If you haven’t already seen these chic new olive oils on Instagram or stocked on shelves in the coolest cafes and shops like Highly Likely in West Adams, Los Angeles or Regular Visitors in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn — you are missing out. To catch you up to speed, this is Brightland, brought to you by Aishwarya Iyer. Aishwarya is one of those entrepreneurs you meet, and instantly become absorbed by her story. She decided to take on and champion a conversation in the olive oil industry, which you can probably imagine is pretty complicated with a long history. As you’ll read in our interview with Aishwarya, she’s worked hard to get to where she finally is now, and it goes to show.
As for the olive oils, we are quite literally obsessed with them. In fact, we just used Brightland in our Golden Granola recipe a few days back. There are two different types with distinct flavors, Alive and Awake, made with handpicked single-farm olive farms in California. Aishwarya frequently goes to the olive farms herself to check in, which is just about as admirable as it gets, considering she’s got a lot on her plate. But that’s what makes this company so special — a hands on, hardworking boss. Today, we’re celebrating the launch of Brightland’s first limited edition bottle, LUCID, a lemon olive oil designed in collaboration with B.D. Graft.
Brightland is still in its first year since launch, and it’s clear that Aishwarya and her team have hit the ground running. Get inspired, get hungry, and get on to reading our chat with Aishwarya. Do yourself a favor and grab a bottle, or two, or all three. We already did!
Brightland is making serious waves right now and we are obsessed. Tell us about the Brightland journey and how it all began.
LUCID is Brightland’s newest oil: a 100% lemon olive oil with a limited edition label in collaboration with Amsterdam-based artist B.D. Graft. LUCID was made for lustrous fare and golden hours. Brightland’s LUCID is a wonderful addition to pound cakes, pasta, baked potatoes, pancakes, muffins, in cocktails and salads.
Now that we all know you’re a major boss, tell us about your personal journey as an entrepreneur. What were some of the biggest hurdles you faced as you started out?
Shutting off my ‘inner critic’ has been an enormous challenge every step of my career, and one that I still tackle. Everyone has an inner critic based on experiences and feedback from earlier years that governs how they view themselves affects decision making, and sometimes, sabotages them from their natural power. In the past few years, I have done quite a bit of work, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, to create space from my inner critic, and I’ve been able to unleash powerful qualities because of it. To anyone who resonates with this, I highly recommend reading Embracing Your Inner Critic, by Hal & Sidra Stone. It changed my life.
What are some of the biggest challenges you currently face running a small business with a lean team? How do you overcome them?
Focus and time! We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful opportunities come our way, but we have to be laser focused because we do not have the internal bandwidth or resources to be able to take on all of them. It always feels like we are racing against the clock; however, I remind myself that we are building something for the long term. It’s all a work in progress.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their entrepreneurial journey?
How do you find work-life balance? Is that even a thing these days, since we’re always so connected?
What’s your morning ritual that gets you started on the right foot every day?
A seven minute HIIT workout through Alexa, and some greek yogurt, Brightland, honey and pistachios for breakfast.
What are five things you can’t live without right now?
What are a couple of your favorite recipes to make with Brightland olive oil?
A Brightland Olive oil smoothie that’s nourishing and nutritious, and this incredibly unique olive (oil) cake made by the inimitable food writer/author Charlotte Druckman, who cooked this up using Brightland and kindly shared with us.
What’s next for Brightland?
We are so excited about collaborating with artists, designers and brands who embody the Brightland ethos, and we are thrilled to continue inspiring people to celebrate simple, everyday moments of gathering and nourishment.