This must be a great news for any Job-aspiring post-graduate. But Syed seemed so irritated; I felt the company should sue him right away!
I understand his reaction. All he ever wanted is to start PhD in one of the renowned fancy Universities after finishing the Master’s in Textiles from Hochschule Niederrhein. A job was never the plan what he had in mind. But soon after a year of post-grad we both realized, obtaining a PhD funding is not going to be a piece of cake; especially in Europe. What else a newly married couple could look for rather than a typical 9-5 Job?!
To be honest, I could never imagine myself sitting on a chair for 6-7 hours, working with immense time-pressure; that also- under someone else. I had a brief experience of co-founding and handling an online T-Shirt store during my bachelor’s. That whole thing was mere a hobby, but deep inside I kept cherishing a dream of owning a real clothing brand someday, in distant future!
Even though Syed had a clear aspiration for PhD, he always remained very positive about this boundless and mad imagination of mine! Be it out of blind love or be it his silent affinity towards being self-employed, Syed was happy with the idea of making a draft business plan and we kept discussing about different Pros and cons, quite often. There was always this one Monster that we couldn’t defeat easily! Starting a Business in Germany! The last time we checked- Aladdin had released the Genie from the Lamp and without a Genie, it seemed almost impossible for us to even think about starting a business on our own, in this foreign country!
Anyways, the day arrived when Syed had to travel almost 300 kilometers to attend this new interview. In the evening, he returned exhausted; looked torn-apart from inside out. ‘I didn’t feel like attending any more of it! Could we do something else, please?’ He explained what has happened the whole day and the summary is: he was selected for the second round but didn’t want to continue!
Should I be astonished? Or may be angry? It was an overwhelming situation and I was feeling indifferent straight from the beginning.
I was writing my Master’s thesis at that time and knew the same phase of exhaustion is waiting for me afterwards. May be it was just the right time to take a risk and give the dream of starting our own retail brand a head-start? I mean, why not? We have nothing to lose at this point. Except, of course, a huge amount of money!
We started to dig in and act on the thought that had crossed our minds. We discussed about the pros and cons and as I have mentioned already, money was never the only thing we were to worry about.
We had our draft business plan in hand which needed to be shined up, followed by financial plans, profitability forecast, finding a suitable lawyer, creating a business contract and with all these things we needed to apply for a Business visa.
Alongside the pressure of bureaucratic documents, I had to finish the thesis to complete my Master’s studies with a nail-biting oral examination! So, we slowly carried on the paper works for business and within a month or so, I got my master’s degree in hand and also, we were ready with the bunch of papers to apply for the visa.
On 09.08.2018, we got our visas and from that time on- ‘Cosmic Hippos’, our very own retail brand; the dream that we have had together- came to live!
We knew the journey that we started would never be easy; we will have ups and downs and we’ll shutter into thousand pieces every now and then. But we always had hope and faith on our determination.
Our website was finally ‘live’ on 12.07.2019 and this journey of 11 months was full of excitement and anxiety. It was like having a baby after 11 months of utmost complications! Well, I’ll write about that some other time!
Till then, Stay healthy, Stay fit and Buy online!!