We had the good fortune of connecting with Alison Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alison, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My struggle to find the perfect work/life balance began when I had my first child. I joked that I was going to be a “part time” stay at home mom while continuing to almost single-handedly manage two stores and open a third. After my daughter was born I was surprised at how eager I was to get back to work and surprised, also, at how much guilt I felt for being there.

When my second child was a year old I became hungry for “me” time. The more time I devoted to yoga, meditation, and travel, the more obvious the need to delegate became. Not only do I now have a team of managers to handle the day-to-day in the shops (including a general manager who knows my needs better I do) but I’ve been able to relocate across the country and run my stores remotely.

I’ve created lists and charts, read essays and blogs, and taken advice from friends, but in my experience, the healthiest balance comes from devoting enough time and energy to your work to feel a sense of satisfaction, but not so much that you aren’t leaving room for other things that bring you joy. If you’re feeling stressed and depleted, see what you can let go of. If something feels missing, trust that and prioritize making space for it. An important piece of advice that I struggle with myself is to avoid attachment to or too much identification with how you spend your time. Do what feels right in the moment, not what you or someone else has decided you SHOULD be doing. Trust yourself.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I picked “other” because there was no “all of the above!”

I have self-published a book of poetry (available locally at Crystal Visions and Verbatim Books). and a second book, Mane, has been picked up for publication in early 2022.

I opened my first store, Taboo, in Richmond, VA in 2002. I was 24 years old and still working on my undergraduate degree at the time. I opened two more stores in Richmond around 2012. The shops have been nominated for Richmond’s Favorite Adult Store nine years in a row, was StoreErotica’s Adult Novelty Shop of the Year in 2009, and has been nominated for multiple international AVN awards. Taboo takes the stigma out of adult shopping and makes the experience comfortable and fun! Professionally, I strive to bring awareness to and normalize unconventional relationship styles, to combat slut shaming, and to promote pride.

Taboo’s platform has allowed me the opportunity to lead discussions, workshops, and seminars about sex positivity and sex toys. I’ve also been able to incorporate my true passion–writing–into my job by contributing to local and national publications and writing toy reviews for multiple online and print publications.

I moved to California from Richmond, VA in 2019 in part to encourage more space for writing. Since then, I’ve earned my poetry certification from San Diego Writers Ink and will begin earning my MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State in the fall. I have self-published a book of poetry and a second book, Mane, has been picked up for publication in early 2022 (available locally at Crystal Visions and Verbatim Books).

I have taught in person and online sex writing workshops. I’m the editor-in-chief of a sex positive literary magazine, Throats to the Sky Magazine. Throats to the Sky, which began as a simple blog in 2016, has become an umbrella brand for my writing, TTTS Magazine, and visual art (so far only drawing but I’ve got oil paints just waiting for me to be brave enough!)

Moving to San Diego I has also encouraged me to expand my yoga practice. Previously, I practiced Ashtanga almost exclusively but here I’ve enjoy both aerial and stand-up paddle board yoga in addition to my mat yoga. I recently completed aerial yoga teacher training and I hope to begin teaching in the fall. I think we often don’t see all of the possibilities before us and potential inside us and I want to help spread that awareness.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I don’t know! I had just barely scratched the surface of all there is to do in San Diego when Covid hit so I’m still a newbie, myself! I live in Mission Hills and I love it. Red Door is one of our favorite restaurants. I work from Meshuggah Shack almost every day and Awarewolf offers a wide variety of yoga right down the street! I also spend a lot of time in Ocean Beach. I love the vibe there and there’s no better place to practice aerial yoga than Pier to Point Wellness.

I would take visitors to Balboa Park of course and the zoo, of course. We would hit up the Little Italy Farmer’s Market and visit the sea lions in La Jolla. A trip to Encinitas is a must, and a visit to Swami’s Beach and the Meditation Gardens once it reopens. Finally, there’s nothing like getting some full-body sun at Black’s Beach!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout my husband, Amir, for his loving and supportive partnership. Amir is constantly stepping up to take care of our kids and home so I can pursue professional and creative endeavors. I’d also like to thank my stores’ GM, Michelle Henry, who not only encouraged me break away from my desk but made it possible.

Website: throatstothesky.com

Instagram: @throats.to.the.sky @taboorva @ttts_magazine

Twitter: @taboorva

Image Credits
Jen Fox (bathtub, painting backdrop) Joe Carabeo (mohawk w/ popsicles)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.