Welcome to Swishie! I’m Lia Fetterhoff, creator of Swishie. Throughout the years, I’ve always been enamored by the intersections of design, business, and life. I’ve built a business to teach others about designing lives, worked over a decade as a designer in the tech world, and have navigated multiple promotions and career transitions as a working mom.
In addition, I host a local design community, and have created a number of communities throughout the years. From a Dance Dance Revolution club in college where we held a tournament with over 100 attendees, to co-founding a Toastmasters club at one of my first design jobs, to leading a hackathon team while at Google to a “most innovative” victory– I am passionate about creating communities.
I’ll admit though, this journey I’m starting with Swishie is going to be unlike any other community I’ve started before.
It’s finally time to start a community for the subject I’ve visited time and time again: how to thrive doing work you love. The ideal life is one where my life and what I enjoy doing is fully integrated. However, I know so many people– especially women– who are barely surviving. Only 56% of those employed last year said they were completely satisfied with their jobs (Gallup). The pandemic shed even more light on what we know: being a working mom is hard. Work takes up a third of our lives. Thriving at work is a must for thriving in life. And work is simply anything you “do”, whether you have a career, a side hustle, or are an entrepreneur.
Let me tell you: It is possible to thrive while being a working mom, just as it is possible to live a fulfilling life while working a fulfilling job.
It takes risks and it takes knowing yourself. But I wholeheartedly believe it is possible for everyone.
Of course, I didn’t always know this. Eleven years ago, my dad passed away. At the time, I was working a job I wasn’t passionate about, in a field (marketing) that sucked my energy, feeling stuck in a toxic relationship and in a city I didn’t want to be in.
When I lost my dad, I woke up to the fact that life is so beautiful, and so short. No one is guaranteed to live until 100, and it’s a ridiculous notion to wait until you retire to pursue your life goals.
So I made changes. After all, I had nothing to lose. I was treating my life as if it were all happening to me, and I finally understood that I would have to take bold, sweeping actions if I were to live the life I had always envisioned for myself.
In a few months, I had moved back closer to family, finally ended a relationship I stayed in way too long, quit my job and took out a loan to enroll in a Masters program and get formal design education.
For me, it was years of powering through a life I was halfhearted about, until I realized I was the only one suffering.
Flash forward to now. I met and married my best friend (who happened to be the brother-in-law of the first friend I made in my Masters program), I live in a big house in the suburbs with a backyard my kids can play in, make six figures, and get to work from home remotely. I share this only to say that I am living my dreams, though I took a long and winding road to get here.
Swishie is my response, my wish, and my pitch to all of you who might find themselves in a situation like me: The life of your dreams is possible.
You don’t have to completely throw away your life today to get to the life you want, and you don’t need to have a tragedy strike in order to take ownership of your life now.
All it takes is the one tiny yet bold decision to follow your curiosity about what your life could be, then another decision to start closing that gap. Imagine that. A more aligned life is constantly one. decision. away.
So if you’re ready to begin this journey (or are already in the middle of it and just need to be reminded why you’re putting this hard work!) to gain self-awareness, confidence, and take bold actions to thrive in work and life, let’s get started.