The Aha Moment: Tillie Eze
“An ordinary girl, doing extraordinary things” is how Tillie Eze describes herself.
After spending an afternoon getting to know her, I would definitely agree. I met Tillie through a networking group that I belong to, and right away was drawn to her energy. Tillie has an amazing sense of self and is ambitious and intentional about her goals and passions.
Tillie is originally from Houston, Texas; however currently lives in Brooklyn. Tillie, like many of the women I speak to, has her hands in a bit of everything.
She is currently a House Manager for a family in Manhattan, and also runs her own lifestyle blog, called It’s Tillie.
My first question was clearly, what the hell is a House Manager?
Answer: A House Manager is a Personal Assistant for the House. She makes sure the staff gets paid, the kitchen is stocked, and that the house is generally running smoothly. So basically, she runs the show. Go, girl!
It’s Tillie is also a big part of Tillie’s life. “It’s Tillie gives women a platform to tell their story and be genuine,” she explained. Tillie wants to shine the spotlight on women who are doing amazing things, not “because being a feminist is cool right now,” but because it is important to her. It’s Tillie features a ton of original content that relates to fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, and news. The website will be celebrating its 2nd birthday this June and keeps Tillie excited about sharing women’s stories and celebrating their truths.
As if this wasn’t enough... Tillie has SO MUCH MORE going on; she'll move to Barcelona this fall to begin her next chapter. Once there, she plans on writing and finishing a book she;s been working on while living in one of the most vibrant and energetic cities in the world. Talk about #goals.
Tillie's Aha Moment
As you guys know, I am always interested in what got Tillie to this moment of discovery.
Well, here goes: It was her 30th birthday, and she wanted to treat herself to a trip to Spain and Morocco. No big deal, right? Wrong. When she arrived in Spain after spending a few days in Madrid, and then Barcelona, she immediately fell in love with Barcelona. This was where she needed to be. She felt it. She came back and was chatting with her boss, and he knew it too. He looked at her and said, “You didn’t want to come back, did you?” And the answer was hell no. She belonged there. “I have always had a tough time finding my place in the world,” Tillie admitted. When she visited Barcelona, she felt the energy and saw the possibilities, and decided she would go for it.
Ok, so what about the Haters?
Yes. There are always haters. For Tillie, it was really people she did not expect. She described her Mom and best friend as being supportive but also questioning her a bit. However, the real judgment came from people she hadn’t really spoken to in a while. “Everyone back home has a different life with marriage and kids,” Tillie explained. She is on a different path, and some people in her life didn’t really understand that security means different things to different people.
Playing it safe isn’t really safe for everyone.
She also described the process around telling people why she is moving to Barcelona. There was fear and vulnerability around saying the real reason — which is to enjoy a change of scenery and to write her book. Tillie looked into graduate school, and explained using that as her excuse for moving; it's amazing what fear can do to us — it really can shield us from being our true selves. Tillie recognized this and soon decided that she wasn’t going to let fear paralyze her any longer. She is moving for the reasons she wants to, and that should be good enough.
Tillie believes Mentors are Critical
Tillie was very passionate when describing her Mentor and current boss, Scott Cullather, CEO of inVNT, a Marketing & Creative Services Agency based in New York. Tillie describes Scott as a supportive boss and mentor and always treats her like an equal. Scott has even invited her into his offices to weigh in on ideas and sit in on meetings. In addition to being smart and successful, Scott has really been there for Tillie and been a great sounding board for her as she continues her journey. Y’all know me, I love a good support system story when you hear about people making changes. It's everything!
“I think he got to his place of success by being so humble and kind," she said.
Tillie's Words of Wisdom
I asked Tillie what advice she would give to people looking to start their own thing or get the courage to leave their job and pursue a passion. Her answer has been very similar to others I have spoken with: “Just do it.” Tillie then went on to say, “There was so much fear aligned with why I didn’t do something or take a chance.”
It can be scary to realize what your purpose might be because it may not align with what you thought your plans were. For Tillie, she describes feeling like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders when she decided to follow her path and put herself first. I admire anyone who pushes through their own fears and decides to let their true self shine.
Tillie on Theme Music
Tillie’s face lit up when I asked her this question. “Grown Woman, by Beyonce," she beamed. When I asked her what about that song resonated with her (as if I even have to ask), she said simply put: “For the first time, I feel like a grown ass woman — and it feels SO GOOD.”
Hands in the air, Tillie! I can’t wait to read your book one day.