Meet Mamaprenista Olivia Dreizen Howell and Learn How She Shifted the Cultural Narrative through Fresh Starts Registry
Hello Olivia! Please share a little bit about your business:
Fresh Starts Registry is the first and only platform for everything you need to start again. We are shifting the cultural narrative to celebrate big, bold, and brave life decisions. Whether it’s a divorce, breakup, moving, job change, stepping into your truth, or any big life change, we believe everyone is worthy of a registry. Our Expert Community provides infrastructure to develop their business. We support the Experts so that they can support their clients! We’re revolutionizing the art of beginning again!
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
My guiding light in life is collaboration and lifting each other up! As is the ethos in the Fresh Starts Expert Community, I believe a rising tide lifts all ships – and this is so clear in the Entreprenista League, too! When women support each other, amazing things happen!!
What made you take the leap to start Fresh Starts Registry?
In my 20s I was a middle school Latin teacher, and after having my first son, I realized I wanted to work for myself. I started social media management over 10 years ago and that grew into a global social media management and marketing agency (March Lion Media). From there, I developed a love of supporting small business in their communications, marketing, PR, social media and biz dev. Three years ago, after my divorce, I journaled about shifting the cultural narrative and celebrating big, brave, and bold life decisions. This led me to found Fresh Starts Registry, where we celebrate people making big, brave life decisions – and support the Fresh Starts Experts in their marketing, communications, PR and business development in our Fresh Starts Expert Community – it’s everything I have done with clients for years, and we’re teaching it to our amazing Experts!
What was your background prior to becoming an entreprenista?
I have been in and out of marketing since my teens, but in my 20s, I was a middle school Latin, History, and Drama teacher – and I loved it!
So Olivia, did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes, I have always been an entrepreneur! In fact, my sister and I (who are the founders of Fresh Starts Registry), had our very first business when we were 4 and 6, selling handmade greeting cards to the local art museum! Since then, I’ve had more businesses than I can count, including selling t-shirts online that I designed, freelance writing, blogging, and much more.
Can you take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out?
When I pivoted into social media management, I literally would go into local shops in my town here on Long Island, my baby on my hip, and ask them if I could run their Facebook pages! I even offered them a month free to show them what I could do, and they hired me after – and would spread the word by mouth! I had a ton of clients before I even had a website.
So Olivia, what is the biggest challenge you have encountered as an entreprenista so far?
I think the biggest challenge to date was overcoming my own imposter syndrome. I have no background in marketing or social media, I am all self-taught, and really proud of that! However, it took me a while to realize I can sit at the same table as others in the marketing world, even though my journey to marketing and business development may have been different, it’s just as strong.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Fresh Starts Registry started as an idea in my journal after my divorce, and to see it featured in The New York Post and NBC is WILD to me!! It’s just a testament to following your intuition and believing in yourself – I always bet on me!!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
As a solo mom of two, I have to be able to have some balance in my life or I will break!! It’s taken me many years to figure this out, but I have to put my own mental health before anything. This means taking walks during the day, having quiet time when my boys go to sleep, and really taking weekends off (which took me years to do). I would say, remember that nothing will thrive if you don’t put your mental health first, so find hobbies and movement that makes you feel good – maybe dancing, or writing, or watercoloring, or watching reality TV! Also, I will let my kids hang in my room while I work (sometimes!), so we’ll be together, but I’ll get some stuff knocked off my to-do list!
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
I wish I had known to have better boundaries with clients! It actually makes you look more professional in the long run, and is way better for your mental health.
Oliva, you have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I am so proud of growing Fresh Starts! We now have 50+ Fresh Starts Experts and have gotten them over 80 press pieces in the last year!! To become a Fresh Starts Expert is only $37/month and you have access to press and media opportunities that, as a small business owner, you wouldn’t normally have – my passion is getting our Experts’ names in the press!
What’s next for Fresh Starts Registry? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We’re currently raising $1million dollars in our seed round so that we can build the platform out and expand our vision! We’re so excited to change the world and shift the cultural narrative around change. We’re all about celebrating the brave life decisions and taking the shame out of life changes – we’re here to empower people through their life and believe ALL milestones deserve a registry and celebration.