Andrea Armstrong is our fearless leader at Happiness Is Inc. In 2016, she launched the business with her grandfather, Gordon Carton and together, they embarked on a new venture with a mandate to spread happiness through a collection of casual and athletic wear. The reasoning? When you wear your happiness and share it with the world, it uplifts others, too. Their combined passion for our country paired with the vision to make happiness contagious led to the founding of Happiness Is Inc.
Gordon very sadly passed away in April 2017, but his dream lives on. Andrea is now the CEO of the company and is determined to carry on the legacy that her wise and charming Grandfather left behind.
It’s no surprise that she is the first person we’re profiling in our new “Happiness Files.” We'll be sharing Q&A's with fascinating Canadians who are living their joy and making a positive impact through their adventures, philanthropic actions, and lust for life. Have someone to nominate who fits the bill? Send us an email at email@example.com.
What do you do for a living?
I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife and the co-founder of Happiness Is Inc. I am an accountant by trade.
Do you love it?
Yes! I love running the business my grandfather started. I feel like it was his gift to me. At first, I thought I was helping him out, but now I realise he was the one helping me.
Tell us about that.
Working for a company with happiness at its core has given me a more positive outlook on life. Happiness Is Inc. is a casual clothing company with a mandate to inspire people to share their happiness with others. We want people to be happy when they wear our stuff and make others happy by doing so.
Where is your happiest place in the world?
My family cottage. My grandfather purchased the land in the '60s and my family still enjoys it to this day. My parents built an all-season home a few years ago and moved there permanently. I spend the whole summer there.
What's your favourite colour?
Green first, but blue is a very close second. I'm drawn to earth colours, I guess.
Favourite breakfast food?
Bacon and eggs—cooked up by my Grandfather at the cottage. It was a tradition.
Favourite outdoor activity?
More like activities! Skiing, hiking, boating, photography. And, of course, happy hours on the dock…does that count?
Favourite indoor activity?
Watching movies (or binge-watching Netflix series) with my family is my current favourite pastime, but I also love heading out to a great new restaurant. We recently checked out Smoked and Cracked in Toronto, and it was so good! The star of the menu is fresh Maritimes lobster and seafood, and the vibe is eclectic-yet-casual and very Canadian.
Grease. I know all the words to all the songs.
Coffee or tea?
Tea. But, to be honest, Diet Coke—although I am trying to quit!
Beer or wine?
Wine. Hands down.
Dogs or cats?
Mountain or beach?
Why does one have to choose?
Fill in the blank: Happiness is…
What's the one thing that's guaranteed to make you happy?
Without a doubt, it's spending time with my family and friends at our cottage on Oxtongue Lake. I've spent nearly every summer of my life there, and, somehow, always managed to make it work with my career.
I love sitting on the dock at happy hour, playing cards, nature walks, and boating. I get such a kick out of seeing my kids enjoy the woods—whether it's bringing home an enormous fish after an afternoon fishing expedition or getting out there on the lake on their water skis. (Truth be told, I used to be a pretty good waterskier myself, back in the day.) And then there's the dancing on the kitchen counters, which, yes, is a regular occurrence! We get a little crazy up north. But being there, surrounded by the people I love the best, is always the fastest way to bring me to tears of happiness.
Know someone who is living the Happiness Is... life? Send us an email and nominate them at firstname.lastname@example.org for their chance to be featured in The Happiness Files.