Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
Originally from Basking Ridge and a Ridge High grad! Off and on have been in the area for 34 years. I lived in Hoboken, Cranford, and in Bernardsville, most recently lived in San Diego for 2 years (2013 & 2014), and have been back in Bernardsville for 6 years since then.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Elliot 3.5 and Nathan 22 months
Favorite things to do with your kids?
It’s tough to narrow it down. My boys are into many things, but I’d have to say crafts and dance parties. Nathan is still a bit young but as soon as we break out the crayons and glue sticks, these boys are fascinated for hours. Until, of course, we turn up classic 80s tunes and then we are all shaking our hips!
Are you involved in a business venture or corporate world? Please Share!
My husband and I are serial entrepreneurs, so we have a few business ventures! We own Wavelength Audio Video in Bernardsville, a home automation and technology company and Car Tech Details in Basking Ridge a car detailing and customization shop. We also own Doc’s Time Machines, as a fun side hustle, renting a full scale, driveable Time Machine replica from Back to the Future. We recently added Marty’s Toyota Pick Up Truck and Mayor Goldie Wilson’s Campagin Van to our rental line up.
I am also the founder of Downtown Bernardsville, a 501(c)3 non profit organization that focuses on community development and promotion of Bernardsville in an effort to encourage commerce and engagement in the community. We are in the process of applying for Main Street designation with Main Street New Jersey, which will open up the community to new services and grants to help further our mission. We hope to encourage more members of the community to participate in this program with us, by joining a committee or contributing, in some way, to the work plan we are putting together. The key is working with a long range plan to help the community grow and maintain that growth standard for many years to come.
Recently, I also launched LivManning.com, a resource for small businesses to learn and understand marketing. Having worked in and with small town businesses for more than 20 years, I understand the struggle with promoting a business with little to no budget and even less time. I hope the information I offer to readers will help make it understandable, manageable and doable; particularly in this pandemic environment. Later this year we will be launching an online course and a podcast, but for now, folks can check out the blog content there and download a goal planner; and its all free.
If you could give one tip to fellow Mom Entrepreneurs what would it be?
Never give up on yourself. Children completely rewired my brain. I have always been a schedule based, Type A, structured person, and my children threw this part of me through a massive loop. I was very hard on myself and struggled a little at. We tend to be so hard on ourselves but the reality is that we are doing the best we can, which is usually a pretty good job! Even now, with a difficult pandemic environment to throw us through even more of an unpredictable loop, we can’t forget that we are human and doing our best. No matter how much you have on your plate, trust me, there are 5 or 10 minutes there for you to be you, every day. Find it and give yourself the chance to just be you. It’s so easy to get lost in the grind, but having multiple businesses, a non profit, and venturing for more, in addition to our family, I remember to put my oxygen on first so that I can be fully present with my children. It does also help to have the most amazing (and forgiving) partner on the entire planet (my husband, Tim).
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I have a slew of cooking videos on ehow.com and Livestrong. Part of my marketing journey was to create a cooking blog and develop content online. I did have a passion for food at the time, but in the end I really loved writing, promoting the content on social media and returning a response that was gradually building a passive income. But if you google me with my maiden name “Olivia Saez” and eHow.com and on YouTube, you’ll find me in my pink chef jacket…
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I wouldn’t be at this point in my professional career if it wasn’t for this community. Downtown Bernardsville is something I never expected to create. Listening to the community in 2016, and continuing to do so now has inspired me to take action, researching what other towns have done and ultimately creating a long term strategy to grow and maintain that growth. The response from this community has been incredible; between donations, participating in events, planning those events, advertising with us, our unwavering board members, and all of the work that has ensued from the beginning in 2016 to now, really just keeps me going. By creating a resource for the community to rely on, the organization has received so much support in ways I never imagined. But on a personal level, even for our other businesses, the support of the community has been incredible. The mural project we are working on over on Mount Airy Road is a great example of what an amazing community Bernardsville is. We have invited Bernardsville residents, businesses, property owners and locals to participate in the project by painting portions of mural at the Bernardsville Train Station. It’s a paint by numbers process, so all levels of artistic abilities and ages are welcome. Because of COVID, we have had to regulate the number of painters, but we are literally fully booked, with a waiting list, at each session. This is because our community is engaged and excited about growth and love being a part of history. How awesome is that? Bernardsville really does have it all, including an amazing community of people. This has been my inspiration to not only keep going but to launch a marketing resource for our businesses and to grow our family here. The community is, without a doubt, instrumental in our growth as a family and for me personally. I couldn’t be more grateful.