The Bite Magazine - Spring/Summer 2022 - Issue 31

bitebookreview denied but persevered with the help of Greek friends, who had moved to the country before him, and an estranged wife's parents. Panos’ passion for helping people in prisons, care homes or schools is heartwarming. His alternative methods included holding an older person’s hand and listening to their stories rather than reading the news- papers to them. He worked with low-grade students, addressed their issues, and stood up to a dangerous criminal in the prison where he worked as a guard. When someone told him something could not be done, Panos often proved them wrong and presented a solution. A forward-thinking man, Panos never worried about a business plan or if he had enough start-up capital; he did the opposite and took calculated risks. “No risks, no history.” When he was young, helping to build a wall, his father said, “Today, our neighbour should have been here to help me, but changed his mind at the last minute. Remember one thing in life: never wait for someone else to solve your problems. Your life is in your hands. Do not expect solutions from someone else.” Panos provides a lot of advice from his experiences working in different fields. When he worked for the shipping company at age 19, he discovered the supervi- sor was making money on the black market by stealing alcohol from the company and sharing the proceeds with the other staff. Years later, the company discov- ered there had been large staff thefts that accounted for most of its turnover. "It's a lesson for all businesses: don't let the rot set in, because when it does, it will surely spread.” He also suggests doing something that gives you joy. “Money comes when we do the things we love because they are the right things. We have to choose if we are to do the things we love or the things we should.” After starting his small collection for his brand Panos Empo- rio and doing market research on what women thought of swimwear, he said, “I knew the market would open to me if I listened, and responded, and gave people what they dreamed of. No one else at that time had listened.” With a marketing budget close to zero, Panos relied on continuous education, taking short courses to master additional aspects of the business, stay on top of things, and get a leg up on the competition. “My business philosophy was that I should lead and always be in first place.” He appreciated honesty and simplicity, which are essential in business relationships and accepting who you are. “Honest business people will always love honest partners and see great value in helping you develop your business.” In the book, readers are treated to colour and black and white photographs of him and his family, such as Panos working as a corrections guard and teacher, overseeing production and fittings in the factory for his brand, the swimwear shots and celebrating their tenth anniversary at a show in 1996. He is also captured shaking hands with the Greek President, Karolos Papoulias, in the presence of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf and emerg- ing out of a limousine to celebrate 25 years of Panos Emporio. The founder’s success with securing the most talked- about woman in Sweden, Jannike Björling, tennis star Björn Borg’s ex-girlfriend and the almost swimwear photoshoot with Whitney Houston is captured here. His friendship with Hermes CEO Jean-Louis and his wife Rena and an audience with King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, who were exiled after the monarchy was abolished in 1973, show the extent of his circle. There is so much valuable information, events, person- al and dangerous encounters, and heartwarming mo- ments; too numerous to mention in this review. Panos: My Life, My Odyssey is a highly pleasurable read; with the most minute details and human endeavours, you virtually know everything you need about Panos Papa- dopoulos. He allows the reader into his intimate space with the good and ugly and leaves nothing unturned. Panos: My Life, My Odyssey by Panos Papadopoulos with Jack Yan, founder and publisher of Lucire, is pub- lished by LID Publishing and available online at LID Publishing, Amazon, WHSmith and other participat- ing retailers.