by Leah Eagle
A wife-husband team of entrepreneurs, backed by a team of U.S.-based professionals are so excited to be at the helm of such a special company! With 4 children and 8 grandchildren, they have plenty of baby experience and understand welcoming your new baby is the height of excitement for you. The entire Olli + Lime Team celebrates this special time with you! We had the opportunity to catch up with the new owners, whose friends lovingly call them the "Dynamic Duo" and wanted to share a bit more about their plans for Olli + Lime now and in the future.
Their combined 50 years’ experience in financial services led them to start their first business over 15 years ago and they’ve been hooked on entrepreneurship ever since. After building several solid financial services consulting companies, the two hoped to pivot to something completely different. So, e-commerce came into their sights and after a few years of research, travelling near and far, they found OLLI+LIME. Falling in love with a company focused on preparing for the one of the happiest times in parents’ lives was not only easy, but it perfectly aligned with the focus on positivity and quality the couple represents in every aspect of their lives.
They purchased the company in late Summer 2022 and hit the ground running, spending several months getting to know all the vendors and re-vetting each supplier for philosophy, quality, sustainability and social accountability. OLLI+LIME focuses on quality and ethically sourced fabrics that are then handsewn in the United States by real human beings who have big hearts for babies. The manufacturing of the products has moved to Southern Apparel in Wetumpka, AL as part of Carol and Eric’s focus on supporting and reigniting local manufacturing. We will focus on the legacy of this amazing 40+ year old company in an upcoming blog.
“We are definitely entrepreneurs at heart and love OLLI+LIME because it is in the baby industry, which is always in demand,” Carol said. “And, we wanted the new company to offer something our entire family could become involved in and learn from along the way. We intend to continue the focus around quality products and also expand the designs and collections to offer more options for parents.”
Items in the OLLI+LIME collection are carefully curated, using handpicked fabrics. When quality is the top priority, and your suppliers share your passion for quality, it can bring together those special designs and lines that appeal to parents’ ideas that are unique for their baby’s nursery. “We want to add to the legacy of products that have been created in the monochromatic design, while offering parents more options than the traditional pastel colors,” Carol said. “We want to be able to meet the growing style demands of parents who have a specific style in mind for their home, which then resonates seamlessly into the nursery. The nursery can be a place of growing, developing, learning, but it can also be an extension of your home décor. It shouldn’t be a completely different room in the house, but an an extension of the style and supportive of the trends.” As well as offering beautiful products in the OLLI+LIME collection, the monochromatic colors and patterns are helpful in sensory development in babies.
While Olli + Lime is an extension of Carol & Eric’s entrepreneurial nature, they manage to weave their focus on philanthropy into everything they do -- using it as a vehicle to help others.
One of Carol and Eric’s biggest passions is working with KultureCity (www.kulturecity.org), a nonprofit organization based in Birmingham with international impact, that promotes sensory accessibility and inclusion for those with invisible disabilities. Carol was instrumental in helping start the organization’s sensory program 12 years ago, and the organization has now grown into an international phenomenon. KultureCity caters to everyone with sensory needs not just autism. This includes military vets with PTSD, adults with dementia, Parkinson's disease, stroke patients just to name a few. To date, over 550 locations across the USA and the world have worked with KultureCity to become certified as Sensory Inclusive through continuous training, sensory bags and app integration. In 2022, the couple donated two sensory rooms: one at the FlintRiverquarium in Albany, Georgia and one at the Caesar’s Palace Superdome in New Orleans in honor of Carol’s late father, Ray, who suffered with PTSD.
Another cause important to Carol and Eric is working with Mission Lazarus (www.missionlazarus.org) in Honduras. Carol began going in 2009 and since the couple have been involved in the growth of a vocational school that gives young people the opportunity to learn a skill to be able to sustain their lives and families as they grow; Lazarus Academy was started this year, and 13 clinics have been built to provide healthcare for residents. Carol & Eric are instrumental in teaching leadership classes and professional development to the local leaders in Honduras as part of a larger social enterprise focus – teaching others to care for themselves and their communities. To date, 13 National Directors mentor 100 Mission Lazarus staff, over 550 latrines have been installed for families, 5,000 patient encounters through the clinics and so much more is touching the lives of those in southern Honduras.
In their free time, Carol and Eric enjoy sailing, golf and hiking. The two even reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2018 as a fundraiser for KultureCity.
“When you ask God for something and get out of the way, great things can happen,” Carol said. “We are very focused on improving people’s lives and that touches every aspect of our own efforts. Whether it’s the companies that we own, the products we develop, or the charitable initiatives we engage in, we are about making people’s lives better.”