Name: Shannon Vivo
Where did you grow up: Born & raised right here in sunny south Florida.
Town you live in now: Jupiter with my husband, son & cocker spaniel.
Why you love living there: It’s really family-oriented & everything is so conveniently located. I have everything I need within a 3 mile radius – pediatrician, grocery store, my store, husband’s office, great restaurants, nature trails – I don’t have to leave my little bubble if I don’t want to! I love the Jupiter vibe, I describe it as high-end low-key, which is totally my jam.
Tell me about your kids: My son, Alexander, just turned 3 and is a funny little guy. It’s amazing to be able to hold a conversation with this little person who already has so many ideas and opinions! He’s also tough. He was born prematurely via emergency c-section at 29 weeks weighing 2.5 lbs. He had a 6 week NICU stay but you would never know any of this looking at him now. Having him has taught me so much about resilience and faith.
Favorite things to do with the kids locally: We love to get on our bikes & hit the nature trails around Abacoa. It’s fun, it feels good to get your body moving and there are lots of teachable moments involving animals, trees, respecting mother nature, etc. We also take advantage of the multitude of parks around us – there are lots of hidden gems in different neighborhoods all around Jupiter.
What’s your ‘day job’? How did you get started with it? After having my son, I transitioned from working full-time as a therapist to staying at home – and it was so tough for me. During that time I started an Etsy shop mostly as a creative outlet for me & to have something of my own to do. My husband saw how much I loved creating things & helping people celebrate their big moments in life & encouraged me to open a brick & mortar store. At the time it seemed so far-fetched, as I sat there pumping, covered in spit-up, exhausted. But a few weeks later in a Facebook moms group I saw that the owners of Initial Styles, a well-established embroidery boutique, were looking to pass on the reigns and I jumped on the opportunity. So, I have been the proud owner of Initial Styles Personalized Gift Boutique coming up on 2 years! I get to work everyday with my mom & really feel like I am finally doing what I was meant to do. We specialize in helping people find a personalized, perfectly curated gift to celebrate a new baby or home, a wedding, a birthday or just the everyday!
What is your best parenting advise. Lay it on us. I think this applies to both life in general and parenting in particular – but let go of the comparison. I had a quick lesson in that when Alexander was born. Other moms with similarly aged babies would talk about their child’s percentage on the growth chart being so high and all of the developmental milestones they were reaching. I could have let myself feel really down about the things he wasn’t doing yet or “on-time,” but I chose not to. Everybody’s path is different. For us, we celebrated when he made it ON to the growth chart! We whooped when he made it to the 5th percentile! And I’m glad I didn’t stress about it, because he grew & all of those milestones were met eventually. I try to stay focused on our family, doing what is important to us and most importantly making sure my son knows that he is loved. Everything else we will figure out as it comes.
What do you do for self care? This is totally not a normal self-care answer, but work. What I mean is it is so important for me to have something of my own that I am excited to do everyday, that keeps me fulfilled and gives me a sense of purpose outside of my family. I am a better mom, wife and person because I have these things. Also, I am a big bath person. I love to soak in a hot bath, listening to an audiobook, maybe even with a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream 🙂
Anything else you want to share? I do want to share that even though we are going through this unprecedented time right now, there are still moments to celebrate. Babies are still being born, birthdays are still happening, so we have been focused on helping people send personalized gifts even though they may not be able to be there in person to celebrate. It has been really amazing to see how thoughtful people are, too. They have been sending “thinking of you” packages and pick-me-ups to friends who have had to postpone their wedding or cancel their baby shower. It’s been nice to be able to be a part of spreading some cheer.