Jillian Tuttle's Glassware Balancing Act
A beverage industry manager on how she balances her nightlife job and Cute Sips, a glassware curation business.
My Secret Job is a column that features individuals who skillfully clock into their day-to-day jobs while juggling their secret or not-so-secret endeavors.
Jillian Tuttle is an upstate New York-native who has been in the bar and nightlife scene for sixteen years. She has crafted cocktails and vibes at some of New York City's most stylish and sought-after establishments for over a decade, making this career her happy place and ultimate expertise.
When she’s not immersed in the beautiful chaos of nightlife, she indulges her passion for thrifting and finding beautiful home goods through Cute Sips, where she curates the glassware pieces of your actual dreams.
You can currently find Jillian working her magic as the general manager of Discolo, a Chelsea hotspot where the multicolor-lit-up ceiling gives off sexy, and where the people actually dance.
Shanna: Can you describe what a typical workday or worknight looks like for you?
Jillian: Worknight! Love that for me. In nightlife, every day really is different, but I get to choose the parts that are stable. First, I start with walking around the building to see my work friends (this is where I scream, “SHOUTOUT GEORGIA IN PASTRYYYY”). I then harass the bartenders at Mel’s upstairs to make me a latte so I can function for the rest of the night. I eat family meal with my very small staff, text Herve [colleague] to make sure he’s not going to be late, then I get everyone up from their post-family meal coma to get the bar ready to open (is this parenting?) Afterward, it’s the guests who walk in the door that dictate how the evening is going to go. Wednesday and Thursday are chiller, more lounge-like, so there are better opportunities to engage with guests and build relationships. Weekends are full club-zone, so I’m simultaneously a glorified busser and Kindergarten teacher (if you asked me while I was still at The Jane, this answer would’ve been wildly different and most likely involved blood).
Shanna: Cute Sips is your glassware curation business outside your full-time job; how did that come about?
Jillian: It came about during the pandemic, when obviously everyone decided to do some weird shit to fill the time. I was spending a lot of time upstate and had been into thrifting cordial glasses for a while. My friend, Rae, suggested I start buying more and selling them on Instagram, which, to be honest, I was pretty hesitant about at first. I wasn’t sure if people would be into it, and I also didn’t want to pigeonhole myself with just glassware. After I did my first “drop,” it was so well received that it just made sense to move forward with it. Also, it was a bit of an adrenaline rush when people wanted to purchase the sets because I was like, ‘,Ohhh you like these as much as I do!?’ It was a really cool feeling to see the excitement around it.
Shanna: Have you sourced any glassware items that are personal favorites? If so, have you discovered any intriguing stories or historical significance associated with them?
Jillian: It feels like every time I buy or sell something, I’m telling someone “this is one of my favorites!” But I mean it. There’s a lot of different sets I’ve liked for different reasons, but if I had to narrow it down, it would be my current set of vintage green, anchor hocking ripple water glasses (because I’ve used them for a year straight and still love them), and this set of onyx cordial glasses made in Pakistan, which just feel like pure luxury. I went to an estate sale in Greenwich Village last summer at this insanely huge, eclectic townhouse. I found them [onyx cordial glasses] in this amethyst kitchen with silver mirrored cupboards. Like, I wish I were friends with this lady [owner]; she was really living and rich. The person who bought them from me was the sweetest and was also obsessed with glassware, so I was happy to see them go to a new home where they would be appreciated just as much. As far as historical significance goes, I have a decanter and cordial set from the 1930s, which is just insane to think that we’re coming up on 100 years, and it hasn’t broken yet! Reach out if you wanna buy it before I break it in my apartment now that I’ve said this.
Shanna: Care to share your all-time favorite cocktail recipe?
Jillian: Oooh, yes.
The piña verde: green chartreuse, pineapple, lime, cream of coconut, [with] crushed ice.
Shanna: If Cute Sips was compared to a famous person, which individual best embodies its vibe?
Jillian: Ok, wow, umm... I almost want to say Rihanna because she walks out of every club with a wine glass, so like, it just makes sense.
Shanna: What’s an activity or practice you swear by that snaps you out of a creative slump?
Jillian: To be honest, I’m not sure if I have a go-to, as I’m not someone that identities as a ‘full creative’. With a mostly operational-based job, I have the luxury of taking advantage of creativity when it strikes. I do, however, think most of my creativity is collaborative. There’s certain people I can be around where we just feed off each other, and that’s when my creativity really comes to the surface. That and mushrooms :)
Shanna: Anything you’re manifesting for Cute Sips in the near future?
Jillian: It would be cool to curate all the glassware for a cocktail bar or do more events where people get to drink from the glassware [that is curated]. But at the end of the day, I just want people using the glasses I find and loving them as much as I do! Also, actually, manifesting Rihanna holding a cutie one day!
Shanna: Your perfect New York City Summer-Sunday itinerary would be…
Jillian: Getting coffee at Oslo (even though I can make it at home) because I’m obsessed with everyone who works there. Then I’ll gather all my things for a picnic and sit on the west side by the water drinking wine and spritzes and just snack all afternoon. Then either watch the sunset over the water or go grab dinner outside because, yes, I’m still hungry. I have several other 'perfect itineraries,' but for the sake of everyone reading, I’ll only bore you with one.
Shanna: An unsaid rule of nightlife?
Jillian: That's my area of expertise!
TIP your bartender or server (and if you’re getting things for free, tip more).
Always say hello when you approach the door person.
Never grab a chair from another table, ask an employee/manager first.
Never ask for free shit (loser).
Don’t touch people you don’t know.
If you see someone who needs assistance, help them (you could literally save their life).