In the Familiar Faces series, our Target Accelerators Program Managers check in with companies who have participated in one of our Target Accelerators programs. This is a chance to dig in and learn more about each company’s growth since completing their Target Accelerators experience and our way of continuing to root them on every step of the entrepreneurial way. Welcome to Familiar Faces.

Checking in with Olive + M, Target Takeoff Beauty alumnus

Olive + M was created by the belief that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. Olive + M skincare products are made with plant-based oils formulated to work to balance out oil production, without stripping skin of its natural oils or protective barrier—resulting in a refreshed, healthy glow.

Interview by Anne Kitchen, Target Takeoff Program Manager.

Mariska Nicholson, Founder and CEO

Anne: Mariska it’s wonderful to connect again! How as Olive + M grown in the past 18 months since you participated in the Takeoff Beauty program?

Mariska: We launched in 100 Target doors and on-line in July of 2019! We also launched a new Shopify website with a new look and feel for the brand in November of 2019.

In January I told my team that my main focus for 2020 was Target and our own e-commerce and then COVID hit and it has been a rollercoaster ride ever since! It’s a wild west scenario out in the world right now. My team and I are daily tr!ying to figure out this new landscape we are all playing in and looking for creative ways to not only increase sales but offer our community value and create a desire to be a part of our Olive + M family.    Now more than ever, we want to be putting out  thoughtful content and help to soften the impact that COVID and the election have had on all of us this year.

Anne: What did launching your brand at Target teach you about yourself and about Olive + M?

Mariska: Honestly, I think the biggest lesson has been that we are little baby fish in a huge freaking pond!  Navigating selling into Target and selling through at Target definitely takes a village!  If there was any confusion about the fact that I would be heavily relying on my whole Target team – in house, rep group and Target internal team – that confusion has been all cleared up!  I stay in close contact with all of the team players because it takes us all working together for a smooth and successful outcome!  And I am so grateful for each and every one of them…it would not happen otherwise!

Anne: Are you staying in touch with your Takeoff cohort program alumni?

Mariska: I am! I loved getting to know all of these amazing people that had the distinct privilege we had to participate in the Takeoff Program. They pop in or I pop in from time to time with questions and every time it feels like I just saw them yesterday. I feel so blessed to have such an extended family in an industry that I feel like is otherwise very competitive. My TTO Beauty cohort feels loving and genuinely willing to help, share resources and swap stories of experience and expertise. Blessed!

Anne: What’s your favorite part about speaking to Olive + M fans inside of Target stores?

Mariska: I love speaking with Target guests and the team members when I am in store!  I often stop into my Texas Target stores and bring samples and even full-size products for everyone to try. The guests and the team alike love meeting the founder behind the brand. I think it is inspiring for them to see that you can have a dream to be on the Target shelves one day and make it happen. They are cheering me on and I in turn am cheering them on to say, “follow your heart, don’t take no for an answer from yourself or anybody else!  Believe you can and you will. I did!”

Anne: Olive + M is partnering with Tree App in the next year to help offset your carbon footprint and plant more trees on the planet. Tell me more about that.

Mariska: We could not be more excited about this partnership!!   The founders of Tree App are 3 young Brits who simply decided they had had enough and took matters into their own hands to show up and do their part to reduce harmful CO2 in the atmosphere and slow the effects of global warming.

They have created a team of PhD experts and advisors in the carbon capture game to help guide them and ensure the success and longevity of the reforestation projects they participate in around the world.

Olive + M has committed to plant a tree for every purchase that is made through our website.   For now, we are keeping it simple but we hope to ramp up the program in 2021 and create a tiered tree planting program where the more you spend, the more trees you plant.   We are even talking  about creating a tree planting bundle one can opt in to!  To learn more about Tree App and our partnership check out our blog post here.

Anne: Whats next for Olive + M?

Mariska: We are super excited to be launching The Game Changers set in Target in January!  This will be 1/3 oz glass dropper bottles of the Cleansing Oil and the Face Oil that will retail for $12.99.   We are hopeful this low barrier to entry price will give guests an opportunity to try cleansing and hydrating with our plant-based oil formulas without the commitment of buying the full sizes just yet.   We know we are an education-based product line and that most people have not tried using oil on their skin for various reasons.   This set allows them the opportunity to feel comfortable with the price point and the experiment!   We are calling it The Game Changers because we know that is precisely what these products do….they change your skincare game moving you into the glowing skin winner’s hot seat!

We also have new Re-set Mask which we will launch late Spring and some fun deluxe sample size add-ons we will introduce first of the year!

For more information on Olive + M or to make a purchase, check out oliveandm.com and target.com