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Diary of an evolving brand.

Meet the Maker: Olive and Mustard

Lucia Arcadia is the creator behind Olive and Mustard. She is a botanical artist, micro farmer, florist, and textile designer.

She’s also one of our newest clients and oldest friends…

Join us as we deep dive into the world of brand-building, the power of evolving and transforming, and the beauty of imperfection in a world that demands we pick a niche, show up and create art – perfectly.

Lucia, thanks so much for your time today lovely! 

First question for you – what is Olive + Mustard? 

Does anyone know? Hahah.

At the moment, it’s an evolving entity, really. I don’t really know what to call it. It’s a creative business. It’s turning into ah… That’s a really hard question. Because I don’t really have an answer for it at the moment. It’s in transition.

Hahahaha. 

Lucky you’re not recording this. 

I really am though. 

Ah, okay, well… It’s an extension of myself – an ‘avatar’.

Ok let’s try this… What if I asked you, ‘What do you do?’ 

Here’s the thing. I think because my business has evolved so much since I started it 3 years ago, do I say what I did in the past or do I say what I’m doing in the moment and where I’m going? 

Probably a combination of both. 

I’m an artist… 

I don’t know. Can I say I’m a florist? Can I say I’m a flower farmer, a painter, a textile designer. I don’t know… 

Why not all of those things? 

Haha. I guess that feels like it sounds like that’s too much and then you’re not that great at anything. 

Do you think? 

I think so, it also feels a bit obnoxious as well. 

You’re asking me the hard questions.

They are the hard questions!

I’ve been really struggling with these questions in general lately.

I think just because I’m in transition. 

Before I would have classified myself as an artist because I was painting and designing textiles – now I’ve transitioned into floristry, and just recently have decided to try my hand at micro farming.

Wow. Micro Farming?

Yes, Micro Farming.

It’s small-scale, eco friendly farming, that typically works on five areas or less.

What do you have?

The back paddock is 2.5 acres, but my patch is about 9 metres by 6 metres, but I have the option to extend if need be.

That’s cool. Why are you doing all this, and why flowers?

There are three main reasons – the first;

Flowers are a source of happiness and joy for so many people… They provide hope in the dark times and make the lighter times that much more pleasurable.

For me personally, I like to surround myself with beauty and flowers are the epitome of that – in the purest form.

The second reason is because I want to know where my flowers come from – just like our food source.

My goal is to provide beautiful fresh flowers that are sustainable and that have been grown locally.

The third reason is – there is nothing more rewarding than watching something grow!

Have you always liked flowers? Where do you think this passion came from?

I think it’s genetic.. 

My great grandfather on my mother’s side had a hand in kings park. 

And I recently just found out that my grandmother on my father’s side was also a florist. 

Also my mother is an avid amateur botanist.

Ever since I was a small child, I was picking flowers out of the garden and leaving little arrangements next to my mum’s bed for when she woke up.

Awww, aren’t you cute!? 

Along with drawing on the sheets at around age two! I can actually remember going into the garden and picking the flowers from our little garden patch on the farm.

That’s super interesting. What was your Great Grandfather’s name?  

His name was Louis Edward Shapcott, he had a very interesting life that I don’t think I could summarise if I tried.   

What’s your experience been like so far in turning that passion and love that you have for this thing and trying to commercialise it?

It’s been…

Lots of trial and error.

It’s been challenging.

Why?

I think because I’ve been teaching myself everything, every direction I’ve wanted to go, I’ve had to learn about it and it’s been a slow process.

When you’re a one woman show, you need to be competent in all areas of your business.

I hear you. What’s been the highlight of running a business so far?

I think the highlight is… I really enjoy business. I enjoy every aspect of it. Being my own boss, having that autonomy, I get to choose what I do. It’s amazing to be able to do something that you’re  passionate about and keep evolving with it.

Seeing what works, what doesn’t work, what you need to change, constant problem solving. I enjoy the challenge. Because I’m sick. Haha.

Haha, that’s lucky. I think you have to be a certain type of way, actually, in order to survive the business life.

Yes. You have to have lots of planets in Capricorn. Haha.

Really?

Yes. Capricorn. It’s all business. I didn’t choose the business life; the business life chose me, haha.

What do you think has been the low part of running a business so far?

I think for me the most frustrating part was not having a clear business plan. I had a lack of structure and was making it up as I went. Also I think if I had had a mentor, or had found a business like Wildbrand earlier, it would have given me that structure that I needed, when I needed it most.  

I’ve had to find most of the information and figure it out myself as I went.

Do you have a clear vision for where this is going? Or are you going wherever you are intrigued or inspired to go at the time?

A bit of both. Right now I have vision, but before I didn’t. It was a creative outlet and I didn’t really plan at the beginning of what I was doing and it just sort of naturally evolved. Now I have more of a clear vision.

What changed?

I think just finding confidence in myself and doing what feels natural to me. The critical voice in your head is always telling you we can’t do these things because maybe I’m not qualified, or that maybe I don’t know enough about it,  so I’ve just thrown myself into whatever I enjoy basically and thought ‘why not!?’ what’s the worst that can happen?

If you could go back to where you first started… What advice would you tell yourself?

Good question. The first thing I would say is make a start. Wherever it is, whatever it is. It doesn’t have to be a dynamic plan, but if you just make a start, you will get into the rhythm of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, because it’s going to evolve. You’re going to evolve. You’re going to make mistakes. Just keep trying. Be patient. Research everything.

Just keep finding ways to improve your product, your business, and yourself.

That sounds a bit like I know what I’m talking about.

Who am I?

I guess maybe that’s the point, you know? The fact that we don’t know. I kind of feel like that’s the beauty of it. 

Beautiful botanically-dyed scarf by Olive and Mustard.

How can we get in touch with you?

Via my new website (coming soon)!

In the meantime, you can find me on @olive_and_mustard on Instagram.   

Thank you Lucia, for sharing so openly and honestly – your story is a really beautiful one and we are only at the beginning!

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