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News > Alumni news > Alumni Spotlight: Carolina ('11) & Olimpia ('16) Roman and Lorena Canals ('79)

Alumni Spotlight: Carolina ('11) & Olimpia ('16) Roman and Lorena Canals ('79)

Second-generation ASB'ers follow in their mother's entrepreneurial footsteps.
Carolina & Olimpia Roman with their mother Lorena Canals
Carolina & Olimpia Roman with their mother Lorena Canals

Barcelonians, Olimpia ‘11 and Carolina ‘16 Roman, are second-generation ASB’ers who attended ASB from PK3 to 12th grade, following their mother, Lorena Canals ‘79, who was also a former student.

“Our mother always had an open mind and wanted to give us the same opportunities she had.”

Today they are the founders of a thriving children’s toy business called Oli&Carol (on Instagram @oliandcarol), offering sustainable, 100% natural rubber teethers and bath toys and natural cotton DIY textile toys for children over the age of six.

“We created Oli&Carol more than five years ago, when we were sixteen and twenty-one years old, with the aim to offer a sustainable alternative that also acted for the benefit of society. From young we had the opportunity to work in our mother’s company, Lorena Canals (on Instagram @lorenacanalsrugs), a sustainable producer of machine-washable cotton rugs for the home, and were able to receive much inspiration from such a strong, hard-working, and loving role model. 

“If you work doing something you love, then it’s not working anymore.”

Since the beginning, taking care of the environment by offering only natural, sustainable products that are plastic-free and follow an artisanal handmade process, was a priority for the sisters.

Located in Barcelona, Oli&Carol is today present in over 85 countries worldwide, with plans to continue expanding and innovating with more sustainable collections and projects. With the United States being one of their largest markets with around 800 retailers including stores like Pottery Barn, Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, it is no surprise that New York City feels like home for Olimpia and Carolina. “We really love the city and its people.”

While Olimpia received her degree in International Commerce & Marketing from Pompeu Fabra and Carolina her degree in Marketing, Communications and Public Relations from Blanquerna, both are firm believers that it was at “ASB where we received the values to be doing what we are doing now.”

Recent Oli&Carol collections have involved conveying powerful messages to little ones -  healthy lifestyles with their Fruits&Veggies collection, an H2Origami Collection which donates benefits to Oceana Organization, the development of rubber toys in collaboration with Agatha Ruíz de la Prada to support AECC in the research of children’s cancer, and a new Chewy-To-Go toy called Eli-the-Clover in collaboration with Juan Carlos Unzué, which contributes towards ALS research (see the campaign here!).

What are your fondest memories of ASB teachers?

Olimpia: “Mr. Bill from 3rd grade was such an amazing teacher, he never limited our imagination and would be so inspiring. Also, classes with Mr. Pacheco in 6th grade were so fun, and we will always appreciate Mr. Jordi for creating the first girls' soccer team!”

Carolina: “I have a beautiful memory from classes with Ms. Donna Love, a fun and enthusiastic teacher who made every simple activity an amazing experience. We sang with her in class and enjoyed so many fun projects. She was constantly smiling.”

“And of course, all of the Selectividad teachers both of us had the pleasure of being in class with!”

What experiences from your days at ASB do you still recall?

Olimpia: “I remember so many moments like the annual Sports Day, Ms. Nancy saying “you can’t say you can’t play”, art classes with Ms. Linda, Science Fairs, playing soccer, Halloween shows, show & tell time with Ms. Donna, the “yo quiero tener un millón de amigos” song every Wednesday, the fun Selectividad classes with only seven of us, and not knowing what career to choose until the last minute with Ms. Magda!”

Carolina: “I remember being one of the first girls to play soccer in recess and going to tournaments with the boys' team. Also, the assemblies held in the lunchroom, the delicious chocolate croissants we bought at recess from Mr. Llamazares, Spirit Week and its costumes, and going to AMAC tournaments around the world!”

In your opinion, what makes ASB special?

“The way the teachers encourage the students to think outside the box and its continuous philosophy of introducing students to dream big and to connect with one another.” 

If you could describe ASB in one word, what would it be?
“FAMILY.”

Once a Lynx, Always a Lynx!
#Lynx4Life #ASBtogether

Contributed: June 2021

 

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