Family, friends, and well-wishers were on hand as The Sassy Olive hosted a Grand Opening event for their Downtown Allegan retail location. The location—the former home of the Hartman-Ellis Agency—also serves as production space, consolidating work previously undertaken at Christman’s Ann Arbor apartment, her parent’s basement, and the home of The Sassy Olive’s first employee, Alison van Melle.
The Sassy Olive began, quite by accident, when Landria’s grandmother taught her how to sew headbands. Requests from friends and co-workers turned into sales via an online Etsy shop and weekends spent at artisan markets resulting in more than 50,000 Sassy Olive products being sold to date. To her great credit, Christman was able to pay her Masters Degree in Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology from the University of Michigan; tuition, room, board, car payment – the whole shebang. Of her decision to pursue The Sassy Olive full time, having just completed her Master’s work, Christman said, “Things are going too well right now” not to see where it leads.
Plans for the retail location include featuring other Michigan-made, artisan products from those whom Christman has developed relationships with at the various artisan markets across the state.