Beauty dwells inside of us all. But we’re not diamonds, and sometimes, pressure and stress need to be exfoliated out of our lives for radiance to shine. Lavi Adkins and Bruna Oliveira of The Olive Branch specialize in a soothing, revitalizing experience from head to toe.
interview ciara bird // photography ashley sellner
Where is it: 21314 Catawba Avenue, in Downtown Cornelius.
Describe the Olive Branch in a sentence. Lavi: A very calm and comfortable environment where you can relax, rejuvenate and renew. Bruna: A boutique and spa specializing in everything your body needs.
Tell us about what you sell. Lavi: We sell clothes and one-of-a-kind accessories, all under $100. Bruna: We also have image, skincare, and body products to accompany the variety of spa services.
How did it all begin? Lavi: It’s funny we began with an idea that was completely different: a drive-thru coffee shop. Bruna: That idea didn’t sound as good when we realized that one of us needed to be up very early and neither of us were excited about waking up at 4 a.m. to make coffee.
What’s the story behind the name? A good friend helped us finalize our decision. We wanted a place where we could not only help people feel and look great, but we wanted to reach out to the community. So it was settled, we wanted to extend the olive branch to everyone in the community.
What were you doing before the Olive Branch? Lavi: I was a stay at home mom for several years and was definitely ready to do something. Bruna: I owned a clothing boutique.
Talk us through a typical day at the shop. Lavi: I think every day is different, but the one consistent feeling is relaxation. Bruna: Our day begins at 9:30 for our daily appointments. We make sure that every costumer that walks through the door knows that they are very important to us. The Olive Branch is a great balance of shopping and services. We have people that love to walk in and just see the changes to the building. They explain to us what it used to be when they were kids and what they remember. At one point this building was a penny store. It is a great feeling to have a great community behind us. We have people that love our windows, love our Olive Branch scent, and they have come back for those items. We have friends that come and just sit with us to catch up on their day. Our day consists of helping others, making 6 p.m. arrive very quickly and always leaving us with a great sense of satisfaction.
What do you love about what you do? Lavi: We love being able to help the people who walk through our doors either by providing them with skincare tips, brow shaping, giving them that perfect glow with our organic spray tanning or having our highly trained staff help with massage therapy. Bruna: And, of course, we love helping them find that perfect outfit or accessory.
This interview was conducted late 2012.