Naomie Olindo is originally from Nice, France. Her formative years were spent in the European country, but her parents had a knack for travelling and heard good things about Charleston, South Carolina from an uncle who once lived in the city. Olindo’s family went on an excursion, fell in love, and started the relocation process, as she narrated on the “Mouthing Off” podcast. The nine-month move was made easier by the fact that they had green cards.
“[I] moved to Charleston, SC with my parents when I was 9,” Olindo shared in a conversation with Mestiza. “I have been in love with Charleston ever since and attended grade school through graduate school here. I love the low-country, being outside, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and helping animals.”
Olindo’s French roots became the foundation she needed to launch her own boutique, L’abeye, years later. The name, she told Mestiza, came about when she attended her cousin’s nuptials in a French village. “The welcome party was in the most beautiful abbey with a cherry orchard,” Olindo explained of the inspiration. “… In French, an abbey is spelled ‘une abbaye’ — I loved the way it sounded but wanted a new, made-up word (hello, Trademark), so I mixed it with the word ‘une abeille,’ which means a bee.”