Joanna Track has boldly lived a few lifetimes on the internet, a space that’s notoriously hard to navigate. An MBA and math brainiac with a seasoned marketing IQ, she left her career in the advertising business and jumped full-throttle into the highs of start-up life. Her last major venture saw her fronting Canada’s first luxury fashion online shop, eLUXE, around the same time Net-a-Porter was gathering the kind of steam that would eventually billow into its current day success. Before that, she was the founder of Sweetspot.ca, a newsletter that rhymed off any given day’s stylish finds and headlines in Canada. Only two years after she launched it, Rogers Media made its first investment into her much loved digital imprint and by 2010, the corporation took complete ownership.
Today, Joanna’s got something new up her sleeve, The Bullet, a daily newsletter that runs down the top news of the day which she personally curates with a team of editors and writers (she’s even up by 5:30am to make sure her headlines are still on point before sending it out to her thousands of subscribers). It’s for moms like herself (and like us) who lack the time (or the emotional stamina, quite frankly, especially with what we’re subject to lately) to scroll all their feeds or be CNN junkies. “After I had my son, the news became so overwhelming and depressing to consume but I knew I couldn’t put my head in the sand. I also knew I couldn’t be the only mom feeling this way,” she says.
What really has us in awe is that she hasn’t let her previous ventures, which have since closed down, keep her from making another mark on the digital landscape. The major difference is that this time around, she’s redefining her journey of entrepreneurship as a single parent. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to take your business, whether it’s scaling up or down, too personally. At the end of the day it’s just an idea, and if it doesn’t work, there’s always another one around the corner.”
How Joanna Reinvented Her Digital Career
Step 1. Recognize when change needs to happen. “eLUXE required a huge capital investment and I was spending most of my time raising money. By the end, the venture was struggling and I was caught up in so many things that I wasn’t interested in such as warehousing, shipping and returns, as well as managing a large group of investors and a lot of politics. I had to walk away to save my sanity and my health, rediscover what I’m best at and to be with my son.”
Step 2. Hug it out with yourself. “Since I was 13 years old, I’ve always had a job. For the first time in my life after leaving eLUXE, I had four months off and I quite liked it! I took a yoga retreat in Tulum to clear my head and figure out what was going to happen next because I do like to keep busy. Soon after I launched Good Egg & Co., a consulting agency with my sister-in-law, and it allowed me to go back to my strengths — branding, marketing and strategy.”
Step 3. Embrace when your heart wants more. “I consulted for three years and I still do, but I started feeling like I needed something more. I was helping other brands and people find their voice and I felt like an over-qualified water girl watching from the sidelines; I missed the action of building my own brand and making content and that’s when I started thinking about The Bullet.”
Step 4. Let motherhood shape your investment. “When I launched Sweetspot, I put all my savings and RRSP into it and worked around the clock. I was single and in my early 30s so it was easier to take that kind of risk. Today, my role as a mom comes first and I’m not willing to sacrifice that kind of time and money. I’m more focused on the ROI and analyze every dollar I spend. I also know I can’t do everything the way I used to. That would be too stressful. Now I assess: Should I do this or should I hire someone? Most of all, I don’t have the same emotional attachment because I’ve realized that my business is important to me, but it’s not my everything.”
Step 5. Keep on moving. “I’m naturally an introvert with extrovert qualities. I can be in front of a boardroom but I still struggle with getting out there, which comes naturally to many people. Every week I make a to-do list which includes people I need to reach out to. I try to make 2 or 3 connections and I love quotes and mantras to get me going. I’ll tape one to my desk with a saying that’s motivating and simple like “get shit done” or “make it happen.
Joanna’s home is a mix of styles cleverly tied together with an elegant palette and polished finishes. Couch, Pottery Barn; and coffee table, Barbara Barry.
Her open concept room is serene, although she admits the TV is always on since launching her headline newsletter, The Bullet. When she needs a break from CNN, she’ll escape in scripted TV like This Is Us(which, we’re hooked on too, BTW).
Custom made velvet couch accessorized with pillows from Elte Market.
“I love this piece from Danielle Hession because it has so many dimensions to it. I’ve had it for almost 10 years and yet every time I look at it I notice a new detail.”
The sitting area in her home office (we’re gonna guess this crisp white couch is a no dog zone).
She made the cover of Report on Small Business when she sold sweetspot.ca to Canadian media giant, Rogers Inc. “I launched that so long ago yet people still mention it to me all the time. I’m so proud it made its way into so many hearts and minds.”
A collection of works from painter Kelly Grace. “I love the whimsical nature of her pieces. They are beautiful, light and not too serious.” She loves the pops of turquoise too (and according to colour psychology, turquoise represents optimism).
Teddy has plenty of space to express his love of art too.
A handmade glass sculpture was gifted to her by her father and catches the light (and your eye) in her living room.
The showstopper in her living room is this work dreamed up by her sister-in-law that hung in the Sweetspot office and rhymes of her first work baby’s unique point of view.
“I read a lot, especially non-fiction. I find real-life stories so much more fascinating. I read The Untethered Soul soon after I left eLUXE to help me get through that life transition. And Shoe Dog was written by Nike founder Phil Knight. Reading about his struggles and how he got over them puts your own business challenges into perspective.”
“These Stuart Weitzman heels were the first pair of expensive shoes I ever bought. I got them when Sweetspot was really starting to grow.”
Skincare is what this mom invests in and she prefers luxe and all-natural must-haves. She’s especially obsessed with the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask and Illuminating Moisturizer. Also on rotation: Jurlique Firming and Tightening Serum, Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm and Luna Sleeping Night Oil.