Voyage LA | Rising Stars: Meet Jessy
Local Stories Interview
Originally published on VoyageLA's Most Inspiring Stories
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessy.
Hi Jessy, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m the Tits behind Titty City Design!
I’m on a mission to break down barriers and normalize talking about boobs by celebrating new moms and breastfeeding (because it can be SO hard)! I also advocate for breast health, spread self-love, and encourage body positivity through our uniquely designed apparel, accessories, and products for the home. We’ve built a social media community and “Let’s Talk Titties” blog, too!
I’ve been an artist and advocate for boobs and breast cancer awareness for as long as I can remember. Sadly, my grandma passed from breast cancer, and so did my mother-in-law.
In February 2020, I became a mom for the first time. Not just any mama – a pandemic mama. And when I started my breastfeeding journey, my love and respect for all things boob took on a whole new meaning.
Going through quarantine and transitioning to motherhood was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was not how I pictured it to be. There were no local mommy and me classes, no meeting up with other moms or friends or family, and no physical support outside of my home.
The new mom’s struggles were real. I worked from home with barely any sleep, and my baby was always on the boob – for feeding and for comfort.
After experiencing pretty much every breastfeeding struggle there is, I truly realized just how incredible and strong mamas are.
I began to channel my creativity and admiration for breastfeeding through design. I started painting my signature Titty City design on ceramics when my little one was asleep. It became a form of self-care, helping me to relax and get back in touch with my creative self.
Becoming a mother is a whole other identity that takes time to adjust to and can make you forget the person you were before becoming one.
As I painted, my mind would drift to all the other moms out there who might be experiencing this too. I wanted to reach out and hug them. Let them know they weren’t alone.
This inspired me to start Titty City Design in November 2020, a brand that speaks directly to those moms, and to build an Instagram community – communi-Titty – that encourages new moms with love and positivity and showers them with praise and support.
I felt the need to empower and celebrate our awesomeness while breaking down stigmas around Titties. Our communi-Titty and brand normalizes talking candidly about what our amazing bodies go through and celebrating every step of the breastfeeding journey, whether it’s hours or years. We recognize the challenges and the sacrifices that mothers make every day. We lift each other up and cheer each other on… Because this $h!t is hard! Motherhood is not a competition – it’s a community!
Titty City Design is not just about the products I create. It’s more. I started a movement, #TheBoobment, a social movement, to get people with breasts to talk openly and candidly about their boobs to:
• Boost body acceptance and confidence from youth and beyond.
• Educate current and future birthing parents to help them mentally prepare for postpartum and body feeding.
• Encourage each other to keep our breasts happy and healthy with regular self-exams and check-ups.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Are we talking about motherhood or Titty City Design?
Transitioning to motherhood was incredibly difficult and isolating at the start of global pandemic and quarantine. I lacked a physical community due to circumstances.
When I first started Titty City Design, I was also working a full-time job as the Creative Director of a Fortune 500 company. Because of the pandemic, we could only get partial childcare. I worked from home while having my little one at home with me 3 days a week. It was at night, after fulfilling commitments from my day job and tending to my son, that I got to work on Titty City.
It’s weird because even though I was exhausted – and I mean exhausted – I was so pumped to build Titty City Design that my passion kept me going. I can’t even remember getting a good night’s sleep!
It’s not just about the shop creation, blog writing, or product design. It’s about building the communi-Titty. That’s what makes Titty City so special: everyone that is part of it! I’ll spend hours posting on Instagram and engaging with our followers, which I love doing so much.
It’s a busy, crazy, hectic life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so grateful to do this work.
In June 2021, I took Titty City Design on full-time. This certainly was a scary leap. However, with a now 2-year-old that is in full-time childcare, I have been able to give so much more attention to driving this business forward.
It is not an easy path by any means. My passion and mission keep me going.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. I followed my intuition to southern California, where I’ve lived and worked as a designer for over 15 years.
I’ve been an artist and advocate for boobs and breast cancer awareness for as long as I can remember.
Graphic design and branding have been my expertise. I’ve spent my whole career building brands for other individuals and companies as a Creative Director and decided it was time to build my own.
Of all the creative work I have done in my career, I am most proud of creating Titty City Design and “The Boobment” to cheer on other new moms. The truth is, it’s OK (more than OK) to feel exhausted and in need of help. It is a demanding role and breastfeeding can be REALLY hard. You are exhausted, uncomfortable, and recovering from giving birth. It is so easy to feel like a failure when it doesn’t go as expected.
I can honestly say that I never heard people talking like this: Normalizing how hard being a new mom and breastfeeding is.
That’s what sets me apart – why I work tirelessly to build this communi-Titty and brand that normalizes talking candidly about boobs – what our amazing bodies go through – and celebrating every step of the breastfeeding journey. Titty City Design is here to cheer you on and support you no matter what your journey looks like.
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Risk is inherently part of Titty City Design. My company’s name has the word “Titty” in it! It is bold and shocking to some, but it is a conversation starter in every way as it is intended.
By taking a word that is often used to sexualize breasts and using it to empower breastfeeding moms, we get to claim back the power of the word.
In a lot of societies, including ours, we are raised from a young age to not discuss or showcase our breasts. Whether for safety reasons, religious, or modesty, our boobs have been trained to be hidden away and not talked about. Even when it comes to breastfeeding!
This stigma can lead to a whole heap of issues, both from a mental and physical aspect. Did you know that around one in five women has common mental health problems? And approximately 91% of women and people with breasts are unhappy with their bodies. Only 5% of women naturally possess the body type TV loves to portray. And 58% of college-age girls feel pressured to be a certain weight and look a certain way.
So, what happens? We neglect our boobs, which is a huge risk. We hide them away, thinking they’re not normal. We don’t discuss our bodies and their beautiful imperfections, which contributes to shame about our bodies. All the while, our bodies get over-sexualized (mostly by cis men) when we do decide to flaunt them a little. In American culture, breasts have often been regarded as sexual objects, while their actual purpose – to breastfeed – has been downplayed.
Here is another one for you about risk. As a woman and mom-owned business, there are plenty of challenges, but the one that has impacted us the most in our growth is the word, “Titty” in my company’s name.
Social media is essential these days to get the word out for small businesses, however, we have a more challenging time. Social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook do not “approve” words like “titty” or “boobs” and therefore, our ads get “rejected” for not complying with community guidelines.
Censorship is a significant issue for us. For months, we have also struggled with Google and listing our products there. We continue to search for other ways that we can reach more moms and spread our positive message.
Risk is part of breaking down barriers. Normalizing boobs and breastfeeding is a barrier we intend to bust through.
- We offer a range of Titty City Design merchandise: apparel and accessories – like sweatshirts, hats, socks, and tote bags – to our best-selling mug and drinkware, and hand-painted boob-themed décor. Our greeting cards are only $5 and our most expensive item is a hand-painted teapot for $120. Many of our products are between $20-$50.