The platform donates 20 percent of its sales to funds for girls' education, against child marriage
A clothing retailer that combines luxury fashion and doing good, Olivela, is opening its second brick-and-mortar boutique early this month in its mission to make education accessible to girls in underdeveloped regions of the world.
What launched as an online shopping platform, which gave 20 percent of each purchase to funds helping girls go to school in developing nations, is expanding its physical presence in the U.S. before it goes global.
Olivela’s new boutique will hold its opening on Dec. 5, ahead of winter holidays, in the heart of Aspen’s shopping district.
The store will feature cutting-edge technology, the company’s chief experience officer, Matthew Alland, said in an interview with VatorNews.
Olivela wants to bring its customers the experience of impacting the lives of girls in regions of the world where females are less respected, are sold off for marriage, and have no access to education. As a shopper pays for a purchase at Olivela’s boutique, a screen would show how many days of school that customer has just paid for, Alland said.
Alland also noted the products at the store will have interactive videos featuring information on the designers, picks by the chief merchant, and other perks.
Olivela has donated nearly 71,000 days of school to girls worldwide since its launch in early 2017, according to a statement on its website Monday.
The mission-driven startup was founded by Stacey Boyd, a school principal, serial entrepreneur, and an activist in the education space, after she met with Malala Yousafzai, world-famous Pakistani activist for girls’ education and a Nobel Prize laureate. Together, they visited refugee camps in Kenya and Rwanda, a trip during which Boyd realized that for a fraction of the cost of her bag she could provide a year of school to a group of girls.
By merging high fashion and philanthropy on Olivela, Boyd involved the more privileged population in her movement for girls’ education and against child marriage. She has attracted more than 250 brands to Olivela, according to Alland, among which are Victoria Beckham, Givenchy, goop, kWIT, Roberto Coin, Zoë Chicco, and Christian Louboutin.
A portion of Olivela’s proceeds go to its partner organizations: Malala Fund, which focuses on Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Turkey, Nigeria, and Pakistan, Too Young to Wed, which works to end child marriage, and a unit of CARE, which works with Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Asked what excites him most about his work at Olivela, Alland, who joined the company in February, said: “It’s a very unique organization and I truly believe in the mission. You actually have a true impact on people’s lives.”
Alland also said he enjoyed setting up Olivela’s first brick-and-mortar boutique in Nantucket this summer.
“It’s been really amazing to take the online version of Olivela and bring it to life in an offline retail experiential form.”
Among the most popular products on Olivela in November have been winter clothes by Apparis, beauty products by goop, and jewelry by kWIT, among others.
Looking forward, Alland said the company will continue its expansion and in the long-term plans to sell internationally, as well as add menswear to its products.
Olivela has recently launched a stylist program where stylists work one-on-one with shoppers and help select products. In 2019, the company also plans to launch stylist showrooms.
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It's really simple. You shop, we donate 20% of the proceeds of every purchase directly to one of our cause partners: CARE, the Malala Fund, or Too Young to Wed, so that girls in underdeveloped regions of the world can go to school.
Joined Vator onMatthew Alland is the Chief Experience Officer at Olivela, a luxury fashion platform that offers unique styles from the world's best designers with a substantial portion of each sale directly benefiting the education of girls worldwide.