Meet Stacey Boyd, founder of Olivela – the luxury fashion retail concept that has doing good built into every transaction. The company launched with just 12 brands and today, it has over 400 on board. How does it work? 20% of every purchase made on the site supports Olivela’s charitable partners, including Creative Action. Here we caught up with her to find out more.
What inspired you to start Olivela?
The idea for Olivela started two years ago when I was at a refugee camp with Malala Yousafzai. I had this incredible moment where I was taking pictures of Malala and this young group of women who were part of the distant learning programs. I realized two things: firstly, that talents are equally distributed but opportunity is not and secondly, that just a fraction of the cost of the bag I was carrying could send a girl to school for a year.
That is a moment you can’t quite un-see once you’ve seen it. When I returned home, I talked to a number of top luxury brands about creating a luxury platform where doing good goes into every purchase – and Olivela was born.
Which charity partners do you work with?
We’re so proud to partner with Creative Action, as well as organizations such as CARE and Malala Fund – all of which are thoroughly committed to empowering youth. We ensure that our cause partners are committed to transparency and that it’s the children who receive the greatest benefit from donations.
What sort of impact has Olivela made so far?
One example is the ‘Creating Choices’ program we launched with CARE; a campaign to fund education for young women—specifically Syrian refugees—living in Jordan. Our customers have already funded more than 9,500 days of school for these children who are identified by CARE to be at high risk of child marriage. That’s the equivalent of a full year of schooling for 31 girls. Since launch, we have sent girls to school for over 34,865 days, who otherwise would not have had the opportunity.
What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome when starting Olivela?
I didn’t know how the designers would respond to the idea. Would they welcome a new retail channel and be inspired by the philanthropic model? I had heard from many people that on-boarding brands would be the one of the biggest challenges. I reached out to a dozen at first—and every single one said yes. We now have over 400 of the world’s very best luxury fashion and beauty brands available to our shopper.
What has surprised you the most since launching Olivela?
It’s the absolute embrace of the idea, by both luxury brands and our shoppers. The Olivela customer is thrilled to add depth and impact to her retail experience – providing schooling and opportunities to young women, simply by purchasing what she loves.
Where do you see Olivela in five years?
We’ve opened stores in Nantucket and Aspen, and plan to open more boutiques in the coming years. We are also excited about extending Olivela with more brands and categories, including home and menswear, and of course, evolving the cause partnerships. Our aim is to fulfill our promise to make Olivela the ultimate philanthropic retail destination.