A seed was sown
An unexpected conversation
Many years ago, when living in Paris, on my way home after having spent the evening with some friends, I met someone who would, as it turned out, make an unexpected impact on me. By the mere look at him it was obvious that he lived an uneasy life on the streets; eating whatever, and whenever, it was offered, sleeping wherever there was shelter to be found. He addressed me, and immediately I was struck by his eloquence. As it happened, we sat down on a bench, it was just outside the Gare St Lazare, and started talking. And we talked for hours.
He told me that he had once lived a good life with his family, that garden architecture had been his profession and that he had loved creating some kind of order in a seemingly chaotic nature. Somewhere on the road things had gone terribly wrong and he had lost it all. This was a long time ago, but I could see the sorrow in his eyes as he continued telling me his story, almost as if it all had happened just a few days earlier. At the time it just felt so natural to sit there beside him; a young man listening to the wisdom of an elderly gentleman, even though with a somewhat rough appearance. Throughout our conversation, I remember noticing an oddity that caught my attention - not even once did he draw a single puff from the cigarette hanging loosely in the corner of his mouth, and that he replaced them at a constant pace after they had gone out, one after the other. As time went by, he steered our conversation onto a philosophical path, and in particular what made man great.
This was my very first lesson in altruism.
He concluded it all by telling me about an excentric old man, Nikolaj Redmayne, whom he had once worked for in a garden project, way back in the late 1960's. The morning sun rose and I realized that I had better be on my way home. He did not ask me for money, nor for anything else for that matter - he just wanted to share his story with me. I for one did not have much to share with him, but to make his day a little bit easier, I offered him a 200 francs bill; all I had as it were. He thanked me for it and I felt good inside and enlightened and a little bit wiser.
I was inspired.
And now, many years later, this inspiration has finally turned into something substantial.
Nikolaj Redmayne in his early years (as we imagine him.....)
Being the only child of an English aristocrat and a Russian ballerina, during the last and the first decade of each side of the 20th century, Nikolaj had been brought up in the wealthy 8th arrondissement in Paris, only a stone’s throw from the peaceful and soothing Parc Monceau. Life had been good to him and he had always been surrounded by high society, never being short of anything; private school in Switzerland and skiing in the Alps, holidays in Cannes and weekends in Paris and London.
Nikolaj received his diploma in construction engineering and later headed railroad projects in Africa and India. On his many journeys to far away geographies he witnessed wrong doings and injustice, and therefore decided to do good with his earned as well as inherited fortune.
Towards the end of his days, like many before him, Nikolaj had come to reflect upon his doings and achievements. What had been the purpose of everything? What had he achieved? What good did he ever do for his fellow man? Many a question came to life in his mind, most of which he was proud to conclude that he had done whatever possible.
And yet, there was one question that kept repeating itself, almost with the persistency of a mill wheel grinding the seeds over and over and over again. How much money does a man really need - really? And what good did a huge pile of dollar bills in the bank ever do to humanity?
This very question sparked our business idea!
And, we have added another dimension - modern age technology to serve man in a greater sense, to keep the climarte cool and to preserve our nature, and of course super ingenious in its core but just as super easy to use?
doesn’t begin with a breathtaking episode of us being hunted by killer whales in the Pacific Ocean and then, by a miracle, just before the transformation into a meal stuffed with protein, being saved by an Indonesian fisherman wearing a cool wrist watch making us think about a supersonic idea to be realized in the outer space……
Our story begins with ourselves having a profound desire to do good; by bringing affordable and timeless watch wear to our customers whilst at the same time adding true Corporate Social Responsibility as a vital part of our very business idea.
To actively involve our customers in the efforts to make everyday life better for our fellow man in developing countries who need it the most as well as caring for the climate and our environment, is a conscious act on our behalf – we want our customers to be our companions on this journey to make a difference in time!
Nikolaj Redmayne offers a range of fashionable, affordable and timeless unisex wrist watches. Our customers all have an interest in fashionable accessories and an expressed willingness to do good by being an active part in a vanguard of altruistic projects.
This is how we stand out from our competitors.