Aishwarya Iyer is changing the way we think about Olive Oil. Iyer is the impressive CEO and founder of Brightland, an LA based California extra virgin olive oil company that debuted in June 2018. A graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Aishwarya started her career in L’Oreal’s luxury products division at Lancôme, which sparked her interest in the definition of luxury and passion for building memorable consumer brands.
Prior to Brightland, Aishwarya spent nearly a decade in communications and advisory roles within the start up and technology industries at companies such as ff Venture Capital, SecondMarket and Whisper. The experiences paved the way for her first entrepreneurial opportunity, co founding Ellephant Partners in 2016, a strategic communications firm specializing in venture backed technology companies. In 2017, inspired by her personal entrepreneurial vision to bring new energy and change to the American olive oil industry, Aishwarya began conceptualizing and building Brightland, with the mission to craft premium, custom blended extra virgin olive oil that is nourishing for the body, heart and soul.
This February, Brightland debuted LUCID, a lemon olive oil blend, in collaboration with Amsterdam based artist B.D. Graft. Known for his series “Add Yellow," Graft worked closely with Brightland founder Aishwarya (Aish) Iyer to create an eye catching label that expresses their shared vision for Brightland's first limited edition bottle. We chatted to Iyer about the new blend and building her business.
You have a new blend coming out, Lucid, tell us about it! AISHWARYA IYER: LUCID is Brightland's new lemon olive oil featuring a limited edition label collaboration with artist B.D. Graft The label’s artwork is a hand made collage created using oil pastels, paper, charcoal, and acrylic paint. Brightland’s LUCID is a wonderful addition to pound cakes, pasta, baked potatoes, pancakes, muffins and in cocktails and salads.
Tell us more about why you got into the olive oil space in the first place A.I: After I found out that the majority of the olive oil Americans consume is rotten, rancid and adulterated, I wanted to create a solution that was US made, beautiful, and authentic and that's how Brightland was born.
What's the biggest misconception about oil? A.I: People think olive oil tastes like butter or has no taste when in fact it's incredibly rich with depth, nuance, and flavor, similar to wine!
What's one olive oil tip you give to everyone? A.I: Taste your olive oil straight: pour some in a spoon and really take a minute to think about the flavors and taste. If it tastes like absolutely nothing or is plastic-y, it's most likely rancid. If it tastes fresh, green and has a peppery finish at the back of your throat, it's likely the real deal (extra virgin olive oil).
What do you love about being a female founder? A.I: The friendship and fellowship with other founders/entrepreneurs (female/male) has been incredible. I'm grateful to have met such amazing people as I embark on the Brightland journey.
What are you most excited for on the horizon? A.I: We have a slew of interesting projects and partnerships in the works. I cannot wait for those to come to life and am so excited for Brightland to continue to grow.