If you're someone who looks to celebrities as a source of style inspiration and tips for where to shop, here's something to keep in mind: Jennifer Aniston loves Olivela. The luxury shopping destination, founded in 2017 by Stacey Boyd, offers a wide selection of designer clothing, must-have accessories, beauty products, and more. What makes it stand apart from the rest is that, for every item sold, 20% of the proceeds are donated to support its charitable partners, including (but not limited to) St. Jude, Save the Children, and Dress for Success.
Boyd came up with the idea for Olivela in a surprising place — Malala Yousafzai's 18th birthday celebration. After her first business venture, Schoola, raised close to a half-million dollars for the Malala Fund, she was invited to meet the activist and visit refugee camps in Kenya and Rwanda. Once she arrived, however, inspiration struck.
"I reached into my bag to take out my phone to take a picture of Malala and this incredible group of young women and I realized two things," she tells InStyle over Zoom. "First, that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. And second, that a fraction of the cost of my bag could have sent a girl to school for a year."
So, she set out to combine shopping with giving back, eventually launching Olivela, which has both a digital destination and various pop-up locations.
One of the great things about Olivela is that the company doesn't mark up its prices in order to get that 20% donation. You'll find the same Ganni dress or Moncler coat at this retailer that you would at others, being sold for the exact same price. So why are all these high-end brands agreeing to sacrifice that money?
"I think a lot of it is just the place that the world is in right now," says Boyd. "Everybody is looking to be a part of the solution, and when you have something that's really easy that allows brands to support, it's easy to get people on board. So, we've been really grateful for our brand partners and obviously, for our consumers. They could buy a similar item somewhere else, but choose to buy it on Olivela because we've got this very powerful component that allows them to nudge the world a little as they're doing it."
When it comes to Olivela's charity partners, Boyd explains that the company focuses on specific pillars. Right now, those include gender equality, girls' education, health and wellness, the refugee crisis, and climate action. St. Jude is one of Olivela's bigger partners, which is how the connection with Jennifer Aniston was made.
"Jennifer got really excited about the company, our mission, and who we are, which is pretty wonderful," she tells us. "We're really grateful for St. Jude for bringing Jennifer Aniston into the fold, along with Lucy Hale and others at St Jude. They've just been incredible advocates for the work that St Jude's is doing and, by extension, the work that Olivela is doing."
Peter Lobozzo Stacey Boyd and Lucy Hale talk at an Olivela event.
Aside from the charity aspect and celebrity ties, Olivela is a great place to turn to if you're hoping to discover the hottest new brands. Boyd says that's due to its talented Chief Merchant, Maria Milano.
"She not only knows some of the super brands and amazing larger players in luxury, but she has an extraordinary eye as it relates to emerging and up-and-coming brands, particularly brands by women," says Boyd, adding that Milano used to work as a buyer for Harrods. "So, we're very excited to spotlight feature some of these emerging brands that are doing really extraordinary, artisanal, beautiful work in the luxury space."
As for what the future holds, Boyd says she wants Olivela to continue building on its overall goal of helping people to shop for luxury goods they love, with a purpose. "For us, it's about continuing to curate the best possible merch selection for our customers, but all with the idea that we're able to help the incredible organizations we work with, and helping people that they work with."