INTERVIEW: Jacob Kilsgaard #KILSGAARD
Tell us about one of your favorite quotes.
In these social media times, you often see some hipster, self-appointed opinion maker posting "big words" from big men or women's success diaries and often I want to comment: "well, easier said than done genius"...
However, one I like and it goes: "Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life." This particular one, I strive to live by. I believe that one should live life to the fullest and not measure success by looking at your bank account or in your garage, but instead look at the people surrounding you. Seek to feel happy and satisfied everyday instead of waiting to win the lottery or to retire.
Being happy every day is impossible. Being happy without some sort of financial stability, is impossible as well, I believe.
Another one of my favorites goes: "Money does not equal happiness, but it is a lot more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle." It is extremely funny and also a little true; money = some kind of freedom. And to be truly content, you have to feel free.
And remember: "Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but neither does milk..." - you can quote me on that :-)
One thing you'd like improved in the optical industry. Why?
The optical education schools worldwide, should teach their students about design and sales. The majority of my time, is spent trying to separate my brand from our colleagues/competition and develop our concept. We wish to stand out of the crowd as much as possible, without making too much noise. It is super difficult, because we all make the same product: 1 front with 2 sides.
We want our customers to be able, to spot the small details in design, manufacturing method and overall DNA. But it is extremely difficult without some kind of practical training behind. My philosophy is that every part of the industry, would enjoy themselves a lot more, knowing more about - especially - our part of the industry; design, material, branding, storytelling and such. And I am confident it would improve the end-user experience in the shops worldwide, if they knew just a little more about why they pay big bucks, for 1 front and 2 sides. I am not trying to step on toes, because luckily our business is populated by skilled and intelligent people, but widening education, just a little, on design and sales/marketing, would benefit everyone in the industry.
Travel - where you going? Who are you bringing?
Me and Louise move to southern Europe. When the kids have left the nest, we sell everything we own and buy a huge country house in Italy or France. The kids come see us often and stay for longer periods of time. They come to get spoiled and reenergize. They bring their kids and husbands and friends. We make new friends near, locals from our new surroundings. Our old friends form around the world come see us as often as they want.
We just came back from vacation on the Amalfi Coast. It only left me counting the days until I can go back.
What optician or optical do you admire. Why?
Our dear friends from the Poul Stig shops in Copenhagen, have managed to take over an illustrious old shop and transform it into a brand and a concept, I have rarely seen in any business. Each shop is individually designed from ground and up. The selection of brands is carefully selected in very close collaboration with the suppliers and the result is a unique customer experience and a name known many places in the world. We have had the honor of doing several collaborations with them under the name - Poul Stig by Kilsgaard - and we hope to do many more.
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