Based in Miami, FL, and born and raised in Paris, France, Philippe Vasilescu has over ten years of experience in fine wine & spirits, event management, experiential marketing, and public relations with some of the most prestigious French brands. He has hosted over seven hundred luxury tasting events in 7 countries within the USA, Europe, and Southeast Asia since 2013.
From 2015 to 2020, Philippe was the Brand Ambassador for the prestigious LOUIS XIII Cognac de Remy Martin.
In February 2021, Philippe invested in CellArt and became Managing Partner for the US and The Caribbean.
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Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Philippe Vasilescu: At 34 years old, I hold a Master in Management with an associate degree, have 10 years of experience in 7 different countries in both corporate and startups worlds.
As of today, I have sold millions of dollars of fine wine & spirits and wine spaces to aficionados and collectors through my different businesses.
Throughout the beginning of my career, I have hosted over 500 luxury events and now directly manage a database of over 1,200 private clients with a net worth > 10M$.
I am a self-made person. Throughout my career, I have always been striving to do more and ask for more and this is what motivates me. While some others have their satisfaction with the work done, I take my satisfaction for receiving more and more. It is essential for me to also learn and diversify my skills since there is no limit to how much you can learn and how skills combine themselves.
I have never been a 9 to 5 person. I do not like being told what to do and I want to do what I am truly passionate about. I can really say this: after that, I worked many years under hierarchy and felt that I was limited to contributing to the success of a brand.
I do live to work but work with passion and with a strive of becoming wealthier year after year. I also want to reserve a special part of it to help the less fortunate and guide others to have the same success that I have.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Philippe Vasilescu: I am the first generation of French, born from a Romanian immigrant dad and French native mother. I didn’t grow up in a world of luxury but had to learn all about it to create my own path. With this education, I have learned not to be materialistic and protective with the very little that I had even though I was willing to share with the ones that I consider would deserve it.
For entrepreneurs, financial hardship, in the beginning, is always a big challenge. But I have decided not to feel afraid and didn’t hesitate to invest all my savings since I knew I had to trust the process and things will start to pay off.
The other challenge was also a lot of disappointment from people that offered their help prior to me starting my own venture and who disappeared the day I came back to their offer to help. It reminded me that you cannot count better than yourself!
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. What’s the worst advice you received?
Philippe Vasilescu: A lot of people are sometimes good at giving you their best advice but everybody is different. Probably the worst one has always been to stick to one industry in order to grow a career. I do not think that is true.
All of my businesses require extensive experience in different industries, from importers to retail to distributors to fine dining and events services. It is very important to diversify experience in order to understand where there is a need so the best advice is to not hesitate to spend a little time everywhere which will help you to strongly solidify your experience and credibility.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Philippe Vasilescu: A little of both! But overall, 2020 and the worldwide pandemic opened my eyes to the growing demand for trusted and curated services and experiences for collectors, investors, and aficionados all over the world. The most challenging part has to try to offer similar online experiences to my clients. Was it better? I don’t think human interaction is necessary. Was it different and opened a new way to communicate closer to people? Absolutely. And we were able to constantly reimagine our offers and I know it was appreciated by all of them.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out from the competition?
Philippe Vasilescu: Throughout my career, I have always been striving to do more and ask for more and this is what motivates me. While some others have their satisfaction with the work done, I take my satisfaction for receiving more and more. It is essential for me to also learn and diversify my skills since there is no limit to how much you can learn and how skills combine themselves. At Finest + Bond, we love what we do and are legitimate in the business. We never tried to rush to build the business and the personal relationships. We also offer truly personalized service and constantly offer the finest expertise available whatever the status of our client is.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Philippe Vasilescu: First, everything takes time. If you are in a rush, you will never be able to do something solid. In the same way, business and personal relationships take time to construct so you have to be extremely patient and face a lot of pushback.
Then, during most of the business opportunities I had, I was not able to meet the main decision-maker and therefore I had to find my own strategy to succeed to be in front.
Finally, with my HNWI clients, I have the obligation to deliver very high-quality standards. A lot of time, we need to rely on third parties, especially for the luxury events that I have been hosting and I found myself in many situations where I had to handle things myself to make sure they will be at the level I wanted.
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Philippe Vasilescu: I have 10 years of experience in fine wine and spirits, luxury events, and public relations and been fortunate enough to collaborate with prestigious brands, fine dining & hospitality, and renowned international luxury hotels and resorts. During all my different positions, I have met a lot of very influential persons that I convinced to do business with me. It took me time to create a relationship with them but as soon as the trust was established, they opened their own network which helped me to generate more and more business. It all comes back to the constituency of my brand and the image I always wanted to reflect.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Philippe Vasilescu: I am a self-made person. Throughout my career, I have always been striving to do more and ask for more and this is what motivates me. While some others have their satisfaction with the work done, I take my satisfaction for receiving more and more. It is essential for me to also learn and diversify my skills since there is no limit to how much you can learn and how skills combine themselves.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Philippe Vasilescu: I know the time is hard and uncertain and I am sure it can look like Everest to climb and it may look scary. But step back, there is no ideal situation to start. Do not trust what you see or hear about successful people, you do not know what was the reality and what they had to endure to achieve where they are. Also, do not wait to start, just start.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Philippe Vasilescu: It takes not only patience but countless business hours and sleepless nights to find solutions to obstacles. When a situation is not moving, something is probably wrong and you always need to find what’s blocking it in order for you to eliminate it and pursue your goal.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Philippe Vasilescu for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Philippe Vasilescu or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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