Don’t let your old identity get swallowed up in new roles - Woman Empowerment Movements The Venus Warriors Podcast - Shirley Tittermary

Don’t Let Your Old Identity Get Swallowed Up In New Roles


In blog post, Liz is with Shirley, the owner of Swallow Like A Lady where they talked about how these customized morning mugs came about and the story behind it. As a stay at home mom, the amount of time Shirley spent alone urged her to be more creative with what she does, connect with the community and simply make them laugh and just create a good combination of humor and authenticity. Shirley was inspired by the working moms online who looked like they were in control of their ideas and finances. Custom orders were a thing in the market and that fascinated her. Mug in the mornings - that’s what made her thought of creating customized mugs for her clients.

Shirley calls her business a labor of love. In what she does, it’s fun to surprise people and get surprised back. Life is not perfect and will never be, that is why it’s one-of-a-kind to find people you could get along with and just share this great authenticity and humor about them. Drinking coffee in a mug in the mornings is the perfect way to start your everyday, and having that specialized anecdote tailored just for you and the conversations you have with it with all the women you’ve interacted makes it all very fulfilling.

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Custom mug in the mornings just brightens up day-to-day interactions one notch at a time. Morning mugs are the kind of product that is already out there in the market and yet can still be given a fine touch of sentimental value to it - just like what Shirley does with her mug in the mornings.

Find here at: www.swallowlikealady.threadless.com

Blog at: ShirleyTittermary.wordpress.com

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JOIN THE VENUS WARRIORS CONVERSATION:

Liz Lima:

That's great. Thank you Venus warriors for coming back to the interview sessions that I have. And as you know, I have these incredible woman as my guests because they've gone through so much and they've overcome a lot and they are now building and going through whatever they want to go in their life to be, to feel more fulfilled and to go after what their dream was. And so the point is, is that you see this, you hear it, they're real people and it will give you maybe that hope or that little kick in the ass to get you going to what you want to do. So today I have Shirley, how are you Shirley?

Shirley Tittermary:

I'm good. How are you?

Liz Lima:

Good, thank you. And so this is the part where I shut up and I ask you, what do you do right now in your life with your business and how do you serve people?

Shirley Tittermary:

Okay, so my business is called Swallow Like a Lady. It's an e commerce. Um, it's an ecommerce shop. I sell mostly coffee mugs that I design delightfully inappropriate sayings for. Um, I, I've always loved moms. I've always loved the intimate, the starting of your day with a cup of coffee or whatever. You know, this whole thing started almost four years ago when I was a stay home mom with my son. And no one felt like no one told me how lonely it would be. And I, you know, I stayed at home for four years and I was just, and we were living 800 miles away from my family and my husband's family and we were in Georgia. I was kind of conservative. I didn't really find a group of friends all that quickly. I was like, there's gotta be people like me out there, you know? So I started designing and just putting a little bit more and more ridiculous inappropriate things out there because that's what lights me up.

Shirley Tittermary:

Like I love to be silly and I love to embarrass people. Like, I just love to make people laugh. And in his grown, beyond my imagination, I have connected with so many other just badass women who, you know, by typical standards are going against the grain or like the black sheep of their family because maybe they drop an f bomb or two or they enjoy sex and they're not afraid to talk about it. These are my women. Like I, I love connecting with them. So swell with the lady for me is where I get to be creative and connect with women, likeminded women, and I've just grown this community of amazing people. That's awesome. I actually have a shirt that says, um, I'm a drop the f bomb kind of mom. So, okay. Sometimes it happens, right? I mean, I'm human and I'm going to admit it, so, right. Um, okay. So then, so all right, but how did it start? Like, were you a little girl and you thought, you know, one day I'm going to write really bad things on a cup?

Shirley Tittermary:

Oh God, no. Um, I, so I'm always, I've always loved to write. Um, usually, I mean when I was little I wrote a lot of poetry, maybe a short story or there. But like I'm always loved wordplay, you know, I've always loved alliteration and rhyming and stuff. So I, when we moved to Georgia and I was a stay at home mom, um, you know, I was in the mom Facebook groups cause that's what you do. And I started to see all these moms who were doing like the MLMs and we're making money and staying home with their children at the same time. And this was like a whole new world to me. I was so excited to be able to feel like I was trying to contribute financially. You know, sometimes when you stay at home, you're in your head a lot and you start to feel like what you doing isn't enough.

Shirley Tittermary:

So I kind of started to go down that rabbit hole. And you know, I started doing like, it's so funny because the first mug shop was called Mama Bird mugs and it was very like hokey and like affirmations and inspirational and it, I mean it was fun, but it wasn't, it wasn't lining with me, you know, like at all. And I have very good friend of mine had custom ordered. Um, she wanted just a simple bad word on a really pretty teacup. And like right then and there it like started to bloom. I was like, this is going to be so much fun and I could already tell. So we were designing together and then I made this thing that like would make some people collect their pearls, you know? And it just felt so good to be on the bad side. I don't know.

Shirley Tittermary:

It just, and then it just like steam rolled or avalanched into designing more and pushing the envelope more. And I'm so grateful for the people that stuck through like this whole time and, and the people who are tagging friends and it's just growing and it's fantastic.

Liz Lima:

And it's fun, right?

Shirley Tittermary:

Oh my God, it's so much fun. I saw my son is in preschool and I mean I still work part time to like cover his tuition and stuff. This is really, I mean this is such a labor of love for me. Like just being able to pick people's brains and embrace the duality of people, you know, like look at me, I look like I could be a fucking librarian.

Shirley Tittermary:

Like usually I'll have a conversation with someone and it's not like I'm a horrible person. I just happen to new, enjoy using the word fuck. And it's not my fault that it's so versatile. Okay. It's a verb, It's a adjective and it's a nouns.

Liz Lima:

Verbs. Yes. I agree.

Shirley Tittermary:

So like I'm a, I have, I have a design that says, um, good heart, um, good hearts, like good, hard, bad mouth, twisted humor, you know, like yeah, I'm just a mod podge. You really, I don't know. So it's, it's fun to surprise people and then it's fun to be surprised, but someone else's, um, you know, kind of like their dark side. Cause I feel like we all have it and we're not allowed to talk about it. Right. So when you do find someone that you can talk about it with, it's like finding the light at the end of the tunnel.

Shirley Tittermary:

You're like, oh my God, I can finally be myself with someone and you can let your guard down.

Liz Lima:

Exactly. Right. This is, and this I think is why, you know, especially with women, like community is massive. Right? Because it, when you're in the right looks like you said, people like, like you right that, that it's okay that I call my friends dude. Like I think it's cause of like stuff from the nineties I think that's my problem. Right? Like who cares even on this podcast, I say some ridiculous stuff and that's okay because I know that people listening, they're not perfect because if they were, they would not be listening to this podcast. And that's perfect.

Shirley Tittermary:

Is exhausting. It's, it's not, it shouldn't even be a thing. I don't even know what it means. Like we're here and we got up today.

Shirley Tittermary:

We got presentable. Like that's amazing. You know, I it should be given more credit than it is.

Liz Lima:

Absolutely. I agree. And I think if it's in, it kind of sucks. Like now, well I see a changing, so here's, here's something, here's an opinion question for you.

Liz Lima:

So there was, there was a time, I think I'm a little bit older than you, so there was a time when there was like, you know, when Pinterest all of a sudden became really big, like massive, right. And everything just seemed to try to be perfect. Like right. There was all these perfect pins and the perfect centerpiece on the table and the perfect car and then like, and then all that crap went onto Instagram and I'm like, what is happening? Really? It was like, so that I think personally my opinion is that I think it's kind of changing a little bit.

Liz Lima:

Maybe not so much on Pinterest side, but I think I see it changing an Instagram. What do you think? Like how do you see this difference happening?

Shirley Tittermary:

I see authenticity getting way more engagement than that. Perfect. Flatly. You know, I think that people genuinely want to connect with people as much as they can without being in front of their face and in real life. You know, like that's what we go on our phone. The scores is to connect with whoever we can in the comfort of your own home, you know? So when we'd see a little bit of our life, you know, like the not so perfect or sink full of dishes or something, you're like, that person is probably about as together as I am, let's find out more.

Shirley Tittermary:

So I love that. I love, you know, I mean, listen, it takes a lot of talent to be like, I see a lot of like stock photography accounts, you know? And I'm not saying that they're not like they're beautiful and it takes a lot to put into them. But I also see beautiful weddings that are beautiful and studying that I know is not up my alley. Right. Keep, we went to Vegas to get married. I mean I, it was just me and my husband, there was no wedding party. I'm not, I can appreciate the beauty in that. And also appreciate the simplicity of what feels good for me. You know,

Liz Lima:

Why? Absolutely. So then, okay, so my other question is how, how do you feel about, like I can tell you're very passionate about this and I think it's amazing. This whole project I think is awesome. So how do you feel about, um, you know, you have, you said your son, right?

Liz Lima:

Okay. So how does it feel like for you, like you, you are a mom and you are a wife or I'm assuming, sorry, that was bad. Well, you said you were married, so I'm hoping,

Shirley Tittermary:

Yeah, wife, mom, the whole bit,

Liz Lima:

The whole bit, right? But you're also yourself, right? And you have this business. So how does, what, are there any challenges that you face like from being all these hats? Cause that's what women do, right? With Your Business and yourself and your spouse and your child. Uh,

Shirley Tittermary:

So I mean, balance. Balance is right up there with perfect, for me, I, it's Crock, you know, like what does balance mean? Like first of all, if you're balancing, you have two sides and you have way more than two hats. I'm a mom and a wife right there, that's two hats.

Shirley Tittermary:

Swallow Like a lady came out of clinging on to who I was before becoming a mom and a wife. You know what I mean? Because you have, you get married. Nothing changed. Nothing changed between me and my husband. When we got married, that was great. And then I had my son and I was like a whole different person, you know? And I was over touched so I didn't want to be touched. My sex drive was nonexistent. And like you could tell like I knew, I was like, this isn't right. I I don't know how to make this better. You know? And then so now you're going down the rabbit holes of, oh my God, my marriage is going to suffer and we're going to get divorced and now my son is going to have a divorced family and how do we, how do we go from being so happy to this?

Shirley Tittermary:

And I, it's just so much changes when you have a baby that no one talks about, you know? So I needed to get back to me before those other hats. And, you know, swallow like a lady has definitely been that outlet. And finding other women who feel the same keeps me going. It really does like, I mean every single conversation and every single DM and comment and it's just like they that because if I, if I don't keep going, I get, I kind of get lost in the mom and the motherhood and being a wife and, and I work part time, you know? So like really carving that out timewise keeps me, me. And then there's, and then there's enough me to like go around to the other hats. If I didn't have that, I feel like I would be running on empty. You know?

Shirley Tittermary:

It's just, if it breaks up, it breaks up what could be a life of groundhog day. Yeah. Yeah, it would really does. You know? And, and, and that's why I think the mug aspect is so important because like, that's how I start my day. You know, I start my day with my favorite coffee mug and I grab it out of the cabinet and it's gonna make me smile and it's going to reminds me that whatever I have to do today, I get to have fun also at the end of the day because of who I am and what I do on online and with my business.

Liz Lima:

So that's perfect because, okay, wait, we didn't like the word perfect. Okay.

Liz Lima:

Look at me. And English is my second language, so I'm pat on the back for that one. So this is great because, um, the women, like the women that I help and I coach are literally like, right before, where you and I, like we went through stuff, right? And then, and then we were like, no, that's not right. Something's not right. You know, and then, and then they finally like, we got it. We were like, wait, this is, we had some awakening and were like, this is what we want to do. And so it's awesome that every woman that you're helping people, everyone, right, that you're helping. It's like literally it's, it's that they might be in a mishmosh in their life and a set one thing that you give them just lights sum up. That's the best feeling in the world.

Shirley Tittermary:

That's, it's like, it's like giving a random stranger a compliment, which I do a lot and then embarrass his, my husband every time when I can't help it, you know, if it's a sweater or glasses, you know, sometimes the coolest glasses and I know from shopping for glasses, but that is a hard decision with their mind.

Shirley Tittermary:

Do they look okay on my face? I like the style. Can I pull these off? So when someone takes time out of their day to be like, you are fucking rock in those glasses, it's like fireworks. And then so seeing their face light up, I now have fireworks. So excited. Yes. And that, that is what I love. And I hope that that is what Swallow like a lady does.

Liz Lima:

Absolutely. Yeah. See. And the other part of what you were saying is that, um, like when you're starting your day, right, and, and you and you have to, you know that you have to take care of yourself because if you don't, you're right. There's nothing left to give to anybody else. Right. And I really, and it is sometimes kills me where I can see it because I see it in a lot of moms.

Liz Lima:

Um, you know, that I feel like they're not doing anything for themselves, like not even a hobby, you know, like nothing. And, and they've gotten sucked into that, that like I'm a mom right there labeling. I'm a mom, I'm a this, I'm a that. Right. And they're not even their true self anymore.

Shirley Tittermary:

So this is very interesting. You know, I think that before you're a mom and you talk to other moms, what did they tell you? Did they tell you the truth?

Liz Lima:

Let's see. Let me think about it. No, cause I had some really delusional friends. Like what am I told me she loved being pregnant like every day and I was like, you're on crack. This is awful. Like, I didn't love being pregnant everyday. I did not.

Shirley Tittermary:

Okay. I am guilty. I did love being pregnant, I went all down hill, but I feel like we live in, you know, for a while that's all we were expected to be a mom.

Shirley Tittermary:

And you know, it was like, oh sure you can have a job for now, but then you're just going to get kids and then, and then you're going to fulfill your purpose. Like that's, that's, that's going to make you the happiest you've ever been. Like being a mom is the best job in the world. And you know, sometimes they would tell you, oh, it's hard and I'm tired, but I wouldn't trade it for anything, you know? So like for me, I feel like you know, you from where you connect the dots and you're like, okay, I'm going to be a mom and it's just going to be, nothing else is going to matter. It's going to be the best thing in the world. You know, and I, and this is it. Like this is my purpose. Why wouldn't this make me feel as happy as can be? Right. And then you become a mom and you know, it's not, it's, it's so hard to describe because it's not like you're unhappy. But you're not fulfilled.

Shirley Tittermary:

And maybe it's like for, and I speak from my point of view, you know, like I feel like I kind of like fell for that. You know this like being a mom is so life changing that nothing else is going to matter and you're going to be so happy even when it's hard. But I don't think that I did enough soul searching will four, I became a mom. So when that did happen, it still felt like something was missing. And because you have an infant, any time that you had to do your soul searching is gone. Gone. It every minute is consumed. And even when you're sleeping, like you're listening, you know, you're, you're listening for a whimper for cry, for, for them to breathe. You're constantly on. There is no like you, you're kind of your like your freedom is kind of not there anymore, but it gets better.

Shirley Tittermary:

Like is so much better. It really is just like, oh wait it out. Because they get more independent and you watched them become independent and that does feel good because you did that you know, and you did that like you fucking rock, here's the human who can do stuff because you taught them how to do stuff. So it gets better. So here the light at the end of the tunnel for me was while my son was getting more independent. That is when little by little I was able to work on something for myself and, and you know, I started designing again and so and that, that's where that came from and and now, so then when he got really independent and he was in pre k full time, I was like, oh well I'm ready to go back to work on a full time job.

Shirley Tittermary:

And that bit me in the ass, not a full time job. I had no time to make dinner. I had no time to work on my business. I was constantly checking my work email and like filling in spreadsheets and doing stuff. And so I realized that this was making me run on empty, you know, and I actually left that job, um, this past January because I had found something part time and I'm sure anybody else, they're like, why would you leave a full time job for a part time job? Like money, money, money, you know, you're losing so much money. Well, my husband and I talked about it and we budgeted it out and I still made enough to cover what I wanted to cover. And so now I come home and I work on my business and I make dinner for my family and I'll say clean, but I don't actually clean.

Shirley Tittermary:

Um, it's just like, I really do feel like everything is like kind of worked out the way it was supposed to, but I had to get what everybody thinks you're supposed to want to realize that it wasn't for me and I had to change gears.

Liz Lima:

Right. And, and that's the biggest realization, right? Is that it wasn't for you, like, that path wasn't for you. Okay. This, and there's nothing wrong with that because that doesn't mean that if it was someone else's path that they're wrong. No! that's their path.

Shirley Tittermary:

That's their path. If you're happy, that's your path.

Liz Lima:

Yes, absolutely. I know. I mean, I'll tell you, like for me, I never wanted to have children, never knocked like kids at all. And then for some reason I got, I have fomo really bad, so everyone's having babies and I'm like, well, I want a baby.

Liz Lima:

Everyone else has a baby. So, so here we go. I have a baby. Now mind you, I'm like massive goal getter. If there was something I was, I wanted, I was going to get it. So all these degrees, I call him my, my, uh, my debt, collecting a wallpaper on the wall and right. And so whether, I mean, no problem. And so I was very independent and strong and this and that income's baby. And literally by like day three, I like was like, Holy Shit, I am never going to be able to be myself ever again. Like that. No, it feels like that moment because you have no idea. Right, right, right. And, and I tell, I mean I tell people, I tell them like, yes, oh my kid's amazing. Absolutely. I love a 100% I love my children. Love, love, love. Like I even Pto fricking president.

Liz Lima:

Like no one would believe that, you know? But, but that moment is something completely different than what you wear and it's terrifying. It's terrifying, right? Yeah. But, but we survive and we become these strong, amazing people.

Shirley Tittermary:

I mean I've been on a mission to be honest about it from the get because I feel like I was so bullshit too. You know? Like nobody told me some of the shit that happened and how I was feeling like it was like there was nowhere to validate it. And then you would go on like scary mommy. You would read articles that actually do validate it and then you check the buck and comments and there's some, Perfect. Angel Moms is like, "how dare you talk about. How terrible he think it is.

Shirley Tittermary:

Literally for a while I was like, I get it. People tell you to have kids and they're not alone and being miserable. That's why they do it. Nobody wants to make the same mistake alone. So they tell you that it's been fucking tastic and you have kids and then you're like, whoa, like literally having kids is the one thing, you're not allowed to be like, you know what, this is good. I'm not cut out for this. Like doesn't really work that way. So nobody, I really, its I have worked on learning to be grateful for the entire experience, because without it, I wouldn't have gotten to be a stay at home and I wouldn't have gotten to learn about myself way that I did, you know? And I, so there's just, I wouldn't have this community. I wouldn't have this business. And so I, I do try to be grateful, however hard it maybe sometimes, oh,

Liz Lima:

we didn't say it was easy. It's okay.

Liz Lima:

That's amazing. Um, is there anything, is there anything you feel that um, you want your, your, your tribe, right? Because you're going to find your tribe. These women are your tribe. I'm definitely going to be my, some of these mugs, so I'm going to be in a tribe. So is there anything that you, that you feel that you would like people to know, either about you or your vision or anything? What, what, what is it?

Shirley Tittermary:

That's a great question. Um, because I not stuck in the right word. I, I feel like I could be helping more. Okay. Um, and you know, I guess you can have too many mugs supposedly, but like I, I want to make all the women feel good and, and whatever thing that they love that they've been taught is taboo. Like I want them to wrap themselves in it and I want them to embrace the fuck out of it because I promise you're not alone. And once you talk about it with people who also love this thing, you will feel so free and just so happy, like pure stupid happiness, you know? So that's what I want. I want them to know that whatever thing that they think is weird, that someone would be like, oh, you like that. Like, you're not alone in that. I promised you're not sexual or not sexual.

Liz Lima:

Anything. My infatuation with Zach Morris from the 90s, I mean,

Shirley Tittermary:

Yes. I mean, hello. I know age super well.

Liz Lima:

Right? So, see, this is what I'm talking about. This is the thing, right? It's not that you're just a Mug lady. Mug Lady

Shirley Tittermary:

It makes me feel like I could be a criminal.

Liz Lima:

Let's see. This is, this is it, right? Is this, you have also a uh, uh, a voice that I'm on a mission, right? And you just laid it out right there. Maybe I'll make you a speaker. There we go.

Shirley Tittermary:

I mean, can I have a shot at first? At first, but then it's balls to the wall.

Liz Lima:

Awesome. So I'm going to have all this info on the show notes, but where can people find your beautiful mugs?

Shirley Tittermary:

Oh, okay. So you want to go to www dot? Nope, I'm liar. www.swallowlikealady.threadless.com And the same handle on Facebook and Instagram. Okay. Um, I also have a blog that I am trying so hard to be consistent on. Okay. Um, that is ShirleyTittermary.wordpress.com.

Liz Lima:

Okay. And, and just so I will put all of this in the show notes. So everyone that's listening, you will be able to see it there as well. But now that you can jump on it quickly before you can read, cause you can hear fast as a curator, right? Is that right? No, you can read faster than you can listen. I don't know. I forget. Oh my God. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed this. I hope that you enjoyed it as well.

Shirley Tittermary:

​I did. So fun.

Liz Lima:

​Thank you. And everyone out there. Thank you for listening. And please visit Shirley's site because it will definitely make your day, cause it's, it's making mine.

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