TASTEMAKER: OLIVIA DERAMUS
Sep 7, 2020
Popular TV celebrates individuals pushing boundaries in the worlds of fashion, music, beauty, and art, and brings them together to share their experiences through personal narratives and images that have shaped their careers.
This week we are introducing 24-year old founder, CEO, and tastemaker Olivia DeRamus, the founder of Restless Network.
Created as female-focused network for women to connect and attain mental sanctuary, DeRamus has grown the brand beyond the simple hashtag to a multi-media platform that expands across social media, an editorial site, and now a mobile app.
As a sexual assault survivor, DeRamus wanted to create a safe space for women to find common ground, share resources and discuss taboo topics such as #MeToo, Mental Health, Sex and Relationships, and Work and Money.
“This ultimately has given me something positive to focus on and has allowed me to let go of that really difficult time,” she told PEOPLE. “Starting a business, I am sure any entrepreneur knows, is really difficult, and my one goal here is to make something better happen for me and for women who are experiencing similar difficulties.”
Empowering those around her, this female-focused app offers women a confidence to stand up and speak out amongst their peers and unite against shared experiences.
We caught up with Olivia to discuss the inception of her new app as well as advice to those looking to start their own journey.
1. First of all, we want to know more about you.
I’m the founder and CEO of Restless Network, a social networking app, and media platform that aims to empower women through information and connection. I currently live in London, but am American by way of Washington D.C. and later, Los Angeles. I’m 24 and definitely didn’t expect to ever be in media or tech (I used to work in non-profits) so this has definitely been a wild ride!
2. Can you explain what the Restless is and how the idea of creating this app born?
Restless Network is definitely a multifaceted company. We were originally an online platform, and we still are, but now we’re also an app that gives women the chance to connect and discuss issues that they might be going through. This can be anything from #metoo to dating advice or even how to launch a side hustle. We know that empowerment means talking about difficult topics as well covering the fun parts of life, so across our editorial site, socials, and app you can find resources for it all!
It was really important to me in particular to create an environment where women can talk honestly about things that they’re going through because, for a long time, I didn’t have that ability. I was assaulted during my freshman year of college, and because I reported it to the university, my assaulter sued me for millions of dollars. This lasted for years, and while it was going on, it took away my voice. I couldn’t express myself to friends, in a journal, or even to a mental health professional without it being used in court. When I realized that the courts weren’t going to stick up for me, I had to start getting creative about what empowerment looked like. I eventually figured out that maybe if I could facilitate the platforming of other women’s voices and stories, then maybe I could feel like I was expressing myself through that. It worked! And now Restless has turned from a slightly desperate experiment to a fully-fledged social network and publication, which is just wild.
3. How long did the creation and development process take?
The app itself took six months give or take and the editorial website had three months of planning before we launched it a little over a year ago.
4. The restless idea is amazing and extremely important, especially nowadays. We still live in an extremely macho society and even conquering many rights, there is a lot still. What do you think that are the biggest issues we have in equal questions?
I think you can’t really pick just one issue. As depressing as it may sound, nothing, unfortunately, has been resolved. All of these issues affect women differently, and while one might not be my priority because it doesn’t affect me, for millions of women it might be different. Of course, because of my life experiences, I’m really passionate about preventing sexual assault and harassment as well as the mistreatment of survivors after the fact. It’s totally unacceptable that no one knows about this increasingly common behavior of suing victims to keep us silent. It shouldn’t be lawful. But because of some grey areas in the law, it is. And that needs to change.
5. You are a great example of strength and serve as an inspiration for many women, especially young people. Do you have any advice for women who dream of entrepreneurship?
To just do it! Too many of us get stuck on wanting what we’ve created to be 100% perfect, but if you keep waiting to feel like it’s totally done, it might never happen. Getting out the door is the hardest part. Everything after that is just building momentum. I’d also add though, to always listen to your audience, you don’t need a huge following to be successful, but you need an engaged one. That comes from genuinely prioritizing what your community needs and wants from you.
6. To launch Restless you had to get over one of the biggest traumas of your life, if not the biggest. How hard was to take that pain and turn it into a reason to believe in the change? When did you feel prepared to talk about what happened?
It’s definitely been extremely difficult to talk about my experience. The only reason why I’m doing it is that I want the law and our legal system to protect survivors from what happened to me. That won’t happen if no one knows that this can happen. Before it happened, I had never heard of such a thing! I had no idea that I was endangering myself like that when I reported him. I deserved to have all the information like all survivors do, and I deserved to not be retaliated against for telling the truth.
I also think it’s a myth that you have to get over your trauma before you can follow your dreams or be successful. The idea that you’re not capable until you’re perfectly well adjusted to all of the many things life throws at you is limiting, and it seems to me like that’s done on purpose. I’m not over what happened to me. I still have panic attacks, it’s only been a year since it’s all ended. Getting over trauma takes time, and that journey is different for everyone.
Sometimes I have bad days, but so does every other woman. Starting Restless has been a gift, not a burden.
7. One of the most amazing parts of the app is the community hub, where women can share feelings and anything else they want to. it’s almost like a big gathering of friends. Do you realize how many women you helped with this initiative?
It’s definitely my favorite feature of the app, there are dedicated community hubs for each section too. It’s been amazing seeing the community grow in such a short amount of time! We have thousands of women on the app at this point, and the support they’re constantly giving to each other is so powerful to see.
8. What is the biggest message you want to spread with Restless?
Restless isn’t here to set our own agenda, it’s to platform the many different voices that deserve to be heard.
9. Lastly, we want to congrats you again for the initiative and we wish you the best luck! Is there anything you want to share with us?
Thanks so much! I think we covered a lot of ground, but for anyone who’s feeling isolated right now, the community on the Restless Network app is here for you!
You can visit the Restless Network HERE. The app is also available for download on IOS and Android.
Don’t forget to follow it on Instagram (@restlessnetwork)