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September 22, 2018 3 min read

 A new chapter of Olive Woman is about to begin but before we embark on that journey, we’re taking you back to the very beginning and sharing the incredible history of Olive Woman and it’s creators.

The story begins back in 2004 when owners, Blaine and Paul, opened up their first retail business, Olive Home in Paddington. With two sets of very different skills and experiences – Paul from a strong retail background having worked for brands such as Sportsgirl, Country Road and being instrumental in the opening of the original Space Furniture store in 2001, and Blaine from a commerce law background having had national roles with companies such as ING and Ray White, the pairing couldn’t have made a stronger duo ready to take on this new venture.

Starting out with a focus on homewares and gifts, Paul with his taste for fashion, decided to introduce a new offering to their growing business. Over the years the store began to thrive and a loyal customer base emerged with regulars coming in for a shop and a chat.

In August 2013, the boys opened their second retail store, Ollie and Lloyd (named after their pet dog and cat) in the then brand new Gasworks Plaza, in Newstead.

Not long after moving in, they saw an opportunity to separate out homewares and fashion by opening up another retail store in the vacant shop across from Ollie and Lloyd, and that’s when Olive Woman was born!

From day one, the boys have always tried to specialise in Australian labels and brands, with the odd international brand added in on occasion. Catering for all types of women in the area, styles ranged from under $100 for the quick no fuss shopper, up to high-end designer pieces for something extra special and luxurious. With Paul’s exceptional eye for style and design and Blaine’s business expertise, Olive Woman continued to grow and soon developed the same loving customer base who come back time and time again to see what new pieces Paul had waiting for them.

After an incredible 15 years in business, the boys made the difficult decision to pass on two of their stores, Olive Home in Paddington and Olive Woman in Gasworks, to start doing more of what they love outside of the business. In August 2018, the Paddington store was sold to Julie Ambrosini, and Olive Woman in Gasworks to our very own Brooke Jones, both of whom will take each store to into it’s next chapter.

Being no newbie to the business world, Brooke has been in the fashion game for almost a decade having owned and operated a successful women’s fashion boutique in her home town of Toowoomba. After 8 years of starting and managing Smoke & Mirrors boutique, she branched into manufacturing for the beauty industry with her first in house brand, Little Tanning Dress, a fashion focussed after spray tan wear range of clothing designed to take you from spray booth to street in style.

After a great response from staff wearing the LTD in salon as a uniform, Brooke delved further into the beauty world recognising a niche in the hairdressing and beauty industry for more sustainable options of fashionable yet practical clothing that is bleach and hair resistant. This new venture lead to the creation of her second in house brand, Beautique Designs, a range of bleach resistant and hair repellent clothing for stylists.

Brooke has also been busy with her other business, The Sourced Agent, where she provides a unique approach to manufacturing, production and white labelling for businesses looking for customised merchandise, apparel and an ethically sourced approach that they would otherwise not find on their own.

After having sold her fashion boutique in Toowoomba in early 2018, Brooke knew she wanted to bring her love of fashion and years of experiencing dressing women to Brisbane, and saw the unique opportunity to purchase Olive Woman in the exciting and busy Gasworks Plaza. After having been employed by the iconic fashion store, Olive Women, on weekends and forming a close relationship with owners Blaine and Paul, when the opportunity presented itself Brooke jumped through every hurdle for the chance to make it happen. 

Although we will be re-branding Olive Woman to Sonder Place, and introducing Brooke's favourite Australian label, Jaase, we plan to continue the incredible work that Paul and Blaine have done with the ethos that every woman deserves to look amazing and feel confident being exactly who she is. 

Thank you Blaine and Paul for what you have created! Paul, your exceptional talent for fashion, styling and design is like no other and we're incredibly grateful for everything you have both done to support us and help us with this transition, including helping with our set up and merchandising... you really are amazing! We’re so glad that you'll still be our neighbours across the road at Ollie & Lloyd @ollieandlloyd 

With Love,

Sonder Place

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