Have you ever heard of the word RecreFitAbility? It comes from the company Aqua Creek Products. Bruce Giffin, the vice president of sales and marketing at Aqua Creek, said they came up with that word to merge the company’s vision into one, easy-to-remember term.
“Aqua Creek quite literally believes in improving the lives of individuals of all abilities by providing access to life-changing recreational and fitness activities through the use of unique, high-quality and affordable equipment,” said Giffin.
As a family-owned business made up of RecreFitAbility specialists, Aqua Creek offers a wide range of products — from ADA Compliant and UL Safety Certified Pool Lifts to aquatic therapy and exercise equipment like pool bikes, aqua walkers, pool access wheelchairs and swim platforms. Its products are for a variety of people, from wheelchair users to those recovering from an injury, and elite athletes to those who simply have bad knees.
Aqua Creek’s Beginnings
But like many great successes, its story begins as a startup in Missoula, Montana, back in 2002. Four years later, Giffin joined the company. He grew sales over the years, on top of having a hand in many other aspects as well. However, it has taken continued excellence and learning from failure in order to get the company to where it is today.
“If I was not successful in growing this business, I really would not be here,” said Giffin. “That’s not to say success doesn’t come without setbacks. In fact, the setbacks I experienced are what contribute most to my success. I find it’s easy to excel — after all, excellence is what we repeatedly do. It’s much harder to succeed because to succeed you need to think differently, not be afraid of failure, and find ways to change your thoughts and processes to turn those failures around. Success for me becomes a series of failures I never let define me; success is a growth process.”
With that same mentality of thinking differently and using failures to prompt success, Aqua Creek has expanded into many different industries — including Campus Recreation — over the last 20 years. In fact, Giffin noted they are arguably the No. 1 pool lift supplier in the U.S.
A Myriad of Evolutions
Constant evolution is one such way the company has reached that status. Giffin explained they employ a process that’s ever evolving. It ensures products built are better than existing ones not only on the market but that they themselves had previously produced.
For example, Aqua Creek was the first pool lift manufacturer to have its lifts independently verified to meet ADA regulations. Plus, it has the most pool lift models that are UL Compliant with the new Pool Lift Standard.
“In fact, Aqua Creek was on the UL Standards Technical Panel that helped create that UL Standard,” shared Giffin.
Other evolutions for the company have involved stepping outside the pool realm. Recently, Aqua Creek expanded its product line to include land-based exercise equipment. One such piece is the ProTone exercise machine, allowing wheelchair users to work out independently.
Plus, the company found a way to match lift colors to school colors or specific decors. “Aqua Creek can offer unique features that allow our lifts and other products to match your campus colors and promote the team spirit, all while providing energy efficiency, amazing quality and support,” said Giffin.
However, customization doesn’t just happen. Giffin said they’ve focused on bringing the manufacturing process in-house and keeping it in the U.S. As such, it’s allowed them to customize to fit almost any unique situation. “In short, we are a U.S. manufacturer hell-bent on providing you a high-quality, customizable, American-made product at an affordable price,” he said.
Truly, the passion for Aqua Creek and his role at the company was evident in Giffin’s words. “I love my job,” he said. “It’s is the most rewarding job I have ever had.”
The Heart Behind Aqua Creek
But it’s not about what he gets; rather, it’s about what he is giving through Aqua Creek’s incredible products. “Knowing the products we design and build help others appreciate and enjoy the benefits of recreational activities gives me the most satisfaction,” he said. “Our products open opportunities for those with different abilities to be able to enjoy the physical, mental and emotional benefits of recreational activities. Knowing I had a part in someone’s happiness and well-being warms my soul.”
And Giffin isn’t alone in his passion. He noted one final key to success for Aqua Creek is its people. The team behind the curtain is what makes Aqua Creek’s mission of RecreFitAbility possible.
“Aqua Creek has an incredible team of dedicated and professional employees who genuinely care about building exceptional products and providing an improved quality of life to those who use them,” said Giffin. “Without these dedicated and committed team members, we certainly would not be where we are today.”
For more information, visit aquacreekproducts.com.