At the end of high school, not yet Gibus. I joined the ECV, a school of graphic arts in Bordeaux. I learned typography, illustration, visual identity, advertising and design. With a degree in hand, I started a career and successfully worked as a freelance art director for a Publicist in Bordeaux for five years. Something was not right - after I was experiencing some lack of dissatisfaction (what and why questions)? I could have not done much: accept the unfulfilling as a fatality and pretend to forget the questions. If I was good at creating, I am not good at pretending. So I spent one year traveling around the world to find answers. I was rich in encounters and experiences, as it should be – a desire for wood. Later I returned to what I know to do best: advertisement, for two years at Inoxia within the Darwin ecosystem. I spent hundreds of hours watching YouTube videos devoted to woodturning – madness indeed. Moving forward, I built myself a small workshop in planks at the bottom of my garden in Ambarès-et-Lagrave. Also on the side, I am a teacher in the art school that trained me: the ECV.
Relating to why I am currently called Gibus – a name of a creative craftsman. I am now an accomplished wood turner creating decorative objects, dishes, vases, boxes, lamps but I am still in search. I think that beauty is in the eye of the one who looks. Many think that it is rather in your hands. Each of my new pieces is presently on all social media networks. Each of these decorative objects are unique and will not be reproduced.
To discover my work, check out www.gibus.shop
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Fear is the enemy of creation, and creating is taking a risk. To accept a risk there is no real secret, it takes courage and tenacity and that means that it is necessary to work on oneself.
What books are you currently reading?
1984 - George Orwel
Know your classics ;)
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My entourage was not against it, he waited to see if I succeeded or if I failed. Whatever we say, we are very alone when we embark on this adventure. In spite of the support and the good words, it is you and only you that it concerns.
You would think, if we are to believe all the trendy motivational videos, that the biggest obstacle is yourself. I believe that we must dissect this idea. At first, when the step has not yet been taken to embark on an adventure, then yes, the obstacle is yourself. But at the precise moment when the decision is taken it ceases being you. Then the number of obstacles beyond our control continues to grow. Fortunately, the more we advance, the more confidence we gain to be able to overcome all this. For me the biggest difficulty has been finding buyers and collectors. I cannot say that this is an obstacle since it is a daily job to find new ways to access them.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Once again the most important factor is courage and tenacity. Do not let go, hold on, love what you do, believe!
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
In France it is very expensive to work (it's not a joke). It's something you do not know before you start, but it can put the company out of business even before you start earning a penny.
I would not have liked to know more, nor less. I did with what I knew was necessary for me, knowing more would have slowed me down no doubt. Caution and mistrust are two powerful brakes. One of my old teachers told me: "We don't decide on a turn, the turn is imposed on us, but on us to negotiate it". We negotiate it with the vehicle that is ours when the bend arrives.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Never lose what makes you tick. At some point when success and fame comes, greed will knock on the door as well. If you let this demon in, he will take what is in you and what makes you precious. Passion and love of money don't mix. Unless you have a passion for money, then there is nothing I can do for you.