Olivah uses waste from marble and stone quarries to produce items for interior design and decoration. Image provided by Olivah

Olivah gives waste from marble quarries a second life

09 July 2024 09:48

AICEP Portugal

Sintra - Olivah uses waste from marble and stone quarries to produce all kinds of designer pieces. These are ordered by architects as well as art dealers appearing at Art Basel. In future, the Portuguese start-up will also be offering its products to end customers online.

Gisella Tortoriello gives waste from marble and stones a second life. The founder of Olivah goes to marble and stone quarries, especially those located in the region of Alentejo in Portugal, to search for suitable fragments in the waste there. The company’s designers then pay great attention to detail to forming this material into shapes ordered by the customer at the company’s workshop in Sintra. This might be architects in Paris or designers in Los Angeles, for example.

In the future, end customers from outside of Portugal will also be able to order unique designer products made of marble or stone. According to Gisella Tortoriello, Olivah plans to launch an online shop in October, which has been in the works for some time. Here, customers can order bathtubs, tables and kitchen countertops, as well as vases, decorations or - a new product - tablecloths that combine a cork base with a marble surface.

Gisella Tortoriello has worked in the stone industry for two decades. As an architect, she found it constantly frustrating that valuable marble was thrown away simply because it did not meet the builders’ uniform standards. During the forced break during the COVID pandemic, she decided to turn her passion for stone and her aversion to waste into a business. It was in this way that she had the idea for Olivah in the first place. The name is reminiscent of an olive tree, which does not exist in her original homeland of Brazil but is ubiquitous across her new homeland of Portugal: Like stone, the olive tree is rooted in the earth seemingly for eternity.

Gisella Tortoriello also enjoyed some good fortune: one of her former clients was keen to bring her marble designer pieces to the Art Basel fair in Miami in 2021. This ended up being two container loads. Other appearances at Art Basel fairs both in Florida and Switzerland followed thereafter. The start-up now employs four people in Sintra, and has drawn up additional growth plans too. ce/stk