Life, Brand + Business Coaching Spotlight: Q&A with Johanna Lowe

johanna-loweJohanna Lowe is light, grace, serenity. She is a leader in the food and prop styling industry with a pop of curiosity and provocative wit, as the English do. She is the owner of Parchment Studio in Chicago and Parchment House in Three Oaks, MI. Her client list is extensive; Crate & Barrel, Food & Wine Magazine, Conde Nast Traveller, just to name a few. Her artful eye, calm presence and quiet leadership has put her at the fore front of her industry for years.

She and I started working together earlier this year to explore what her next is and I adored our conversations and transformations. It was as much of a journey for her as it was for me. We did a little Q& A I want to share with you.

Johanna at Parchment Studio by Huge Galdones for his ‘Naked Apron Series’.

Before working with Lisa, what was your perception of what a life coach or business coach was? 

“Not knowing anything about it, I viewed it as something a bit shallow, a bit airy-fairy for people who don’t have much else to do, “just get on with it for goodness sake, figure it out” would be my attitude. Perhaps I thought of it as buying a book that was going to solve all of your life problems. From the sound of it I had a fairly negative attitude actually.”

How do you describe Lisa’s style of coaching? What makes her different? 

“Direct, persuasive, insightful, with humor, firm, I’m trying to find the word for someone who won’t let you get away with something…… rigorous? Consistent. And whatever the word for the way you remember things and bring them back at the right moment…?”

What value have you created from coaching? 

“It has been something that has provided me with a very quiet tool set that I had no real awareness of before. I am paying attention to how I am feeling and dealing with things and there’s a part of me that has a bit of hesitation before making a decision or reacting. I feel like I have a slightly better approach to how I move through life. It’s about pausing to consider the future before acting in the present.” 


What is one of the biggest insights you have had in your life since working with Lisa? 

“Recognizing the good qualities I have and appreciate them. You have given me a really good sense of self-worth through these conversations, which is very much appreciated.  And I have pages and pages of notes from our conversations that I can refer to.  Also speaking a little bit clearer and louder for myself and that’s possible because there is a space in which to do that, rather than propelling myself into reaction.” 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about coaching, what do you think the value of coaching is? 

“If you are prepared to be honest with yourself then you’ll certainly get a reward from coaching with Lisa. It might not be the reward you are looking for, but it will be the reward that sometimes you don’t even understand at the present moment and it comes to you later. It would be an enriching experience, not an easy experience, but thoroughly worthwhile. I haven’t found it easy but I’m thankful for taking this journey with you.”


Photo by Paul Strabbing

Johanna, thank you for exploring what’s next for you in your life, brand(s) and business, it was a delight! I’m looking forward to that lunch we have to get in the books. Much love, Lisa