The story of Nicols begins in 1890, on a small Greek Island called Kalymnos, heart of a natural sponge fishery in the Mediterranean sea.
Jean Klimis, a young 15-year-old man leaves his country and his family for a brighter future. After a long journey, he arrived in Belgium in 1897 and founded his company. 20 years later, his company became the European leader in the sector of sponges.
In 1939, the worldwide war put an end to the business but in 1947, the founder’s son, Nicolas, rebuilt everything from scratch, in a small house in Brussels. He used to say “I owned nothing but the one thing I held on to : a crazy will to succeed !”. He then created his own brand, “Nicols”, and within 20 years , he became leader of the Belgian market…. 30 years after this, Nicolas was joined by his two sons, Pierre and Jean. Nicols started manufacturing and began its conquest with the French market and one priority : Private labels. In 20 years-time, Nicols became the leader of Private Label business in France and then in Europe !
What do these three generations of Nicols’ directors have in common? One single word : Passion! Passion to win together in excellence. One of our three values.
The second characteristic of Nicols’ teams is integrity and transparence. In a family culture, we share everything with one another. No politics, no hidden agenda… We share the same objectives and help each other to win.
The third value is also linked to the family history : respect. Respect of his/her colleagues, from the top to the bottom of the pyramid, but also of his/her external partners. This value for respect does not mean that we are not demanding. And we expect a lot from ourselves to begin with.
Nicols attaches considerable importance to creating a friendly working atmosphere where everyone feels good and can grow. This state of mind is reflected in our motto : “a family company, where we feel home!”
A friendly whilst demanding working environment, respectful of people, encouraging diversity, a passion to win, an entrepreneurship mind, here are a few values that define Nicols and its teams. And certainly the keys to our success in 70 years of existence!
I joined Nicols 13 years ago. I've started as a specialist responsible for launching new products in Polish factory. During next years I had opportunity to work as R&D Project Manager in the multinational teams with fantastic, fully engaged people. I get the chance to work in different projects, areas and locations. My last role is Category Manager LC & AF, where again I experience every day new challenges which help me growing. The biggest Nicols value is people: their passion, support and family atmosphere they create. This all makes you enjoy diversity, opportunities and Team work you experience from very beginning of your work.
I started my career in Nicols as Sales Assistant. I especially enjoyed this position because I was in contact with all the departments of the company, learning a lot. As Wiping &Scouring Category Manager I experienced the excellent team work of the Category Team with, as a highlight, the introduction of many of our patented technologies. The team spirit is also what I enjoy at my current position as Key Account Manager – only together we can succeed in providing excellent products and services to our clients.
I am Sales Coordinator since 12 years ago. I started working in Nicols in May 2008. At the beginning, my area was only related to Spain & Portugal buy overtime this area has been extended to other countries like Italy, UK, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, Belgium, New Zeeland, Australia, Israel …not only in private label products but also with Nicols products for Export customers. In Nicols the important is the the family spirit, the transparence and the open mind. We are free to be ourselves and to contribute with our qualities and also differences to build a human real and authentic Company.
I started my career in Nicols as Accounting assistant. Thanks to all kind people in Nicols, I could learn many things, refine my skills and improve my work day after day. After few satisfying months as an assistant, Nicols gave me the chance to improve my skills and myself as A/P & Treasury specialist. This position gives me the opportunity to work with many people that are closely linked to my job or not, inside or outside the firm. I also dedicate my success story to all my friendly colleagues that make Nicols a family. And I like it!
My career in Nicols began as a Laboratory Technician in Air Fresheners, where I had to create formulas and improve existing ones. This is a really interesting part in my job as Formulation is the core of our R&D Department. Then I moved into the Wiping & Scouring category, where I had to make samples and multiple type of tests of characterization of raw material and sponges. All this gathering of knowledge allowed me to get my current position as R&D Specialist, where I lead Projects concerning sponges but also provide sometimes a scientific support on various topics in the company.
I joined Nicols in 2004, as fresh graduate. Over the years I have witnessed the growth of the company and at the same time I’ve developed myself as a professional in FMCG industry. My adventure began in Quality department where I was able to learn and implement mature Quality systems derived from global company (P&G) as a partner of Nicols at that time. I was successively promoted and my work was multi-threaded. From role of Quality Manager I moved to Production department to manage day to day activities and lead various investment and cost-saving projects. After 7 years I again changed scope of duties and started to work as Operational Controller combined with role of Business Process Owner supervising Dynamics 365 implementation in planning and production process. It was a great experience to understand all interactions between operational and financial areas and co-create the new business environment from scratch. Currently I am leading also Change Management Committee focused on the development and best use of the ERP/BI systems. In Nicols I appreciate the possibility of multidisciplinary work. I have always been inspired by tasks aimed at increasing efficiency. A year without an improvement would be a lost year.