Joyce Lo is the co-director of the Drake General Store which since it’s launch 8 years ago has ballooned into more than a hotel lobby gift shop for The Drake Hotel. Joyce’s quirky in-store aesthetic that mashes up unexpected must-haves like grown-up onesies with Malin & Goetz candles in shi-shi scents like dark rum and tobacco has sparked a Canadian success story. Her unique vision is now available at seven locations including in-store shops at select Hudson’s Bay locales. She’s ridden an enviable wave of business growth all while having two little ones: Cashimir, 1, and Everling, 4, and says making it work is in her genes.
I cried when I found out I was pregnant. I was totally happy but terrified. I think if you don’t have kids until your 30s, the thought of a baby will always be terrifying because you’ve lived by your own rules for so long. I was very busy. I had plans all the time and I wasn’t sure how things were going to change. What I did know was that I was going to keep working.
I opened the store four years before I had Everling. The challenge for me is that I’ve been the busiest since the kids were born. It’s a modern problem but still a problem to juggle high growth and two kids at once, but it’s never been a question for me to make it work. My life is actually not that different since the kids were born. I’ve been very lucky and had lovely pregnancies and my fears were unfounded. My life isn’t that different and I think unconsciously I kept it that way because it’s all I know.
Everyone in my family and extended family worked and my grandmother helped raise me. We also have the help we need from our families so we don’t need a nanny. My mother-in-law Lorraine comes in from out of town when we have to travel and my mother, Cecilia, is a great support because she lives in the city. When she was working, there wasn’t much mat leave available for women so she didn’t get to spend that time with us. Now that she’s retired, she’s spending that time with my kids. It’s come full circle for her and lucky for me, she’s enjoying it.
“I do discuss how-to strike work-life balance with my friends, but it’s not just with he moms, it’s with all the dads in my circle too.”
Also, this is 2016, so it’s not uncommon for both partners to be invested in caring for the kids equally. When we wake up, I take one babe and my husband takes the other, we have breakfast by 7:15am and we’re all out the door by 8am to drop the kids off at daycare and school. We both work until 5pm, pick them up, then it’s eat and bed. Matt and I both go on the computer for one more hour to prep for the next day then we have some quiet time together.
I do discuss how-to strike work-life balance with my friends, but it’s not just with the moms, it’s with all the dads in my circle too…I think it’s a generational thing that we have the same pressures. Whether my friends are working or not, what we do share are the frustrations of parenthood and that’s what we discuss more. We bitch about similar things whether it’s disciplining or meal times or struggling to get them dressed in the morning and that’s just parenting. It’s to be expected and I don’t let it get me down.
I personally feel we integrated our lives with the kids instead of choosing one way or the other. They come to gallery openings and work trips with us, and we take them bike-riding and to the park instead of spending time on a gourmet dinner. It’s a rhythm that has come naturally and easily with my family close by to help. We never make firm family plans or strict budgets either. We just roll with it. When you’re busy that’s the best you can do.
HOME TOUR A sleek and modern family home that’s full of surprises
A CUSTOM KITCHEN
SPLASH OF CONSISTENCY
DAD’S COOL TOO
FOR GROWN-UPS ONLY
THERE’S NOTHING NEW TO SEE HERE
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER?
GOOD NIGHT PART I
GOOD NIGHT PART II
GOOD NIGHT PART III
THE READING NOOK
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
MERGER AND ACQUISITIONS