Olive Oil Skincare Oils Up the Asian Market

Olive Oil Skincare started out as a home remedy for psoriasis. Today it turns over $1 million a year, and has Chinese buyers hooked on its beauty & skincare range.

Coming from an Italian background, Frank Granziera jokes he was born to eat and drink olive oil.

But making a business out of olive oil was never something he planned.

His business Olive Oil Skin Care Company got its start five years ago when a relative was searching for a solution for her psoriasis.

"They tried everything, nothing would work," Frank says.

"So they did a bit of research, looked through books and saw ah, olive oil!"

With a pot and pan in the kitchen, they made an olive oil soap.

"Lo and behold the psoriasis disappeared. So what that led to was, 'hey we have a product here.'"

Initially, they assumed their main market would be here in Australia, so exporting wasn't on the radar.

But a proposal from Australia Post changed their fortunes and opened up the Chinese market.

"Australia Post developed their T-mall site," Frank says, referring to the Chinese e-commerce site operated by the Alibaba Group. "They were looking for some very Australian-made products to put on the site. And we were approached by Australia Post out of the blue."

T-mall Global provides a platform for Chinese consumers to buy international, branded products, straight from the retailers. Businesses operate a virtual 'shop front' on the site, which Alibaba says averages 100 million unique visitors per day. More