We had the good fortune of connecting with Marie Faris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marie, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. For those of you who didn’t know where Beirut was, I’m sure you know by now, after the recent massive explosion that brought much attention to this little part of the world. I was born in 1976, right when the war began. Growing up hearing bomb shells, gun shots, and hearing about human loss became a way of life. I lived in fear and uncertainty, but I was surrounded by the love of a large extended family. I was raised by a very strong woman, and a dad who was an officer and whose life was at risk at times. Both my parents were extremely courageous and were people of strong Maronite (Catholic) faith. They instilled their strength and faith in my siblings and I. I came from humble beginnings and was taught to work hard to achieve your goals. Honesty, integrity, and kindness towards others were the core values that I grew up with. I have my wonderful parents to thank for teaching me by example. When I came to this beautiful country that I call home, I was only 21. I was ambitious and eager to make a better life for myself and my future family. I came equipped with all the ingredients I needed for success: courage, patience, faith and above all, the support and love of my family.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Olivida started as a solution to my skin problem, and then grew into a passion and a desire to turn it into a business. Both my husband and I believe in natural products, and what we put on our bodies is as important as what we put into them. With a growing market for natural products, we felt it was the right time to start on our Olivida journey. We first introduced our bar soaps to test the market. We learned along the way that there is a growing number of consumers that prefer liquid soap over bar soap. Due to popular demand, we decided to introduce the Olivida liquid soaps. We are excited to announce the launch of our new line of liquid soaps in the Olive Oil, Rose and Pomegranate scents. You may ask yourself why olive oil soap and why is it superior to other soaps on the market? Olive oil has been used for centuries by old civilizations as a cleansing agent. It is known to be naturally moisturizing and rich in anti-oxidants. There are many other olive oil soaps on the market, but Olivida is like no other. Our products are Certified Organic which means we have to abide by strict guidelines. Olivida is made from virgin olive oil extracted from olives grown in the Mediterranean region. In fact, the first ingredient in our bar soaps and liquid soap alike is virgin olive oil. Our soaps are not diluted with water. They are free of chemicals and artificial fragrances. Last but not least, they are vegan and cruelty free certified. Starting a business is never easy. It has its challenges and ups and downs. We definitely made mistakes along the way and we’ve learned from each and every one of them. If you believe in your product, no matter how big the challenges are, you can overcome them with patience, and perseverance. I’m a strong believer that perseverance and hard work pays off.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is so much to see and do in South Orange County. If my friend were to visit me during the summer months, I would make sure that we visit and see these three places. First, and foremost, Laguna Beach would be on the top of my list. It’s my favorite spot in the area. I would start with a nice morning stroll by the Montage Resort. After a great walk, we can enjoy a nice outdoor breakfast overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Studio located at the Montage. I would then take her to the Sawdust Art Festival where we can checkout the work of local artists and shop for unique items. We’ll then grab a Shawarma sandwich at Adonis Restaurant and just enjoy sitting by the beach. Later in the evening we would go watch the yearly Pageant of the Masters show. The next day, would be a relaxing beach day at Salt Creek Beach, one of the best local beaches in South Orange County. It’s a must to visit the beaches in Southern California. Finally, my third favorite spot, would be the old town of San Juan Capistrano famous for its Mission. There is a lot of history in this little town, and we would begin with a tour of the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, followed by a walk in the old town and a lunch at Trevor’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am surrounded by so much love and support from my husband, my family and my friends. They’ve all played an integral role in supporting me and giving me the encouragement I need. However, there is one person in particular that I would love to give a shoutout to, and that is my one and only amazing brother, Rony Zeidan. He is an entrepreneur and new york brand agency RO NEW YORK and co founder of luxury accessory brand ‘ title of work’. With his brilliant creative and strategic team, they have been the creative and branding force behind Olivida’s identity, packaging and digital look and efforts. Olivida wouldn’t be where it is now if it wasn’t for Rony and his team of creative minds.
Facebook: Olivida Soap
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