As a child, I really loved it. All those samples of creams, rouges, lipsticks et cetera, sent by post in a little box. Yves Rocher… forty years later, I live only 50 kilometres from the birthplace – La Gacilly – of the founder and owner of the cosmetics company of Yves Rocher.
What can I tell you about this man? Well, let’s take you back to 1959. The young Yves wishes to help his region; there is a lot of unemployment. Young people are leaving for the city. Yves has a splendid idea. It is his intention to develop quality cosmetic products based on ingredients from plants. So, from idea to reality… he develops his first cream based on celandine. A cream you can use if you suffer from haemorrhoids. Yves sells his products through mail order. In this way the villagers have the opportunity to share in his success. And yes, Yves’ business is really successful. After a while he decides to open a store in Paris. We are talking about the year 1969. Yves wishes to be closer to his customers. This appears to be a good choice. A year later Yves opens his first franchise store in Grenoble. Today there are 1600 stores worldwide. Yves died on Boxing Day 2009. Nowadays his company is still a real family business.
The Rocher family is also the initiator of the famous photography festival of La Gacilly. Every year the town is full of pictures by French photographers. You can see pictures against facades of houses, in parks and gardens. It’s all in the open air. More than 250,000 visitors come to this outdoor photo festival every year. During these days you can also take a look in the studios of various artists from La Gacilly. If you have had enough of art, then there is always the botanical garden of Yves Rocher. This garden is truly an idyllic spot with lots of bamboo. Moreover it’s also very interesting to pay a visit to the plant.
The postman rings the bell. It is 1970. I almost pull the little box from my mother’s hands. Yves Rocher! I run to my room. Open the package and put all the samples on my dressing table like a real beautician. Now I have to smile at this memory. Nowadays I use any makeup or creams. Pure nature is my slogan. Of course that was also the starting point for Yves Rocher. More or less. I see him smiling in his grave: ‘me, a simple Breton guy has done it!’