- Olivela is a luxury retailer that, for every designer item sold, donates a portion of its proceeds to children in need.
- It was founded in 2017 by philanthropist Stacey Boyd , who has also served as a consultant for the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the World Economic Forum , Forbes previously reported .
- Since its founding, the retailer has partnered with Malala Fund and Too Young to Wed , an organization working to end child marriages. Both charities see proceeds from the retailer.
- In an interview with Business Insider, Olivela's Chief Experience Officer Matthew Alland talks about the company's beginnings and where it hopes to take its philanthropic clothing endeavors next.
- This is part of Business Insider's " The Style Series "highlighting fashion entrepreneurs and businesses across the globe.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The Style Series: Jennifer Aniston and Selena Gomez both partnered with this luxury retailer that helps underprivileged girls all around the world
Courtesy of Boston Seaport
Luxury retailer Olivela is all about candor. It will be the first to let you know that a pair of $955 Valentino rockstud slingback pumps will fund 55 days of school for a child in need, or that $32,000 Mimi So couture oval diamond lula hoops can provide 1,066 days of schooling.
At the same time, those running the innovative company know that customers often want to splurge, so they've come to a solution. For every designer item purchased from Olivela, the company has promised to donate 20% of its proceeds to various charities around the world, each dedicated to sending underprivileged girls to school.
In an interview with Business Insider, Olivela Chief Experience Officer Matthew Alland talks about the company's beginnings and his hopes for its future.
"[Founder] Stacey Boyd went on a trip with [activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate] Malala Yousafzai . "
When [Boyd] came back, she called 12 designers, from Givenchy to Jimmy Choo, and all 12 actually said yes [to working with her] right away. Olivela started with those 12 brands, but we're now up to over 300 brands in just two years.
"Olivela stands for 'Olive ,' which represents strength and wisdom, and 'Vela,' which is Latin for the sail on a ship."
Put together, we send girls on their journey to set their own path forward. The founding of the company was all about educating girls, especially the most at-risk youth around the world. So the name is all about giving girls the strength and the wisdom to go out and create their own path to success.
"Prior to Olivela, I was the managing director of a boutique fashion advertising agency."
[Boyd] came to me when I was running that agency and asked me to help her launch Olivela in July 2017. And then I [became] so passionate about the company and I was really passionate about working with Stacey and about what we were doing that I decided to join as what we call the "chief experience officer."
"My background is in advertising specifically, digital advertising."
We have really taken that on as a big piece of our strategy. For example, our first physical store that we launched, within that store, technology and interactivity played a major role. The best example I can give you is within eight seconds of a customer swiping their credit card after making a purchase in Nantucket, our whole wall changes and it would say 'thank you Samantha, you just sent a girl to school for 67 days.'
"I do not separate technology from retail."
We are moving and are in the age of experiences, whether we talk about brick-or-mortar or whether we talk about online. It's all about how the customer is experiencing the brand. So we started out in 2017 as a digitally native brand, online only. And then when I joined, Stacey and I thought, 'Well, how would our message and our mission resonate in the physical space?' So we decided to open up a pop-up.
"I loved the challenge of having to create a tiny home [at our pop up at The Current at Boston Seaport ]."
All of our other spaces are about a thousand square feet. And this was an opportunity to create a very curated space in a location with the exact demographic of professionals and residents who would buy our luxury products and our luxury items at the exact right time of the year.
"There is a place for physical retail, but it has to be about the experience."
We need to be offering customers an experience, not just a place to go shopping and pick up products. I think some of the greatest copmanies doing this are [direct to consumer] brands like Casper, Away, and Warby Parker .
"Instagram is our number one platform."
We are getting much more involved with Instagram, especially when we launched our campaign, the $1 million pledge on November 7. All of our celebrity partners from Selena Gomez to Jennifer Aniston to Katie Couric they all launched on Instagram for us. That platform is quite significant, as it reaches the demographic that we want to be marketing to.
"We have evolved and matured and grown our partnerships significantly since the founding."
We did start with the Malala Fund , and last year we got very involved with CARE . And we've specifically focused on Syrian refugees ... As we become more successful and people become more interested, we are expanding our reach to other nonprofits and other philanthropic causes.
In 2018, we sent 30 girls to school with CARE; this year, our goal is 102.
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