How Sisters Olivia Dreizen Howell and Genevieve “Jenny” Dreizen are Making Life Transitions Easier with the Fresh Starts Registry and their New Book
Life is constantly moving and evolving in a never-ending rollercoaster ride that’s often filled with many ups and downs. Whether you are going through a transition (such as with a divorce), or know someone who is experiencing a life change, sometimes finding the words, or even knowing what to say, can be challenging.
Sisters Olivia Dreizen Howell and Genevieve “Jenny” Dreizen are changing the narrative around change with the release of their new book, “Simple Scripts to Support Your People: What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say” and Fresh Starts Registry, a life transition registry website (they basically created this category). The book features ways to support people in your life by providing simple scripts, which can be especially helpful when you just can’t find the right words.
As the founders of the Fresh Starts Registry, the sisters deeply care about supporting people which is evident through their packed resource-driven site and carefully-curated and researched registry bundles to help people make life transitions with support (and much needed essentials) as they embark on the next phase of their lives. Read on to learn more about their new book, the Fresh Starts Registry, and what’s next for the sisters.
Westchester Family: Congratulations on the release of “Simple Scripts to Support Your People: What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say.” How did the idea for the book come about?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: My sister Jenny and I have always had a pathological need to support people. We know that people want to love and support their community, but sometimes those words are hard to find.
I had been sharing simple scripts for supporting your people for simple moments (like having the Sunday Scaries, or how to tell someone you’re proud of them) on Twitter, and people were responding really beautifully to the help in finding the words. I was in the shower one day (where all good ideas come!), and thought, what if we could turn this into a book and help people find the words to support their people for more of life’s real moments? I jumped out of the shower and said to Jenny, “We should write Simple Scripts to Support Your People!” She looked back at me and said, “What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say?” And from there, the idea came to life!
Westchester Family: What was the process like of co-writing a book?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: Jenny and I have been building businesses together since we were kids, so we were no strangers to working together – but writing a book was a new adventure for us! Jenny is our operations manager, and a whiz with building systems, so she set it up so we could easily share documents and work on aspects of the book together. We came up with all of the “life scenarios” together, and then split up the scripts – and then edited each other’s scripts (and had a few friends “human check” some of the scripts for scenarios we haven’t personally lived through).
It was a joy writing and designing the book together. When it came time to build our revolutionary VASE Method, we sat our our favorite coffee shop (shoutout to Southdown Coffee), and just talked and talked until it formed before our eyes and we were so excited to have created this new method of scripting language – we have therapists telling us they are even using it with clients now!
Westchester Family: Why do you think it’s so challenging for people to find the “right” words during difficult times? How can the book help?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: I think so often we truly want to help our loved ones, but sometimes we just don’t know what to say because we haven’t lived that moment, and we are afraid of saying the wrong thing! But in fact, if you talk to anyone who has needed support, they will tell you, they just wanted someone to acknowledge their life moment – it doesn’t have to be wordy or lengthy, simple is okay! Simple Scripts to Support Your People has over 200 scripts for all of the trying, tough, and tremendous moments in life.
We pulled real life scenarios from the moments people in our own community have lived through. We wanted to make sure that these moments were based in reality – so the book includes scripts for everything from what to say to a friend who is planning a funeral for their parent, or is having a miscarriage, or lost their job – or what to say to a friend who lost their luggage or was broken up with, and of course, the celebratory moments too – like what to say to a friend who bought their first house, eloped, or got a new job!
Our mission is to bridge the gap between the people who want to support others and the people who need to be supported – and to give people the permission to support their loved ones by having the words to say with the scripts. We also outline in the book, a bunch of other ways to support your people, and most of them don’t include spending a dime!
Westchester Family: What does having support mean to you?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: Having support is rooted in being seen, heard, and validated. Our proprietary VASE Method, which is outlined in the book (and we have a workbook, as well) stands for Validate, Acknowledge, Support, and Express. This helps to support meeting people where they are, and helping them feel validated, seen, heard, and loved. This can even be a simple: “I’m proud of you” text. It can go a long way!
Westchester Family: We love Fresh Starts and its impact on helping people begin again. How did the idea come about?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: Fresh Starts is the first and only platform for everything you need to start again! We celebrate brave decisions – and we believe that everyone is worthy of a registry and building a hype team. Fresh Starts includes a free registry builder – on the website, you can find product bundles of recommended items that you can add to your registry.
People come to Fresh Starts to build registries for so many life events: divorce, moving, job change, coming out, living through grief – we are the very first Support Registry – and we are here to support people through all of life’s brave decisions. We also include scripts that you can use to send your registry to your community. We also have our amazing resource guide of vetted experts! Did you know for every life change we encounter, we typically work with 10 experts?
We have vetted experts (Fresh Starts Experts) on our site that you can connect with – and you can always browse the Expert guide for free! Our Experts range from therapists to divorce coaches, life coaches, career coaches, menopause coaches, fitness experts, astrologers, psychics, and so much more. And, if you are an Expert and would like to become a Fresh Starts Expert, you can join the Fresh Starts Expert Community, which is a business development, marketing, and public relations community. We support our experts in their business growth, which includes marketing, public relations, and business development for $37/month. It’s an amazing community and we’ve placed our experts in hundreds of press pieces!
Westchester Family: What can people find on Fresh Starts?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: We offer a ton of free content for people who are going through life transitions! We are all about empowering people through brave life decisions. We often offer free workshops, and if you are looking for an expert, feel free to come on over and browse the Expert guide – most of the experts offer free consults!
Westchester Family: What do you and Jenny to do when you aren’t working?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: I’m about to graduate to receive my certification as a neuro linguistic practitioner/hypnotherapist, and I’m thrilled to help more people through life transitions. I spend a lot of time with my two boys, swimming, reading, drawing, and taking walks. Jenny loves to design merch for fun, write poetry, and take walks with a cup of coffee and a little treat!
Westchester Family: What’s next for you and Fresh Starts?
Olivia Dreizen Howell: We’re so excited about changing the world and helping people shake the shackles of shame when it comes to brave decisions. We have more books in the works, which we’re really thrilled about – and we also have a top rated podcast, A Fresh Story, which features guests sharing their fresh start stories.
We’re also launching DivorceGuide.co, which is a free website to help people learn what questions they need to ask during a divorce, who they should be talking to, and help give them the words they need to feel empowered during their divorce process. We’re in the business of support, and we’re incredibly passionate about helping people get the support they need, and teaching people how to support their community.