OLIKA didn’t happen by chance. Founder and CEO Jessica Postiglione had been preparing for entrepreneurship her entire life. She began learning the ins and outs of business as a teenager and continued to grow her resume after college as an investment banker. After a few years in the workforce, she was accepted to Harvard Business School. After graduating, Jessica rounded out her expertise in both corporate strategy and finance.
With a second degree in hand from one of the world’s most prestigious business schools and years of invaluable experience under her belt, Jessica decided she was ready for a new opportunity. She jumped at the chance to create a product of her own, and after much research, decided to design a new kind of hand sanitizer --- one that was sophisticated, hydrating, effective, and beautiful. Thus, OLIKA was born.
OLIKA has been revered as “the most beautiful hand sanitizer in the world.” The company has become famous for bringing innovative design to everyday objects. One look at OLIKA’s most beloved product Birdie, an adorable 2-in-1 hand sanitizer, and you’ll see why. He and his friend Minnie are sure to inspire you, just like the woman who built them.
Keep reading to learn more about OLIKA and Jessica’s life as a small business owner. Shop Birdie, Minnie and and the entire OLIKA line here.The F Project: OLIKA means “differently” in Swedish. What are some ways you do things differently?
Jessica: First and foremost, we think and design differently. Our bird-shaped hand sanitizers have been called “a beautiful work of art” by Fast Company. We also approach the entire product experience differently by marrying innovative packaging with better-for-you ingredients. Moreover, our brand and products have personality. Our adorable hand sanitizers - Birdie and Minnie – love to share their adventures on social media.
TFP: How have your travels inspired you?
J: I have visited every Nordic country at least once and fell in love with the region’s design aesthetic. It is no coincidence that our products are strongly influenced by the smooth, clean lines and minimalistic simplicity of Scandinavian design.
TFP: We love OLIKA’s video series, “Give’em The Bird. Be Naughty.” Tell us a little bit about where it came from and what it means to you?
J: I developed, wrote, and appeared in our cheeky brand video series called, Give’em the Bird. Both videos showcase lead characters, who not only break social norms, but also inflict their subpar personal hygiene upon unsuspecting bystanders. A poised and properly mannered narrator interjects during each scene with a cheeky solution for the situation at hand: simply “Give’em the Bird” – as in Birdie. The marketing campaign breathes life into a stale, consumer category and again demonstrates our commitment to approaching things differently.
TFP: From big corporations to entrepreneurship. What inspired you to give it a go on your own?
J: As far back as I can remember, I have been interested in business. At one point in high school, I even tried selling homemade arts and crafts. It did not pan out as well as hoped, but a number of lessons were learned in the process. After college, I was an investment banker and held a number of corporate strategy roles post-business school. I always wanted to do something entrepreneurial and jumped at the opportunity to create a brand and product I am passionate about.
TFP: Why did you join the F Project?
J: I believe in paying it forward. I’ve met a number of other amazing female founders in the consumer products space, who are incredible sounding boards and collaborative thought leaders. Regardless of industry, we are all challenged with the same issues: How to best utilize social media marketing? How can I find a talented salesperson? Talking to others who can relate and share tips on building a business is invaluable.