The rise of the DIVORCE registry: How newly-single people are now sending loves ones WISHLISTS of essential items – from sheets to forks – so they can help them ‘restart their lives’ after losing possessions in a marriage split
- The divorce registry has been gaining in popularity over the past few years
- Jenn Clark’s marriage ended last year and the 35-year-old started a registry
- She used Fresh Starts Registry, which helps the newly single to start over again
We’ve all heard of a wedding registry, but the divorce registry has been slowly gaining popularity over the past few years.
It’s exactly what it sounds like, a registry for newly single people who are trying to rebuild their lives after a breakup.
Sometimes when you part ways with someone they may take half the essential items you used to make a home together, and you’re left without these important household basics while setting up your new life alone.
When Jenn Clarke got divorced last year, she was not only left dealing with the fallout of her split, but the overwhelming task of starting over again.
Divorce registries are becoming increasingly popular as the newly single are turning to it as a resource to restart their lives (stock image)
As family and family started reaching out asking how they could help, the 35-year-old financial controller, who made the move from Michigan to New Hampshire after the end of her six-year marriage, wanted their assistance in a more ‘tangible and meaningful’ way.
That’s when she turned to Fresh Starts Registry, which was founded by New York sisters Olivia Dreizen Howell and Jenny Dreizen.
Their website is a destination for newly single people to start a divorce registry among a suite of other services from their team of experts, which include therapists, lawyers, nutritionists and even matchmakers.
‘I got divorced and with that I moved halfway across the country… with a new apartment, a totally new life and a brand-new city,’ Jenn told DailyMail.com.
‘All of these friends and family reaching out to me, asking like how they can help, what they can do. The registry was just a perfect place to have something tangible and meaningful to provide to people.
‘And also helped with the financial burden of moving… and the emotional stress that you’re already experiencing by going through something tough like that.’
Jenn said she needed ‘very basic stuff’ including kitchen utensils, towels, a shower curtain and nice bedding.
‘It’s easy to buy something quick off of Amazon, but… people want to spend money on you, be there for you and care for you,’ she said.
Singletons can set up their own registries on Fresh Start Registry, but to make that job a little easier they also have the option to select a pre-curated bundle.
The company’s ‘quick-start guides’ range from $99 to $500, but there’s also ones specifically designed for the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
As for people’s reactions to her divorce registry, Jenn said she did talk to her mom about it at first ‘because it can feel a little bit weird, right?’
But she decided to push ahead because there were so many people reaching out asking how to support her.
When Jenn Clarke got divorced last year, she was not only left dealing with the fallout of her split, but the overwhelming task of starting over again. That’s when she turned to Fresh Starts Registry started by New York sisters Jenny Dreizen and Olivia Dreizen Howell (pictured)
‘Everybody’s reaction was just like really kind of grateful, actually, that there was a tangible and real way that they could help you out because it’s hard to know what to do in those situations, hard to know what to say. It’s hard to know… what you need.
‘Flowers are nice and everything, but something practical that you’re going to use in your everyday life is really great.’
Olivia and Jenny started Fresh Starts Registry back in 2021 after both of them had come out of long-term relationships.
The now 37-year-old Olivia’s eight-year marriage had come to an end and Jenny, now 35, had been engaged to her partner of 10 years before they split.
Olivia had stayed in her marital home with her two sons and her sister came over to help her pack up the ‘more emotionally charged’ items that she got from her wedding.
‘And as we’re packing all of these items up, I thought, you know, this is the time that people need these support items from their community. This is the time they need the new quilt and the new sheets, the new forks and knives, half the stuff is taken out of the house often when you get divorced,’ Olivia told DailyMail.com.
‘I did a little Googling, there was no such thing at the time as a divorce registry or even… a registry to help people through any of these big life changes.
How many people are saying I do: Quick facts about marriages and divorces in the US
According to the CDC, in a 10-year period up to 2020 in the US there were more than 1.6 million marriages.
The marriage rate was 5.1 per 1,000 of the total population.
The number of divorces that were recorded in 45 states and Washington, D.C, was 630,505.
In those same places, the divorce rate was 2.3 per 1,000 of the population.
‘Our background is in marketing so we percolated on the idea for a while, and the real… theme of Fresh Starts is that we aim to take the overwhelm out of brave life decisions.’
While they don’t collect user data on their ‘freshies,’ the moniker the sisters have given to their community members, they’re able to measure their success through another a metric: the growth of their team of experts.
‘When you empower people through these big life changes, you make a huge difference in their journey, and so our experts help empower those people, and then, when we support the experts, they work to move through that journey with our freshie. So it’s very important to us,’ Jenny said.
‘We are seeing a consistent 15 per cent month-over-month growth as far as in our expert community, and that is picking up as the press picks up.’
The sisters also wanted to make it ‘very clear’ that they were ‘never trying to capitalize on anybody’s vulnerability,’ adding they made ‘pennies’ off of the affiliate links on their website.
The money that the company does make comes from Fresh Start Registry’s experts who pay $37 a month in return for ‘seminars, workshops, support, and marketing and PR,’ Olivia said.
But Fresh Start Registry is not the only business aimed at helping singles who suddenly find themselves alone.
Divorcist, which launched in January last year, is also another gift registry for the ‘newly single.’
‘Our vision is to make divorce and separation a dignified stage of life,’ its website says.
‘Use our free registry to show your friends and family the practical ways they can help. Maybe that’s a new set of bath towels. Maybe it’s a cash gift. Maybe you need help walking the dog.’
Co-founder Eliza Cussen, from Wisconsin, previously told the New York Post: ‘Our mission is to make divorce and separation dignified.
‘We really saw the need… Women get the concept immediately – we’re trying to elevate divorce, separation and breakups to the same status as a life event.
‘Not a happy one, but one that deserves recognition.’
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