From Corporate to Life of Riley

Work-life balance is an increasingly popular concept to those who want to have the best of both worlds – work and play! Alison Hollier, a former Marketing Manager with extensive experience in the corporate world and the education sector breaks out of the 9 to 5 cycle to focus on her three gorgeous labradoodles and her two online businesses – Subun (an online store for natural olive oil soap) and Life of Riley (an online store for dog beds, collars and leads).

It hasn’t been an easy road for Alison but she has enjoyed and learned a lot from the challenges she has faced and is still facing.

“Even with a good website, you can’t expect customers to just come, unless you get your SEO (search engine optimisation) right and also do some advertising. Word of mouth has been very good for us”.

“I’m a strong believer in enjoying the work you do, taking risks and accepting challenges – it’s what makes life more exciting!”

Alison tells us more about her Sabun Soap and Life of Riley Products…..

Sabun is a beautiful and basic olive oil soap which has been made the same way for centuries in Syria. Some say it is the original olive oil soap which Arab traders introduced to the rest of the world! The recipe has been passed down through generations and it is used by most households in Syria and Jordan as an everyday soap. There’s no nasty ingredients or perfume – it’s gentle on the skin and the olive oil keeps the skin well moisturised. Excellent for sufferers of eczema, psoriasis and sensitive skin.

Life of Riley dog beds is an idea that was born through getting frustrated with buying dog beds made in China which the dogs chewed and which wore out after a few months. I wanted to have something resilient which the dogs also loved. We started by putting alpaca wool into our own dog beds and the dogs just went crazy for them – I think it was the smell and the warmth of the bed. So that is basically how it all started! The name came from the old expression “living the life of riley” meaning living an easy and comfortable life which we think our dogs definitely do! It surprises me that many people don’t know this expression and frequently ask me, who is Riley?! ….I must be showing my age.

You will also find Alison’s cheery-self selling her products at the Takapuna markets in Auckland – pop over there and say hi!

I’m using the Sabun soap now, and I have to admit I LOVE IT! It’s super-moisturising and I use it as a body soap and as a hand soap. I also don’t need to apply moisturiser afterwards and the soap lasts forever, I’ve been using it for months!

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