When I started Olive French Boutique, I knew who I was, and what I wanted to do, but I didn't have a clear MESSAGE. A concise set of words or specific values that explained who or what Olive French was. I sort of just hit the ground running.
It was over time, through personal connections made either on social media, in real life, or at networking events, that I realized the type of tribe I was attracting. One word that kept coming up in conversation, or story comments was "Authentic".
"I love how authentic you are".
Now my version of "Authentic" was always me being weird, quirky, sometimes a little different, but always HONEST. Honesty was a huge theme in my life and career and it was one of the driving forces in a lot of the choices I made.
What I realized over the last year and a half, is you get what you put out there. I have attracted, and gotten to know a REAL group of women (& men). Small business owners, customers, boss babes. A lot of people talk the talk but don't walk the walk. But Olive French Babes... damn. They walk it like they talk it.
I created the Olive French "Authentic" tee to represent my customers & friends. They are the modern day muses. They are good vibe seekers. They are all different, but they are all Authentically themselves, and I love each and every one of them.
I am so excited to introduce you to a group of Authentic-ass humans. They are all people whom I have formed a connection with whether in person, on social media, over years, or in the last few months. I do feel that I met all of them for a reason though.
Meet my Olive French Muses
Gina Belfiore: Nurse Practitioner at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC-specializing in Thoracic Oncology & Olive French Model too!
I met Gina at freshman orientation at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. We decided almost instantly that we'd be roommates. While I only stayed at SHU for one semester, I had never formed a quicker bond & friendship than with her. She was a sweetheart, there was no drama, no fights. We could be found organizing Victoria's secret fashion show viewing parties in the common area, or baking frozen fish sticks in the shared kitchen and stinking up our floor. We laughed A LOT. Gina and I have remained close friends since college.
She has her Masters and is now a Nurse Practitioner at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC, where she specializes in thoracic oncology (lung cancer). She has her national certification in oncology. She chose this specialty because she likes to establish a close relationship with her patients and families- and be their support through their most vulnerable and scary times throughout their cancer journey. She was on the frontlines of COVID-19 and stuck through it like many other healthcare professionals, by spending extra time with each of her patients, as they couldn't have any visitors. On top of all of this, she balanced her relationships with her patients with the fact that her father was also diagnosed with COVID-19 while in an already weakened health state, which thankfully he pulled through. Gina is a modern day wonder woman. She is fearless, and is overflowing with love. She represents the "good hearted woman" in the Olive French Brand.
Analicia Jones: Owner, Visage Beauty Boutique @visagebeauty.co / Danbury, CT
Last Summer, I attended a popular CT Woman's networking event called Honey Hangs Hosted by @Connecticuthoney (@Jayme_Delvecchio). I ended up being seated next to this boss babe. We chatted with other woman, and got really into the ups and downs of owning a small business and balancing everything.
Analicia is a humorous, risk-taking adventure seeker who has devoted everything she has to becoming the successful, passionate and loving person she is today. Even though it was almost a year ago when we last met in person, my first impression of her really stuck with me. I remember being so in awe of how put together and confident she was. (I also noticed her amazing brows😆). She told me how she had just opened up a new space and she was fully booked. (Her business was opened in March 2017). She was kind enough to give me some of her social media tips, and really gave off the “babes support babes” vibe. While some women would rather stay to themselves and not give away any of their “secrets”, Analicia was happy to offer advice that could help other women grow.
You can find her on instagram, or at her studio at 1 Padanaram Rd, Peacock Alley, Suite 206. Phone: 203-501-8051 & her services include: eyelash extensions, hair braiding, brow shaping, brow henna & makeup.
Dr. Lisa Wisniewski: Professor, Blogger, Author @bellesnotebook / bellesnotebook.com
I met Dr. Lisa as a customer through instagram! We would message a lot and after checking out her IG I was like, wow- this woman does A LOT. She is the daughter of Polish immigrants who focused on a college education. While her parents wanted her to get a college degree, they did not know how to support her in this. She had to figure it out on her own and her journey from bachelors, to masters, and eventually doctoral degree was filled with a lot of personal and professional mistakes. Through this journey she figured out that many other students were also unsure of their path.
She’s now a college professor, mentor, author of Progress not Perfection: A Millenial’s Story- part memoir and part guided journal (I got a copy for myself!) . She also just launched “The Millennial Academy”- A resource hub of e-courses taught by experts in their fields focusing on growth, community and development. She’s presented around the world at places like Harvard & Oxford, no big deal. She is often the only woman and youngest of her peers. On top of all of her accolades, she's just a really down to earth person who is positive, and easy to talk to!
Joe Pan: Owner, Yoji Nails & Spa / Glastonbury, CT
Who said Modern Muses can't be males? When I found a Nail Salon right down the street from me that everyone was talking about, I had to check it out. This was years ago- before Olive French was even an idea. The first time I saw Joe’s salon I was in awe. The beautiful decor, clean & friendly atmosphere, and the quality of service they offered. After months of conversations Joe & I got to know each other. We connected over our love of fashion & NYC specifically. Joe is always up on the latest trends. We connected over the ups and downs of owning/ running a small business (I also help my family run their restaurant).
When I opened Olive French Joe came to all my local pop-ups to show support. We even had one planned together right before COVID-19 hit. Joe is one of those friends that is honest and full of integrity. When he says he will do something he does it. He treats others the way he would like to be treated & this reflects in his business as well. There’s no wonder why he’s one of the favorites in Glastonbury and why he’s developed such a loyal clientele. He represents the hard working, make your own way by being Authentically yourself - go- getter in the Olive French Brand.
Yoji Nail on Instagram @yojinails Located: 1005B Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury, CT, 06033.
Chrissy Monaco: Co-Owner, Monaco Ford / Glastonbury, CT
Living in Glastonbury, CT for a few years, I had obviously heard of Monaco Ford. It is a staple in Glastonbury and is known for it's family history and the way they support their local community. I had never known that it was co-owned by a woman. It used to be Monaco & Sons. Chrissy changed that!
When I was asked by Stephanie Tishler ( Tishler Coaching Services) & Jackie Post (The Scoop Glastonbury) / Creators of herSPACE - to join a panel of women to speak on confidence, I was first and foremost flattered that they would even think of me. When I learned who else was speaking on the panel, I felt like I was part of a Glastonbury Celebrity Crew of Women. And then I started getting really nervous. The panel consisted of Chrissy Monaco, Chrissy Baribault, Baribault Jewelers, and Jocelyn Demaio, Empowered Indoor Cycling & Strength Studio -And little old ME.
Anyway, we met up before the speaking event and got to know each other. The idea of sitting at a table with these mega-boss babes was very intimidating, but when I met them all and heard their stories, all guards were dropped. Chrissy M. is not only hilarious, but she is a STRONG ASS woman. She honestly made me crack up with her stories of her being a woman, and a business owner in a male dominated industry. She takes no shit, and knows what she's doing. I really connected with her "open" way of speaking (if you know me, you get it) and she was very transparent about her personal story as well. I truly look up to this woman and am honored that she said yes to this project.
Monaco Ford is located at 767 New London Turnpike Glastonbury, CT 06033 | Phone: 888-436-0722. Instagram @monacoford
@The_Money_Honey_ : Connecticut based Financial Professional, Business Owner, and Momma
Introducing, The Money Honey. Some of you may already know her true identity- I’m sure if you reach out to her she will take the mask off (she sounds like a super hero)... she chooses to remain anonymous on social media for the privacy of her clients. (BUT she’s a real person, I swear) who I was lucky enough to meet through the grapevine, and I am now one of her clients & friends.
She is a blonde bombshell ball of energy in what can be thought of as a traditionally "stuffy" industry. I had always been so intimidated by numbers, financial jargon, Roth IRA's etc. I had no idea where to even start. The Money Honey is EXCELLENT at presenting things in an easy to understand way, and she thinks outside the box. She is always a mile ahead in the game. In my opinion, she is exactly what the financial industry (and any young person, or couple) needs if they're looking to get their shit together and grow financially.
The Money Honey is a CT Based financial pro who is family oriented & wants to see young people thrive. Especially young women. She helps people to develop a positive money mindset- and practice mindful spending while always thinking abundantly. She's a mother, a spouse, an entrepreneur and she is NOT afraid to tell you like it is. She is also my new emergency contact. Sorry husband.
Jules Buonanno: Owner, The Mixing Bowl / Glastonbury, CT
I stumbled upon Jules' instagram @themixingbowlbyjules a few months ago, probably because so many people that I followed shared her goodies. Let me preface this with the fact that I am allergic to chocolate, and I can have about 9 grams of sugar per day because of my migraines. Sweets sadly can't be my thing. BUT- My husband indulges enough for the both of us, and I also can appreciate an artist of any kind. Okay so anyway, I STILL became obsessed with her page, and her instagram stories. A. Her playlists are fire. B. It is absolutely ridiculous how creative she is. She should ACTUALLY have her own TV show. C. She is SELF TAUGHT. Click her instagram link and then read that again.
So for a few months I insta-stalked her, and we would message here and there, and we became insta friends. I really felt everything she shared and the way she carried herself on stories. I read one of her blog posts one day about why she REALLY started her business, and I messaged her because the rawness of it really made me look up to her (please do yourself a favor and read it because I wont tell her story the way she does). She was SO authentic and real.
Since my husband is also a super fan, I finally bought her s'mores brownies for our anniversary through a pop up sale, and Brian went into a food coma heaven when he ate them (I got him Off-White sneakers for our anniversary as well and the brownies blew that gift out of the water) .
When I went to pick up the brownies, she literally had a flock of cars waiting for her at the pickup spot. I felt so cool to be part of it. Jules is a celebrity in my eyes. Catch her next on the food network one day!
visit her website here!