Stacey Boyd, Founder of Olivela
Stacey Boyd is the founder of Olivela, a philanthropic retail site offering high quality, luxury goods with a percentage of all sales going back to children in need. Stacey’s passion for teaching and the schooling system lead to her major impact on both the fashion industry and the WORLD. Stacey’s journey from start to present is one worth sharing. She is an idol of ours, and we invite you to see why:
Stacey, what did you dream of becoming as a child?
The entrepreneurial bug bit me early. I remember as early as elementary school starting a car washing business. Shortly after that I started making barrettes and riding my bike into town to talk local stores into carrying them. I think I was maybe ten! I've always been a budding entrepreneur, I guess.
You had your Olivela “ah-ha” moment during a philanthropic trip. Can you describe this experience?
Absolutely – I was on a trip in Kenya and Rwanda to celebrate what is known there as Malala Day, the birthday of 2014 Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, now 20. Traveling with Malala, I met girls in makeshift primary schools in Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp, and in Mahama, a new camp that provides safe haven to more than 50,000 Burundians, 4,000 of them unaccompanied minors. The moment that really stood out as that “ah-ha” moment was when I reached into my purse, and realized that a fraction of the cost of that handbag could have helped so many of the young girls around us. I knew then that we could unleash the equity in luxury shopping to yield benefit and opportunity for so many children around the globe.
I had witnessed the enthusiasm of the fashion industry initially through our work with Schoola. Once I returned to San Francisco from my trip with Malala, I reached out to some clothing companies in the area to asked them whether they would be willing to donate some of their inventory on behalf of Malala Fund. So many brands jumped at the chance and before I knew it, we had tens of thousands of items arriving at our warehouse - the enthusiasm was incredible! I realized the concept had so much untapped potential.
[Background information: Schoola is another organization founded by Stacey prior to Olivela. It is a crowd-sourced donation organization that raises funds for American schools through used clothing sales.]
What is your best advice to those wanting to turn their passion into a charitable initiative?
Just do it! I think we all have a tendency to spend too much time preparing ourselves to do something, when in reality we’re much more ready than we realize. The hardest, but most essential, thing to do is to just take the first step. Decide what you want to do, and then just do what you need to do in order to make it happen. We are also at an incredible time in society where we are embracing social good and giving back.
What’s next for you, Stacy?
This week, Olivela launched a brand new category: luxe beauty. This brings us even closer to our goal of providing shoppers with an all-encompassing shopping destination where they are empowered to use their purchasing power to make a difference.
Interview by Emily