Enjoy our conversation with our long time friend Liv. She is an amazing human, friend, & entrepreneur as the founder of Friend of Friend, a lifestyle publication and the host of the Friend of a Friend Podcast. (We love the most recent episode with Booksmart star Molly Gordon.) She also is the co-founder of System of Service, a community that provides accessible and engaging service opportunities for all that strives to create impactful service experiences beyond the dollar. We've partnered with SOS in the past and love the community they are building around service. Find her @livvperez, @friendofafriend, @systemofservice :)
What does Madhappy mean to you?
Madhappy means having conviction over your feelings and not being afraid to show them.
What was your first encounter with mental health? Either personal or with family / friends?
I grew up dancing, so being aware of my emotions and how to emote was an integral part of my upbringing. Dancing was always such a huge release for me and I learned that having an outlet was a crucial part of what made me feel in check. It allowed me to understand at a young age how to check in with myself and be honest about how I was feeling both with myself but also the people around me
How do you prioritize your mental health?
I love working for myself, but it definitely comes with a toll of not knowing when to shut off. I schedule meetings with myself to get through my to do list and one of the most important things is taking some time for myself throughout the day. Whether its time for a walk or even just to get a coffee, I need to unplug or else I’ll burnout. Lately I’ve been feeling a huge sense of burnout, so I’m really trying to focus on working on what makes me feel fulfilled and happy and cutting out the rest of the noise.
The role of social media / information overload in this mental health epidemic.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I’m grateful for the community around me and am constantly excited at the fact I get to connect with people around the world, but I always want to see it as a resource. Sometimes I find myself looking through stories for hours and thats where it gets unhealthy. I want to live in my life and not someone else’s and always be in the moment. It’s important to disconnect and make sure that you don’t get sucked in. Easier said than done.
What can we do to create conversation both in our internal community as well as the broader world?
Create spaces where people feel comfortable and supported to say how they feel. If you ask me who’s doing it right, I’d say Madhappy :)
Can you share your journey with us? How did you get to where you are today?
Getting to where I am definitely was not a straight shot. I’m a big advocate for trying as many things as you can until you feel a fit, and not putting all your eggs in one basket. I’ve worked for beauty brands like Glossier, done PR for companies like Hermes and Spring, and editorial work for Teen Vogue, but found my sweet spot this year after creating my podcast Friend of a Friend. The podcast puts a spotlight on the next generation of creatives. I interview up-and-comers and game changers - from brand builders, to personalities, activists, artists, and thought leaders from around the world. I’m also a contributor to forbes.com, a co-founder of System of Service, and a creative consultant to a few startups in New York City. I’ve always considered myself a Swiss Army knife. That’s what I love most about my job – you can’t label me. I proudly wear a lot of hats.
Can you give us a day in the life of Olivia?
Every day is different. Some days are at the office glued to my inbox, some days are out shooting with brands, and other days I’m in the recording studio working on the podcast. I love that every day something unexpected can happen. Keeps me on my toes.
What is System of Service and why did you [and Joe] feel compelled to start it?
System of Service is a non-profit organization I started with one of my best friends Joe Holder that provides monthly, accessible, and engaging service opportunities for everyone. We both were frustrated by the lack of action by our communities to give back and wanted to create a space for people to get involved in organizations they feel passionate about and not feel overwhelmed by the process.
How fo you think about your brand? How do you align with the right people and companies to reflect that?
My brand is ever-changing, but that’s exciting. I’ve always centered my brand around community and lifting up those around me and I like to bring in partners that believe the same.
What is your vision over the next 10 years?
Big question! If you ask me what my vision is for 5 years from now, I still wouldn’t be able to tell you. I’m in an industry that’s new and that’s both exciting but challenging as I’m creating my own roadmap to success. I love meeting new people and telling stories, so as long as I’m staying true to what I love, I’m on the right path. Stay tuned :)
Favorite Madhappy piece?
I’m obsessed with the heavyweight crewnecks and need them in every color
Best relaxation tool?
What does your most recharging day look like?
A day off my phone by the ocean
The Friend of a Friend podcast :)
What are you reading right now?
Talk Like Ted
If you had a billboard that everyone in the world could read, what would it say?
I see you too!