It's another Wednesday, which makes it a great time to introduce you to another amazing mamma who is kicking butt and taking names in both her family and business life!
Meet Olivia: An amazing wife, mamma, and business-savvy woman who is using her platform to change the world! To give you a little glimpse of her story, here is a snippet from the bio on her website, SimplyOli:
When I was 13 my bipolar disorder reared its head hard, and my world got very dark, very fast. I lost love for my passions, love for myself, my family, and love for life in general. I abused myself mentally, physically, and tried to end my life more than once. I truly didn't think it would end especially after being diagnosed with mild schizophrenia. Attempts at therapy and various medications never seemed to provide a long term solution for me personally.
I'm sharing with you my story, which led me to who I am today. I'm sharing with you my jewelry, because it's become my therapy just as nature has. I'm sharing with you my lessons learned, not to help you avoid yours, but so you can see the value in harder times. And I'm sharing with you my daily life, my family, my world, so that you can see with your own two eyes that happiness doesn't look perfect - it looks however you need it to.
Olivia, your story is seriously incredible! Can you tell our readers a little bit about your life and what lead you to create SimplyOli?
Aww thank you! So yeah, I'm a wife to my super inspiring husband Jim, a mom to two beautiful little girls - Piper (4 years old) and Paige (1 year old), and a pet mom to 2 dogs, and 3 reptiles. Life as it is right now basically is a typical stay at home mom life - I take care of the kiddos, am exploring homeschooling, cook meals, and I keep the house as tidy as possible (which someday's isn't tidy at all haha). Of course in the mix of all of that I run my business full time from home. SimplyOli really started because I became a mom. When Piper turned 1 I realized I wasn't feeling fulfilled and I needed a creative outlet. I had always planned on working in the corporate world and never really thought I would become a stay at home mom. So my work ethic got a little restless, I started playing with some metal stamping, then discovered resin, treated it as a business right away and the rest is history.
What are the different facets of SimplyOli? Unlike most blogs/websites (like mine!), you do not just do one thing, but many! I know that for me, writing and creating is therapeutic... is it the same with you?
Oh, it is most definitely a form of therapy for me! My curiosity paired with my love to just create whatever interests me definitely lead me down an interesting road. So SimplyOli started as pop culture spoon key chains with a little bit of nature jewelry (which has completely flipped), but now I have life vlogs, self help blogs, and short form podcast to help shift women to a more positive perspective within themselves and life. Things kind of went from just jewelry, to more of my life, to sharing my story and helping others in as many ways as I can. Each thing I do speaks to the same message but in it's own way, which is something I didn't plan intentionally but really love.
You are so warm and honest on SimplyOli; what has the reception been? Have you received a lot of feedback from readers?
Everyone has been absolutely amazing and so incredibly kind! I appreciate so much when people take the time to share what something I've said or made has meant to them. It also means the world when they feel comfortable enough to share their own personal experiences and stories with me and we can connect and have a discussion on topics that I know can be a little harder to share.
What are your tips for moms out there looking to begin their own blog/website?
Where should they begin? My tips would be:
1. Start out with something you love or are interested in (I had no idea what I was doing with resin but I had an interest and ran with it).
2. Don't get overwhelmed with what platform to use, just find a place to start and focus more on connecting on a real level with people.
3. Don't wait for validation. Being a mom is just one title you hold and it doesn't define who you are or what you can do with your life.
4. Do what works for you. Especially as moms we might think that we have to hire a sitter in order to work, or that if we can't be productive in business and keep the house clean in the same day that we're not doing a good job. Some days are wife, kid, and house heavy for me, and other days I'm crushing my work to do list but the house is a mess. There's no one way to do it so be okay with being flexible.
Has SimplyOli opened any doors that you weren’t expecting (whether it be financial, new friends, etc.)?
Oh yes! I've met some of my closest friends through starting this. It's also allowed me to be a part of big events and projects that have a special place in my heart, and showed me that really I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. Being able to help contribute financially is a bonus, but to be perfectly honest is something that can fluctuate and takes time to make more stable. But if you're only doing it for money then you're doing it wrong.
Tell us a little bit about podcasting: what inspired you to start one? What goes into making an episode?
I love listening to podcasts. I have a wireless bluetooth headset that I pop in my ear and no matter what I'm doing (work or kid related) I can listen and be inspired and educated by so many different people. I want to provide that to others and it ended up just not fitting well with my YouTube content. Everything I do has an essence of chaos and craziness to it and I love that the podcast removes all of that and is just me sharing what I've lived and what I know without any interruption and comes from a very peaceful place. The best part is that the podcast is the easiest piece of the SimplyOli pie! I write out an idea when it hits me (which typically becomes the title) and a one sentence description of the premise for the episode. Then at night when the kids are in bed I grab my inexpensive iPhone lavalier mic clipped to a small tripod, sit on the floor of my ridiculously messy closet and start chatting away. I do one listen through and edit out any long gaps where I had to think, then I convert it to an audio file and upload. Pretty simple!
Can you walk us through a day in your shoes? I’m sure there is never a dull moment with your two cute kiddos!
Oh never a dull moment! I just had to take a break from writing to let them use my body as a mini slide for a while haha! So our schedule is definitely not typical and is different every day, but works for us right now. We all wake up sometime around 10am-12pm, we have breakfast and spend time together. I look at my to do list for the day and see what I can do that doesn't need my full attention away from the kids or is a quicker task, and I basically squeeze in what I can while playing with them. Around 5 we go out for a walk and to the park. The girls unwind/nap when we get home and I'll squeeze in work that needs a little more attention. Then around 10-11pm we have dinner the girls go to bed an hour or two after that and I work on things like jewelry, writing, or podcasts that need more undivided attention. Around 2:30am I wrap up, make the next days to do list, and go to sleep around 3 - 3:30. Wherever I can I squeeze in meditation, yoga, reading, listening to podcasts throughout the day. It's all about finding balance with family, work, and self in each day.
Can you give us a little glimpse of what’s to come for your site? I think I saw something about courses coming soon...
Yes! I have plans to offer a resin course to help others avoid all of the trial and error I went through when first working with resin so that they can just enjoy it as a creative outlet as I do now! I also plan on offering a course to help shift women towards a more positive perspective in themselves and in life. I have another big project on the horizon that I haven't announced just yet so keep an eye out for that in the coming months. I'm just so excited to offer more things apart from jewelry that are geared towards helping others.