Two weeks ago I shared a “Beauty Break” featuring a new product from a local maker, Olive Me. What makes me so passionate about this brand is not only is it a locally made good, but it’s owner and creator is my very good friend Nikki Ferritto. When she launched her skincare line in May 2017 I was so excited I had to get the word out about her amazing product. I was able to share her amazing product with some of my blogger friends this past summer. Now I have finally found the opportunity to sit down with Nikki to hear her story to share with all of you. For those of you who follow my blog you know I love anything local and I love sharing it with you my readers, so if you’re in the market for some skincare to freshen up your natural glow here is all you need to know about this amazing local brand, Olive Me!
Styled by Stacy: What inspired you to make a skincare line?
Nikki, Olive Me: Honestly, I never washed my face growing up. Whenever I would use a cleanser my rosacea on my cheeks would flare and I hated it. So I just resorted to warm water in the shower and that was it. After college I started testing out different oils to use on my skin, but hated how oily and greasy they made me feel. That was until I tried olive oil! I was in awe of how much it helped my skin, took off my makeup, and didn’t make me break out. I should have known better though - growing up in an Italian family we use olive oil for everything! My grandmother even told me she used to make a bed sore balm with it to put on family members and friends who were stuck in hospital beds and it worked wonders for them. I started getting creative and adding other ingredients and I eventually came up with the perfect formula. It was something I just did for myself, but I knew this needed to be shared with others. There are 2 extremes today in the skincare industry - the basic drugstore, chemically filled products that people buy in bulk, or the extremely expensive all natural scare products that people spend a fortune on. My belief has always been that skincare shouldn’t be expensive! And it should be something we already fuel our bodies with. Skin is our largest organ after all and anything we put on it gets directly absorbed into the body, so why are we not taking the time to nourish it with foods and naturally growing plants like we do with our food? This became a passion of mine and a message I wanted to share with the world.
SbyS: How did you get started?
N: People would always ask what I do to keep my skin so smooth and tan, but when I would tell them I just use olive oil they wouldn’t believe me! So in Christmas of 2016 I started giving my product to family and friends just to try. There were no labels or names, literally a blank bottle of yellow liquid that I promised would help them. I received amazing feedback and people kept asking for more. That is when I realized that my message of simple, safe, and effective ingredients needed to be shared and could change the world so that is when I decided to take it to the next level and opened an Etsy site in May 2017.
SbyS: Where do you source your material/ how do you manufacture your product?
N: I create all of the products out of my apartment in downtown Cleveland! OliveMe Beauty has its own set of kitchen tools like mixing bowls and spatulas, and when I begin a production day I turn my kitchen into mini manufacturing plant. I buy most of my materials online through various wholesale websites that I have vetted out before. I do buy all of my olive oil from Costco though! I swear by their brand - it is some of the best out there. A lot of olive oils these days are watered down and mixed with other oils so you lose the quality of a true extra virgin olive oil. Costco’s brand does not do this and is secretly known to be one of the best wholesale olive oil’s out there! It’s the same brand I cook and eat with as well!
SbyS: What's been the most challenging about starting a small business?
N: Learning how to wear all the hats. I sometimes go from web developer, to marketer, to CFO all in one night. I love creating products and do have a background in business, but I have had to learn a lot of different skills to keep things running smoothly and efficiently. It has been difficult at times but definitely a learning experience.
SbyS: What's been the most rewarding?
N: Seeing the non-believers turn into believers! It took my mom 6 months to try my products. NO JOKE! She was convinced oil would never work on her oily skin. After begging her (and honestly, my dad forcing her) to try it for a week, she was convinced. She went to CVS and returned all of her old products and has been telling everyone about it since! She was just the first - there are plenty of others who had a similar situation though. It warms my heart to know I can spread this message and change people’s skincare routines and overall health. I get so excited when I see them gain confidence to rock their skin with no makeup or worry about a crazy 12 step routine and dropping hundreds of dollars on products that they honestly don’t need.
SbyS: What’s your favorite product you offer?
N: The face oil! It is so versatile and was the first product I’ve ever created, and the reason I started this line. Believe it or not, I use it as a makeup remover, face wash, moisturizer, mask, and makeup primer. It is crazy to think you can do all of that with one product, but it truly is the power of switching to an oil based skincare routine!
SbyS: Why did you choose the CLE to launch your small business?
N: I am born and raised in CLE so it’s a given! CLE has a very large group of driven entrepreneurs creatives though so it is the perfect place. It makes the environment so exciting to work in and there is always someone to help a hand or mentor. I am looking forward to some collaborations I have coming up with other local CLE businesses and learning from them
SbyS: Where can you buy your product?
N: I have an etsy site which you can access at https://www.etsy.com/shop/olivemebeauty They are also sold at Yoga Strong studios in downtown Cleveland. I do various fairs and popup shops throughout the year as well so follow along on my social media (@olivemebeauty) to stay up to date with events
SbyS: Are there any other fun facts you’d like me to share about your product?
N: We are trying to grow our line! We release a new product every month. We take the time to carefully craft each product though and test it out on multiple skin types before making it available for sale. If you are ever interested in testing new products, follow along on our Instagram - that is where we ask for testers and give free products to those willing to provide feedback!
What I love most about discovering new local makers is hearing their stories, I had no idea how amazing Nikki was and I’m glad I got to share her brand with all off you. What makes Nikki even more amazing is she is also a lover of local makers and bloggers! She think they are what helps make this Cleveland Community Thrive so she has given all my Styled by Stacy readers free shipping on their purchases by using code “ShipShipHooray” at checkout! Make sure to check her out and shop her goods, my favorite is the lip scrub to read more about it check out my Beauty Break!