VKE - Verband der Vertriebsfirmen Kosmetischer Erzeugnisse e.V.

Aleksandra Sourek, Geschäftsführerin a Novation cosmetics GmbH (english version)

VKE – Personality Fragebogen

Aleksandra Sourek, Fotocredit: Maurice D. Lohrke

How long have you been in the beauty industry and in which functions have you been active?

My passion for cosmetics has always been there. When I was 13 years old my best friend and I would mix creams in the kitchen, add nuances of scent and bottled them and then sold them at Camden Market in London at the weekends. My first footsteps in sales.

This world fascinated me incredibly and I always wished I could be a part of it.

At the age of 16, I had my first contact with Douglas. First, I wrapped Christmas parcels - the ones with the famous Douglas bow - and then I actively worked on Saturdays.

After a short detour into the home textiles sector, I had my first start in cosmetic field sales as a beauty consultant in my early 20s.

After a successful period as a fieldservice sales manager, I then "signed on" on board the AIDA fleet and first took on the position of SHOP and later SPA Manager.

Back on land, I again took on a position as regional sales manager and after two years I found my way to aNovation cosmetics GmbH. First as regional sales manager and then as CEO.

What was your original career aspiration? If it was something other than working in beauty: Is it a pity that nothing came of it?

Paediatrician. But I am not sad that I did not pursue this wish.

Your favourite product?

This is really very difficult to answer, because there are so many great products. Unfortunately, there is no ONE AND ONLY. But I must confess that these beauties are always in my bathroom: Aloe Vera Gel by St Barth, Tissue Activating Serum by MBR, and lip care by La Mer. And after a busy day, I love Philip B's Peppermint Avocado Shampoo in the evening, which not only revitalises my scalp, but me too.

Your main trait?

Fairness and loyalty.

Your motto in life?

Hard work, willpower & dedication.

Are there mistakes you forgive?

Yes (almost) always, because only through mistakes can we learn together and become more courageous in everyday life. Besides, it doesn't help creativity if you are afraid of making mistakes. Only whilst asleep we are all free of mistakes.

Where would you like to live?

I really like living in NRW. My second home is London, because that's where I grew up. But I'm also always drawn to Calabria, maybe a nice retirement home someday? Who knows ...

With which (historical) person would you like to discuss life (on the beach, in a bar, at home...)?/h3>

With Coco Chanel at 31 rue Cambon.

Which business leader do you admire?

Estée Lauder! A cosmetics entrepreneur who worked her way up from the simplest of beginnings and left behind a billion-dollar company that made her name known worldwide. Her credo "Beauty is an attitude" hangs framed in my office. A terrific woman.

Where do you see the beauty industry and its partners in 10 years?

There has never been such an increase in change and adaptation as in the last 2.5 years. It's really hard to say what will be in 10 years ... One thing is definitely certain, it's an industry that is not necessary for survival, but makes life a lot more beautiful. Moreover, it has already overcome many crises. That is why I am convinced that the beauty industry will stabilize again. Will online trade gain the upper hand someday? - I don't know and I hope not.

I believe & trust strongly in the in the brick and morter trade, because the industry lives on experiences, olfactory journeys, storytelling, feeling and experiencing the individual beauty products. And of course, personal encounters and the exchange of knowledge and expertise. Personally, online retail cannot give me all this.