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#5SmartReads - May 12, 2023
Olivia on the difficulties of getting divorced, catfishes in mom groups, and videos in podcasting
Olivia Howell is the co-founder and CEO of Fresh Starts Registry, the first and only platform for everything you need to begin again, including divorce or breakup, moving, career changes, stepping into your truth, or starting again after grief. After her own divorce in 2019, Olivia had an 'aha moment' when she realized that we celebrate weddings and babies with a registry, but in the moments we really need to restock our life, like divorce, job loss, or any brave decision and major life change, we need the support, both in the form of support items for your home and the experts who become our hype team.
From there, Fresh Starts Registry was born, the first Support Registry and Divorce Registry - and the only platform which aggregates support experts for all life changes and supports the Fresh Starts Experts in their marketing, business, and public relations. Olivia currently lives in Huntington with her two amazing boys. In her spare time, she loves to co-host A Fresh Story Podcast, watercolor, make handmade cards, read about generational trauma, listen to 90s music, and collect crystals.
It's no surprise that I'm an advocate for everyone to have the right to divorce, and in a safe way - unfortunately, as this Time piece by Rebecca Feinglos and Sophia Laurenzi, the right to a safe divorce is not a right everywhere - and this needs to change.
I believe that divorce is liberation - for both people - and even though, as the article states, 70% of divorces are initiated by women, there are still some very antiquated rules and regulations around divorce, and as they say in the piece, "Divorce in the U.S. is governed by an arbitrary constellation of policies that impede the freedom to end a marriage and have a disproportionately harmful impact on women."
This piece fired me up to keep doing the work we do at Fresh Starts Registry - we need to support people going through brave life decisions, like divorce, because it's not always easy to leave a marriage, and it's time we talk about that in a much bigger way.
Oof, did y'all catch this news? Pop culture reporter Stephanie McNeal happened to be in a Facebook group for moms that had some DRAMA.
Stephanie recounts that a few years back a woman named Emma joined the group, claiming to live in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and that she was a SAHM to her daughter and stepdaughter. She would speak all about her extravagant lifestyle and post outrageous Facebook posts, ones often that McNeal would seek out. However, Emma...isn't real. Some of the members of the group did some detective work and found out she was a total catfish.
The article is interesting for SO many reasons, but it's really about our trust on the internet, and how much we know about these strangers we talk to daily. A fascinating read!
As someone in the registry space, and someone who's shopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond for...beyond many years, I've been following the news about their sad demise. BB&B recently filed for bankruptcy, and it's not a total shock - they've been struggling to keep up with online retailers and have seen a major decline in foot traffic into stores. Plus, it seems like Target or Walmart has everything these days?
This piece from NPR digs deeper into the reasons behind BB&B's financial troubles and the challenges it faced in the highly competitive retail industry. It's an interesting point of view - and reminds me of what happened to Toys R Us (I've watched way too many YouTube videos about their downfall).
Did you shop at Bed, Bath & Beyond? I think the last time I shopped there was for college - or maybe my wedding? Would love to hear your thoughts on this one!
Hold the phones, Mrs. Maisel! Do you know what the Borscht Belt is?
Let's do a little history lesson: The Borscht Belt, named for the soup, was a popular vacation destination in New York's Catskill Mountains, for Jewish Americans from the 1920s to the 1970s. If you've ever watched Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, her family goes to a summer resort where they have a whole community of Jewish friends and family they see during their time there.
And, of course, we have our famed Kellerman Resort in the Catskills, from Dirty Dancing. The museum, called the Borscht Belt Heritage Center, will feature exhibits and artifacts related to the resorts, hotels, and entertainment venues that were once a thriving part of the region's economy and cultural scene.
What I love is that the article digs into the importance of preserving and celebrating cultural Jewish history, and how Jewish traditions have shaped our society as we know it today. I'll be looking forward to visiting!
This may be a heated question: but do you listen to your podcasts audio only, or on video too?
As a top podcaster, we made a decision early on to not use video in our marketing. I know, I know - like I said, it's a heated discussion!
My friend, fellow podcaster, and video expert, Dana Bowling, would very much disagree with me, but hear me out. When people come on our show, A Fresh Story, they share their vulnerabilities, their authentic story - and sometimes we all cry!
We've found that people are much more likely to share themselves and their stories when they know the video of them isn't going to be shared anywhere. We share sound clips, but not video. Now, this isn't the case for ALL podcasts, obviously - but, I really appreciated this article that was saying that we don't ALL need to jump to video as podcasters, and in fact, some of us will simply remain audio-only, and that's OKAY!
What are your thoughts on this?