Our most recent multi-brand photoshoot called for a really special location. We wanted something bright and with a Scandinavian aesthetic, and we wanted the space to still feel warm and inviting. And we needed to shoot a bunch of little ones pre-naptime. I put out a request on our social networks and in true Torontonian fashion, I received a handful of emails with other moms graciously offering us the use of their space. This is how I met Alisse, and had the chance to visit her incredible home. Alisse, with her business KAAV LIVING, helps families navigate their options when it comes to home design, and helps prevent the usual derailments that come with renovation or rebuild projects. Her home is comfortable, casual and yet incredibly modern in its appeal. If you are struggling with your home, or your renovation/rebuild options, you are going to want to crush on Alisse and that incredible home too.
Your Name Alisse Houweling
Kids Daughter (5) and son (1)
Company Name KAAV LIVING
How did the idea for the business come about?
In the fall of 2015 I became aware of a problem in the Toronto real estate market: many families wanted to live in the city but found it hard to create a home they loved. They were frustrated with the old houses in the core. Some found it difficult to buy what they wanted at all. Others felt stuck on their aging properties, looking for ways to make the house more workable. I also saw and experienced what really goes into a major project, and how lack of knowledge or thorough planning can have bad consequences. I created an acclaimed urban home for my own family through rebuilding and knew I could help others do this. Not just by coaching but actually using my experience, plus logistical and architectural plans to do it for them. It took some time, but the framework for the business is now in place. For example, it evolved to include a consulting component for any major project. We are fine-tuning the details as each new client engages.
What motivates you?
Making people’s lives better and improving their health by helping them create homes that are restful, not stressful. I know what a huge difference it made for me and I want to share that.
What is the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur / working mom?
Making sure that I schedule time for self-care while building a new concept company.
What would you tell your “starting-out” self?
There will be good days and bad days, but overall you will be a much happier, fulfilled and balanced person.
What is your super power?
Seeing things for what they are and telling it like it is.
What is something that you think people should know about you?
When it comes to the challenges of the Toronto housing market, I’ve lived it, I’ve changed it, and I’m eager to help others love their home. Also, I used to be a litigator so I have an extra edge when it comes to representing, or simply guiding clients through the process.
Who is your supporting cast of characters? (who needs a shout out)
My husband Greg, who has supported me on so many levels every step of the way. Judi Hughes from YPP for teaching me how to build a business and coaching me through the things I don’t know. Faith Seekings of Rapport for all things marketing.