Pursuing Excellence

Hello again, I’ve missed you all!

I haven't posted recently due to some wonderful (unexpected!) news and I can't wait to share them with you. Lately I was thinking about the power of dreams versus the power of reality. How does one go, from a kitchen to the Pursuit of Excellence? You first have to dream it, people say and that is half the journey. That one single step of dreaming of what could be is enough to get you surprisingly far, yet so many people are afraid to dream.

I dreamt too, an ambitious but straightforward dream: I wanted to create a brand of cosmetics, proudly made in Cyprus, unparalleled to any other Cypriot brand existing in the past or present. Uncompromised quality, vintage luxury and authenticity, but, like the scents that captivated my imagination during my childhood, I dreamt of creating cosmetics so distinctively scented that would have the power to invoke vivid memories. On I went to create my cosmetics, developed very specific scents and brought the challenge of bottling memories to the table. Every product started from a dream before it was developed. Every label imagined, before it was designed and created.

Dream Big Hermann Gourmet Cosmetics

“What it easy?”, people have asked me. Hell no!
“Was it expensive to develop a brand?”, people ask. “Yes, of course, emotionally and physically speaking,” I reply.
“Was it worth it?” Absolutely!
“Was it impossible?” I ask you in return.

​In hindsight, it obviously wasn’t impossible in the literal sense, because here we are. If I had a cent for every time a “reality obstacle” was pointed out to me or popped up at the worst possible moment, I would have been wealthy enough to retire early (or, more probably, I would have developed more cosmetic lines). I was told how an “unimaginable” amount of money is needed to start and develop a new business. “A mountain” of information, knowledge, experience and know-how was essential before a single person could even begin to dream of creating a brand, much less dare reach out to international markets.

The people around me were supportive enough, trying to be “realistic”, to help HGC grow, help me achieve my dream. But “realism” can be and often is, not exactly “realistic”. Reality is a perception, an amalgam of previous experience, accumulated knowledge, learning from past mistakes, yet as we are taught in the business world, the past is not always the best place to seek potential solutions for the future. The world around us is dynamic, the past and present don’t have the same circumstances. Any person working in business can tell you that the choice towards pursuing or rejecting an investment can legitimately be based on less tangible criteria, such as gut feelings and patience.

Hermann Gourmet Cosmetics in the Pursuit of Excellence - Rolls-Royce

I didn’t imagine the brand would grow so quickly. In the beginning, I remember not feeling fear, I felt excitement and nothing much else really. As things started to grow to an unimaginable scale, suddenly everything felt so much bigger than me and then I started feeling uncertain… What if we couldn’t grow any further from here? Then all of a sudden, we got a phone call from the official Rolls-Royce Club, announcing to us that we had been selected as “Partners of Choice” to be featured in the R.R.E.C. publication of 2018 entitled “The Pursuit of Excellence”. A handful of brands are selected from all over the world each year to receive this distinction as representative of excellence, luxury and elegance and we are the first Cypriot brand to receive it! The whole team was excited, the public embraced our achievement and I still can’t believe it.

Hermann Gourmet Cosmetics Team - Rolls-Royce Ceremony

(You can read the full story here.)

Dare to Dream and the whole world will Dream with you. Life works in strange ways, the wonderful system of human interaction may be chaotic but if there is one thing I learned, be not afraid. As one of my favourite authors described: When you dream of jumping out in the open, sometimes you wake up before you hit the ground and truly enough sometimes you crash. But sometimes you fly.
(Neil Gaiman, The Sandman)

Until next time,

Lots of love,
Philio Hermann

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