaask faceplate and arms come standard in all black or all white or can be customized in a wide variety of plated metal and powder coating options.
Hitting Complementary Markets
Olsen gave a good deal of thought to the markets he wanted to serve.
“Fitness was one of the first markets we wanted to target,” he says. “It’s a space where paying customers care very much about cleanliness. Also, operators are very interested in making cleanliness and sanitization a feature they can promote to future customers. We also wanted to target high-end hotels. Common areas of hotels are very carefully designed. However, the sanitizer is usually an afterthought that detracts from the design, and we’ve found that operators are interested in removing them.”
Thus far, Olsen has found that demand for Vaask has been brisk.
“Seeing is believing for this product,” he says. “Innovative designers and forward-thinking operators immediately recognize the value that this brings to their space. These sorts of people
want Vaask in their spaces yesterday. This is a product that makes sense, and demand is very good.”
That said, he notes, “Moving to a permanent, durable product requires a shift in thinking away from the throw-away mentality. Accepting that they should be spending more to get this requires a forward-thinking individual.”
As for what’s next, Olsen notes that Vaask is working to introduce graphic fronts to the dispensers.
“The solid aluminum component provides a perfect canvas for any design,” he notes. “Soon, we’ll be able to provide customers with everything from their logo to eye-catching artwork. We’re constantly innovating and expanding the possibilities with our product line. We’re always looking for ways to encourage cleanliness in a commercial environment through design and technology.”
Manufactured in Austin, Texas, Vaask units range from $1,200 to $2,200, depending on the finishes and level of customization. The only accessories are the refillable sanitizer tank and high-end bulk and single-use sanitizer. Vaask will soon add a wall-frame model to allow for permanent surface mounting, a table-top unit that would be ideal on counters, and a freestanding version.
To learn more about Vaask, visit the company’s website.