INTERVIEWS

5 Questions with… Olimpia and Carolina of Oli&Carol

I distinctly remember first hearing about Carolina and Olimpia, the two young sisters behind Oli&Carol — a super cool brand from Spain creating the coolest natural rubber toys. It must have been over 6 years ago, and I recall being SO impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of these two young women!

oli&carol interview

In the following years, we have seen Oli&Carol develop and grow (along with the brand’s founding sisters), and bring us such beautiful collections of baby toys/teethers —  always with a story behind it, and always with a better environment and a better world in mind.

We loved hearing more of the story behind this powerful brand from Spain and learn more about the motivation of Olimpia and Caroline and their fabulous new product. Read on for tons of inspiration!

Oli&Carol

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourselves, where you live and about your family. You’re sisters and business partners! That’s a very special dynamic, can you tell us how it works for you and your business?

We are two sisters from Barcelona who started their own business at 16 and 21 years old; now we are 22 and 27 years old.

From a real young age we’ve learned from our parents what hard work, entrepreneurship & fighting for your own dream means. From stocking a warehouse, to fulfilling orders, to doing market research — they have taught us that things are not as difficult as society thinks! Our mother (founder of Lorena Canals & the creator of the machine-washable rug concept) and our father (head of finance of Lorena Canals and Oli&Carol) have been our role models from a very young age. We are so lucky to have such inspiring parents and to be part of two family businesses.

oli&carol interview
Photo credit Lois Moreno

Being sisters and business partners at the same time works great for us! Although we are 5 years apart, we are both quite similar. We are non-stoppers and are constantly thinking of the best ways to continue to grow and how to create a community together. We have always dreamed big and we don’t see barriers anywhere. We think this is the key to every project. Of course we are human and constantly learning and growing from our mistakes, but we also love that part of the job.

Travelling with our mother to India, designing new collections with her and growing together is such an important part of our way of living and working. The first time we travelled to India, 10 years ago, we thought: we can’t come here and not help those who can’t afford basic needs! Nowadays we have our own nursery there, where more than 100 kids go to every day. They follow classes with two teachers and have a nutritious meal.

oli&carol interview
Photo credit Lois Moreno

We’ve learned so much from our mother — her way of working and of seeing life has always inspired us so much! And from our father of course, who is also part of the family business. We always say: our best career school has been at home, just watching the way our parents work for the family business; we couldn’t thank them more!

2. Tell us a little bit about your brand and how you came to create your label.

People frequently ask us: why baby toys? Do you have kids? Do you have little brothers or sisters? Why offer a product for kids if you don’t have one at home?

Well, this is how we answer… It wasn’t WHAT product, it was HOW we were going to create it. It was the brand values and the meaningful messages we were going to introduce to little ones once they were using our products. We wanted to inspire families and other businesses to do the same. And this is why Oli&Carol was born.

We were lucky enough to have visited many trade shows around the world with our mother’s brand Lorena Canals and to get to know the kids’ world. Seeing what the market was offering gave us a great push to do something really DIFFERENT. To stand out for the product we could offer but also for the messages we could transmit.

oli&carol interview

And we made it! Oli&Carol offers 100% natural toys for modern parents and their kids who are looking for well designed kids products which are made from sustainable materials. With cool packaging that also differentiates us. Contributing in solidarity actions and encouraging those who follow our story as well: two young sisters, wanting to create a story around a project and putting so much love & dedication into it.

3. Can you tell us something exciting that you have planned for this year?

For the last year we’ve been working on a new product category and we are so happy to have launched it worldwide last week! This is probably the biggest thing we planned this year. As you know Oli&Carol we’ve been only offering natural rubber toys meant as teethers & bath toys — which have had amazing feedback in the market. This is why a new product category was something huge for us!

We are happy to have created a fun DIY kit for kids to hand-make their own textile toys while they spend some fun quality time with the family (& some screen-free time as well!). And with the situation we are currently living in, this new product category is a great fit for the moment.

oli&carol interview

We are mostly known for our Fruits&Veggies teethers and bath toys, made all from natural raw materials: products for 100% worry-free play for kids. Our idea with this new product category was to expand the lifecycle of the brand and continue transmitting all of our messages to older kids as well. Grow with the kids, who build up our future, while introducing them to significant messages such as: respecting our environment; consuming natural and plastic-free products and helping others who need it.

4. What is your current favourite product in your collection?

Carolina’s favorite is the H2Origami collection, including the H2Origami whale, turtle and crab. We donate benefits to the Oceana organisation who cleans the oceans and marine life around the world. With these designs we wanted to encourage children and families to love and respect our oceans as well as raise awareness of our polluted waters. This is one of many actions we do but our main mission is to introduce other families and businesses into contributing their bit of sand to make this world a better place.

oli&carol interview
Photo credit Lois Moreno

Olimpia’s favorite are the Chewable Bracelets, a completely new concept we created a few years ago. A teether, a bath toy and a bracelet all in one piece! Kids can enjoy every day adventures — whilst wearing these around their wrist.

5. What do you love most about your job?

Not stopping. Learning every day from our daily work and from our mistakes. And getting to contribute our bit of sand through our business with many solidary projects.

Sometimes our friends ask us: “How can you impress us every time you launch something new? Are you ever going to run out of ideas?” We are 24/7 thinking about our project since day one, because we really do what we love! We use this to communicate the strong messages we believe in.

Nowadays we are present in more than 50 countries around the world and aim high to get to many more. The best feeling ever is seeing kids around the world enjoying our natural rubber teethers, bath toys and our new Do it Yourself kit. After so much work put into every design and every collection, the best feeling ever is seeing kids and families having a good time with our creations.

oli&carol interview

Oli&Carol is a member of our shopping portal. We love working with this fabulous brand!


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Comments (1)

Emma
November 22, 2020

What beautiful souls!


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