This week we chatted with the creative and talented Joan MacAlpine of Joan & Co.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I began taking interior design courses on the side while working at my job in advertising. It was intended as a creative outlet to help counter the corporate feel at my 9-5 but I really loved it so I started to immerse myself in the industry and take on projects in my spare time. Looking at the Toronto design community I saw a lot of really talented designers taking on large design and renovation projects but there was a hole in the market for people who wanted to decorate their homes quickly and not spend a lot on design fees. After I had my second daughter I decided to launch a business to see if there was truth to my theory.

What is the philosophy at Joan & Co?

We are here to show you all of the beautiful potential in your home.

What type of services do you offer?

Our most popular service is the ‘Design Guide’. We create design plans, room layouts and source furniture and decor for each area of a client’s home. We provide these plans as well as a full purchase check list they can use to pull it all together. It has been incredible to see how motivated and inspired our clients become when they get that plan in their hands.


Are there additional services offered by Joan &Co.?

We do all things decorating and home planning. From a quick half-day consultation to complete a room you have been stuck on for a while, to full planning, purchasing and styling for a space. But our design guide remains our most chosen service. Its a great middle ground for people who have the desire to furnish or refresh but need a plan to get started.


What is the most rewarding part of owning your own company?

Helping people love their homes. An incomplete dining room, a cluttered or poorly laid out living room, a bedroom lacking character. We spend so much time in these spaces. When I am able to make changes that alter the way someone feels about their house, thats huge for me. I explained to a friend the other day that the biggest difference between working for yourself vs. for a company is that the stress is a happy stress. A feeling of luck and gratitude overshadows any negative feelings during the hard times.


What advice would you give to other women who

Plan, plan, research and plan. But then jump. You can mull things over and look at the numbers for years but if you wait too long that spark will fade and the energy and the opportunity will pass you by.

Interested in learning more about Joan and how she can transform your space into something truly special? Head over to Joan & Co. to learn more about this fantastic local female entrepreneur! Joan offers her services in Bloor West Village, The Junction, Baby Point, The Kingsway, Sunnylea, Roncasvalles, all of Etobicoke and beyond!