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Conversations with Olivia Otero

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Otero.

Olivia, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m originally from Chicago where I studied Cosmetology at Paul Mitchell The School. I was a hairdresser for 5ish years and helped run a salon as well. During my time as a hairdresser – my world really began to open and I started learning about health/wellness, non-toxic living and sustainability. I knew that being a hairdresser wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. I am blind in one eye from cataracts/glaucoma and struggled with doing hair but I also wanted to do something where I could be flexible to travel, live other places and share with others. I quit my job and worked in a cold-pressed juice shop, a Whole Body Buyer at Whole Foods and even started my own business (no longer exists) where we had a monthly subscription box that showcased products from local businesses in Chicago. My main goal through those jobs was to learn as much as I could and figure out a way to start something of my own. I started Via Liv on a whim after playing with the syllables of my name and really liked the way it sounded. It was a place for me to share all my interests starting with hair to juicing/recipes and now where I share everything from my travels, sustainability, fashion, health and much more. Via Liv is ultimately a place for me to connect and grow with other women in hopes to inspire/vice versa. I recently started a YouTube Channel where I share even more!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
No. I’ve struggled trying to find my voice and really haven’t felt like I’ve had a clear vision until the past year or so. I’ve been bullied my entire life for my appearance and how I did things so I never really felt confident in myself. I’m still learning to fully embrace myself but I’m focusing on learning to love myself and practice self-love habits that can support me. It’s easy to compare yourself to others on social media and get frustrated with growth, etc. but trusting yourself and timing is key.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a content creator on both IG + YouTube and a trained hormone health coach. I am proud of all it took mentally, emotionally and even physically to get to where I am today and surpass discomfort in putting myself out there on camera where it’s often very awkward listening/seeing yourself without criticize the way you look/talk/act. Learning to embrace myself “flaws” and all.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My partner, Chiko is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. He has believed in me even when I couldn’t believe in myself. He continuously supports me and pumps me up to keep going and keep creating. I don’t know what I would do without him or his support and love. Both my mom and dad have showed me how to create something for yourself and make your own path. They have showed me hard work and dedication. I hope to one day be able to repay them for all they’ve done for me. Bali. I know it’s weird to credit a place but Bali changed my life forever. When I was 24, my bf got in a minor car accident in my car and was given money. Ideally, I could’ve used the money to fix it but my bf convinced me that I should use it for something more. Traveling outside the U.S. was never a thing in my family but my entire life, I knew I needed to go everywhere and even more so – for my first trip be solo. So after looking up places to go that were safe for solo women, Bali came up and I booked the ticket. It made me more confident in myself, it challenged me, it helped me grow. I owe so much to that small island that taught me so much and to my bf for encouraging me to go. I have now been twice and hope to move there at some point.

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