Having been in the beauty industry for over 10 years, Olivia Green from Alluvia Beauty recently rebranded her business and is currently based in the Adelaide Hills. After the recent bushfires swept through her community, business has been quiet and slow. However, this hasn’t deterred Olivia’s determination to keep moving forward and provide her customers with a moment to stop and appreciate their strength and bravery through this challenging time.
In anticipation of her participation at the upcoming Gathered Design Market this weekend (Feb 8 +9, 2020), I was able to chat with Olivia about how she’s been coping with everything and what people can do to help with the rebuilding and recovery process in the Adelaide Hills – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: How are you, Olivia? How is everyone doing in the Hills?
Olivia: I’m good thanks, I feel everyone at this point is really somber. I think the reality of what we have been through has really sunk in and while everyone is trying to get back to normal living. I honestly feel like the shock has really started to hit home.
Tema: What were your first thoughts when you realized that you were in danger / had bushfires happening close by?
Olivia: I was working that morning, and as clients were coming and going, we were all in “watch and act” mode. We never thought it would get to us and that being in the township, we would be completely safe. Growing up in the Hills, we were taught to be aware but not to panic. It wasn’t until the bombers started coming closer and faster that I thought, “we might be in danger!”
My neighbour is in the CFS and he rang home and said we need to get out now, as it’s coming towards the Lobethal township – fast. That’s when I rang my fiance, Darren and told him, “it’s time to go”. I needed to get my sons, Cooper 7 and Austin 3 out to safety. Cooper especially, as he is Autistic – we knew we needed him to be calm and in a safe place. As I was loading the car, my dad rang and said he could see how close it was to Lobethal and he was heading to the back of his property in Lenswood to start fighting the fire. I knew we were in serious trouble then. My dad would never ring to say, “get the boys out”. That really struck a nerve for me as a mum. I think I started to relax a little, once I got my in-laws and the boys were safe. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long and I got a message to say my brother-in-law was in an ambulance with burns on his way to the RAH. My brain just couldn’t process much more from then. I just couldn’t get over how quickly it engulfed our town and moved through to the next towns. Our social media news-feeds blew up and reports of houses burning down were coming through so fast. I kept calling to make sure my family was all still alive and safe.
Tema: How do you feel the bushfires have impacted the community – what are some aspects in particular that you’ve noticed since the bushfires of Dec 2019?
Olivia: I have seen my community broken. This completely rocked us to the core. Lobethal in particular – every single road in and out was black and burnt and there was at least one burnt house on each of these roads. There wasn’t a single direction you could look or drive without seeing the devastation. Having said that, I have seen such a spirit that you can’t help but be humbled by the spirit and support. People who have lost so much are giving so much. Everyone just wants to help one another in anyway they possibly can.
Tema: How long have you been running your business Alluvia for? What has the journey of being in business been like so far?
Olivia: My business is nine years old, but I’ve only just changed my name to Alluvia this year. My business has grown with me as I have grown. It started as a part-time job on the side and soon developed to my full-time career and has allowed me to have my two sons home with me while I work.
Tema: What made you decide on starting up your own business?
Olivia: I have grown up with both of my parents running their own businesses, so I think I expected nothing less from myself other than becoming a business owner myself.
Tema: What are some services offered by Alluvia?
Olivia: I offer an array of services, including lash lifts, waxing, tinting, henna brows, spray-tans, makeup, massage and am excited to add brand-new facials using a probiotic organic skincare range.
Tema: In a nutshell, what do you hope for Alluvia to offer to your customers?
Olivia: I want people to walk out feeling like they are on Cloud 9! The service itself is just a small part of your appointment. I love making meaningful connections with my clients and I want them to stop and take a moment for themselves. This day and age, everyone is always so busy running around ticking jobs off the list. I want the Alluvia experience to be something to look forward to and something that will allow my customers to temporarily switch off and revel in a relaxing experience.
Tema: Have you noticed a change in trading since the bushfires?
Olivia: Definitely! It’s been a very quiet time for me, but when clients have come, they have been a mix of “I feel guilty for spoiling myself while our community is going through this” and I’ve had others struggling with PTSD from the fires and are just trying to get through each day as it comes. Although it’s been quiet, I’m honoured to have the opportunity to be the sounding board and shoulder for my clients to lean on during this time without having to rush them out the door.
Tema; What do you think people can do to help the Adelaide Hills community with their rebuilding and recovering stage?
Olivia: I think the biggest thing is to show your support by booking with them / us! We have so many amazing wineries and cafes to visit, but we also have many amazing small businesses that are based in the Hills. Those of us that are based at home or online are still needing the support just as much. Visit townships, head off the beaten track and come with a positive attitude!
Tema: How did you get involved with the upcoming Gathered SA market?
Olivia: I have had the honour of working with Jenna before at one of her workshops but as luck would happen, as we were evacuated, I ended up at a relief centre with her for the afternoon. We shared stories and tried to imagine what would happen next. At that stage, the full extent of the fires really hadn’t sunk in. I’m honoured to be included in the Gathered Market, as I’ve just rebranded my salon I’m looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing my passion with everyone. I’m so proud Jenna has worked so hard to get this Gathered Market organized. It has given our community something to look forward to!
Tema: What are you anticipating from your participation with Gathered SA? What will you be offering to those who visit you at the Market?
Olivia: Essentially, I would like to get my name out there and to be known for my Alluvia Signature Facial. Skincare is a passion of mine and I want to share that love with everyone else. I will also have my brand-new look hand-poured soy candles available, which I created with our bushfire affected community in mind. I want people to take a moment out, relax and find peace, to know that not all flames are to be feared and absorb the sense of calm that comes from burning a candle.
Olivia Green from Alluvia will be participating at the Gathered SA Market in Lobethal on February 8 + 9, 2020.