Meet Elizabeth - EMPOWERED AGING : Female Entrepreneurs - ORESTA clean beauty simplified

Meet Elizabeth - EMPOWERED AGING : Female Entrepreneurs

This is our final installment of EMPOWERED AGING: Our Female Entrepreneurs Series that features women in our ORESTA community that are shifting the narrative surrounding aging while leading intentionally and boldly in business. Thank you for following the series and we can't wait to bring you more stories of amazing women!

Meet Elizabeth, the owner of The Unrefined Olive, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar with 2 locations is Ottawa and an online store. Elizabeth had a unique journey to entrepreneurship, she originally studied and working in Marine Biology! She is deeply involved in her local community and the international olive oil scene, emphasizing customer care and interaction over transactions. Elizabeth cherishes feeling grounded and assured with age, enjoys mentoring others, and advocates for empowered aging as embracing physical and mental change on one's terms. She is also incredibly vibrant and hilarious!


Tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur and how your business has evolved over time.

When I first opened I had never worked in retail or for profit business. My background was in science, research, and education. I was passionate about food and wanted to align this with my core values of sustainability, environmental protection, and fair and equitable production. I loved jumping into and becoming connected to our local community and also the olive oil and balsamic industry internationally. I have made wonderful connections in both! When starting out I was focused on growing and scaling The Unrefined Olive. Success is traditionally measured by growth of your business into multiple locations and increasing profits. My evolution is to focus, really focus, on current locations, customer base, and community. It is to develop relationships with other organizations and businesses. It is also to engage with and build a stronger and more valuable workplace for my team. Over time it has grown into customer and community care on a deeper level; the focus is on interaction and not transaction.


What are the most rewarding and difficult parts of your entrepreneurial journey?

It is phenomenal to build something on your own gumption and wits. My first words in life were "Me do myself." As an entrepreneur you are working and "on" all of the time. You are self reliant and draw on all of your personal resources. Many times you provide all of the functions of your business; payroll officer, human resources, CEO, CFO, plumber, and marketing department. This can be empowering and bolster your sense of strength and independence. However being independent can be lonely. To maintain personal energy and resilience you need to find what recharges you. A major reward and recharge comes from connecting with other entrepreneurs. These interchanges and conversations keep me going, energize me, and help me to not feel isolated. The laughter and connection is unbelievable! Having an incredible team that is motivated and problem solving is the most rewarding feeling. When your business capacities can be taken care of by others this gives more time to learn, explore, vision; and implement new products and processes. It also helps you to step away when life happens, because it ultimately will.


What do you love about getting older?

I love feeling grounded and having a broad perspective from the cumulation of my life adventures and experiences. I love feeling more assured about myself and the clarity that it gives me in making decisions and choices. I love having business acumen, accreditation, and financial security. All through an incredible amount of hard hard work. I love not worrying about other people's expectations of me and setting my own expectations. (Which will always be ridiculously high!) I love having conversations with complete strangers, connecting with, and mentoring people; because of all of the roads I have traveled. I also love connecting with more distant family and friends because we have the tools to do so, and this has become more important over time.


What don't you like about getting older?

I do not like the reduction in my energetic levels. I do not like not finding the perfect word that I could always recall to speak or write. I do not like watching my parents age. I do not like pictures or the reflection of myself sometimes.


What advice would you give your younger self as a woman/ as an entrepreneur?

Purchase ocean front property in our home province of Nova Scotia so we can return. Purchase stocks in certain companies so we can set up a foundation and focus on giving to others to make positive change in this world. (Sorry, Abuse of the time machine!) More importantly, be true to your passions and values. Marry the two together and have an incredible work ethic to make it all happen, because you will. Surround yourself with believers and doubters because they will both make you stronger. PS Drink water, be active in life, keep connected to your definition of family, and get a skin care routine. Especially eye cream and sunscreen!


What is your go-to beauty product?

Almost anything Laurel! I love the Laurel Recovery Balm for my super sensitive skin.


What Empowered Aging mean to you?

Empowered aging, physically, means making the choices that feel best for you. Feeling confident with them; and not feeling the need to explain or defend them to anyone else. It also means accepting where you are physically and mentally; and realizing you can make changes on your own terms. It is also important to have professionals who are educated, and informed; and who support you on your journey in an authentic and trustworthy way. Thank you Oresta! Empowered aging writ large means not disappearing, it means being regarded and respected. it is your leadership, wisdom, and acumen being revered regardless of society's judgement of what the trope of age, beauty, or leadership should be. It also means what makes you feel beautiful as an individual, and it being your personal choice.

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