In this Part 2, the true antagonists of the story come to light, compounding the red flags mentioned earlier and leading to the eventual downfall of Verse Us. If you thought Bryan at Fancy was bad, brace yourself for the incompetence and corruption of Derek, the CEO, and his sidekick, the COO. Unlike Bryan, who was merely incompetent, Derek and the COO displayed a complete lack of skills and moral integrity. This chapter will delve into the tale of bribery, blackmail, whistleblowing, and how it eventually entangled both the SEC and FBI.
Drawing from my past experience with Annie and her company, I felt confident that I could take Four Fragrances to market with wild success, especially with some disposable time on my hands and more expertise under my belt. Partnering with one of my personal heroes and the values of their brand made a lot of sense to me. It felt like a spiritual awakening, almost as if it was meant to mark the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter. As I closed in on a buyer for our company, I saw an opportunity to start exploring a career change and potentially build Four Fragrances into the next great brand for my future. Little did I know how wrong I was.