ROOTED IN GOODNESS
Hi there! We are the Neafus family, and we are the dreamers + makers behind Olivia's Tree. Our hope is you fall in love with our designer candles and join us on our mission to give back.
We started thinking about opening our own company many years ago but, to be honest, we were a little scared...okay, a whole lot scared and the best excuse was "We’re busy with other things, projects + life." And, it had to be something we could do as a family. It had to be something we truly loved.
We started there...what do we REALLY have a passion for, love + enjoy? We all agreed we LOVE candles! This seemed like the perfect place to start. You can't really sell something you don't use or believe in, right? Blake, Luke and I wanted a business we could learn and do together. A business where Luke could learn a trade + be able to provide for himself after his dad and I are gone. So, Olivia's Tree was born, and the work began! There is a lot more that goes into making a candle then you might think. There was so much to learn. We failed and got up and tried again until we got it.
Let’s deviate for a minute while you get introduced to my little family! We will start with, Blake, who is our finance guy and has been in sales for many years, super supportive + the levelheaded one. Next, there's me, Victoria I have a creative background. Studied theatre + dance at university, worked as an actress + model then became a corporate trainer. Together, we have one amazing son, Luke. He sees the world differently and that's a good thing, used to race bicycles and now, works at a grocery store. Luke is truly a blessing from God, but it wasn't the smoothest intro into parenthood. Our journey has been a mixture of exciting, very, very scary, lots of praying, overwhelming, exhilarating, all the way to pure joy.
You see, Luke was born with a cleft lip and palate. This was just the beginning of his medical road. His list of medical issues + surgeries, for all kinds of issues, kept piling up. We spent the first two years of his life in and out of hospital, but mostly in. We nearly lost him several times, but God, doctors and Luke's no quit attitude always pulled him through. Many of Luke's issues were corrected through these surgeries but as he grew older there were other challenges.
However, due to the cleft palate, as he grew older, his upper jaw didn't grow at the same rate as his lower jaw, and he developed a severe underbite. We will never forget, the saddest moments were when Luke was a teenager, and he would apologize to us for looking like he did. He apologized "for being so ugly." 😭 💔 This broke our hearts! No matter how many times we told him this just wasn't true, he held on to this being his truth. Due to feeling this way about himself, he had no confidence, found it hard to talk to people because he was so self-conscious about his speech and appearance.
Well, we meet a doctor who in our opinion performed a miracle. He operated on Luke and changed him forever! He is now out-going, will talk to people, has a job and, most importantly, feels good about himself. He has gained so much from this one surgery. Therefore, we have chosen to give back a portion of our sales to this doctor's non-profit Smile for a Child Foundation | Oklahoma. We want to help other children to gain confidence and feel better about themselves. These surgeries are extremely expensive and not everyone can afford treatment. Smile for a Child's mission is to help with the many medical, educational, and emotional needs of children affected with a cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial differences.
Our promise to you is Olivia's Tree will stay Rooted in Goodness with our products. We will offer ways for you to recycle the beautiful vessels your candles are made in. We will give back to our community by helping others! Plus, donate a portion of our sales to this amazing charity + will continue being kind to our planet! Our hope is you love our products as much as we do!
Blake, Luke, Victoria and Otto-man (the King of the Ottoman)