Alpha Female Friday – Joanna Griffiths

Every Friday I am going to feature a woman that I adore. They exude all the qualities of an Alpha Female and I want to dig into their lives to get some nuggets of knowledge to help us all live happier, healthier lives balancing life & work.

Definition of an Alpha Female

An Alpha Female is a powerful and assertive woman. Her confidence is due to being an intelligent and intellectual problem-solver. Being an Alpha Female is a State of Mind based on choosing ambition and being proud of it. She strives for a happy and healthy work/life balance.

Type A Alpha Females often come across as strong willed and selfish. A true Alpha Female puts the needs of her friends, family, and coworkers first, without sacrificing her principles or dignity. A true Alpha Female strives for synergy with the world around her. She wants a perfect work/life balance and is never complacent in nurturing the people in her life.

Joanna Griffiths Head Shot

Meet Joanna Griffiths!

Joanna Griffiths is Chief Knixpert – aka founder & CEO – of Knix Wear, a high-tech women’s underwear brand based in Toronto. Always consumer-focused, Joanna has over ten years of marketing and PR experience having worked for Universal Music, the Toronto International Film Festival and CBC. Joanna holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD, where she won the Women’s Award for Entrepreneurship and the Business Venture Competition for Knix Wear, securing $20,000 to begin the business. Joanna launched Knix Wear via a crowdfunding campaign in May of 2013 on Indiegogo and became the most-funded Canadian fashion project of all time. Knix Wear made crowdfunding and retail history, when Hudson’s Bay placed an 18-store pre-order, marking the first time a brand has been picked up by a major retailer via crowdfunding. Joanna has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Dragons’ Den and hundreds of other media outlets.

Robyn here – You have to click the Dragon’s Den link and watch Joanna kill it on the show. Joanna and I went to summer camp together so it’s amazing to see a childhood friend rock her career!

How are you an Alpha Female?

First off, I am honoured to be considered an Alpha Female. I guess that I would have to say that I am an Alpha Female because I strive to have it all it. I have set near impossible goals for myself, I enjoy the learning and growth that comes with meeting those goals and I never shy away from a challenge. I don’t settle for the status quo. I firmly believe that life is a gift and I want to use my life to make a difference.

Does work/life balance exist?

Often times I feel like I have no work life balance, having started Knix Wear 3 years ago, it’s easy for me to look back and feel as though it has been an all-consuming process. But in reality, it’s not true. Over the same period, I got engaged, planned a wedding, got married, bought my first house, got a dog, lost a dog (Piper), got a new dog (Alfie) and became an aunt. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world, to witness over 30 of my friends get married and the list goes on.

I got some really great advice from a business man and entrepreneur, named Jordan Banks, and it has stuck with me and helped me get through the busier times.

The thing is that there is no such thing as work-life balance (especially when you are first starting a business), but there is work-life rhythm. Sometimes, it feels like the work will never end. What’s important is that when you do have a moment to breathe you take advantage of it, and spend it with your friends and family that have loved and supported you.

I’m starting to get a handle on the ebs and flows that are unique to my company, Knix Wear. I know that we have certain slower periods and so I make sure to see as many people as possible during those periods and to enjoy the things that in my busier months I don’t have time for. I don’t stress about going off the grid during the busy times, because I know that a down beat is just around the corner. I have learned to live my life and run my business through this philosophy.

What are you most passionate about?

Honestly, I am most passionate about my business. And business in general. I love the idea of solving a problem and doing something to make an impact in the world. That is what gets me out of bed in the morning. That and my friends and family….and my dog Alfie.


What are you daily health habits that keep your immune system boosted?

Hmmm….this is a tricky one. The biggest thing for me is remembering to eat, and to take the take the time to treat my body right. I have gotten into the habbit of sunday night meal prep (let’s just say that Robyn’s facebook feed inspired me) as well as having smoothies in the morning with vega powder. I have to start the morning off right or else I’ll be on the wrong track (and in the wrong mood) for the rest of the day.

What is your weekly fitness routine like?

If I’m honest, at this exact moment it’s non-existent. It’s something that I am not proud of and something that is on my list to change. It’s really easy for me to let this part of my life slide – especially because I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person. With that said, I have just signed up for class pass and I am really looking forward to trying a bunch of different activities and ideally finding a new passion.

How do you challenge yourself fitness wise?

When I am in fitness mode, I tend to be pretty hardcore. I always set small goals for myself and then just keep pushing….whether it’s doing an extra set of reps, or running a 90-second interval instead of a 60-second, I just continuously set small goals, and then build and build from there.

What are your daily habits for winding down at night and reducing stress?

Winding down at night, often involves some solid down time on the couch with my husband and our puppy Alfie. Nothing is a better stress relief than cuddling with an adorable animal. I’m talking about my dog here….not my husband *wink wink* and it is absolutely key for me.

What are you daily/weekly nutrition habits that keep you well nourished?

I am very fortunate to live across the street from an awesome farmer’s market so my weekly habits tend to involve making a pit stop at the market on Saturday to stock up on amazing fresh produce. I tend to try and make things that are easy to store and I can bring with me through the week. I absolutely have to pack a healthy lunch for work, otherwise I just won’t make time to step out.

What is your definition of happiness?

Oh this is a tricky one. I would say that my idea of happiness is being surrounded by people that you love and care about you in return and feeling proud of the contribution you are making (no matter how big or how small) to make the world just that little bit better. It’s smiling more than frowning and laughing more than crying and every so often looking back over the past year, month or whatever and thinking “wow, I am really lucky.”

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One thought on “Alpha Female Friday – Joanna Griffiths

  1. I would love to know more about how she went from her past career (music, film, cbc etc.) to where she is now. It’s a huge move to go from arts to fashion and I find that incredibly inspiring and certainly brave! Great interview 🙂

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