Isabelle Boba

The owner of LUX Design shows off her new office and her fearless pup, Bella

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

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There’s been a great deal in the news this week about fearless women, what with Beyoncé dropping a massive album and simply not giving a f*** about anything the media says about her, her life, her relationship or her decision to stand tall for social issues. While strong women should be so mainstream that they don’t even warrant a special nod, the world still needs to see more examples of these badass ladies in action, and that’s why we like to give props when one comes our way.

Isabelle Boba is fearless. She’s a business owner with a growing interior design practice and a fresh office space in downtown Toronto. Isabelle will be the first to tell you to go for it, whatever it is; try something new, reach higher, show the world what you’ve got. Clearly this outlook is working for her, because she is a woman living her life her way. And the best part is, her little dog, Bella, is just as fearless.  Read on to get the scoop on tiny Bella’s nerve, which seems to rub off on Isabelle. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, these two kick butt.

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Please tell us about yourself:

I am an Interior Designer and owner of LUX Design, Toronto Interior Design boutique. My favorite part of being an Interior Designer is when I meet with a client on a new job site that is in need of renovation or décor and am able to sketch in front of them and come up with ideas on the spot. I then take those ideas and turn them into a full colour presentation which I present to my clients. My job is to get the ideas in my head onto paper so my clients can understand and buy into them. The result is amazing when all the furniture and décor comes together to create beautiful living spaces.

Because I am the owner of LUX Design with locations in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver as well as the owner of several rental properties in Ontario, I only take on a few select clients each year; the rest of my time is spent managing the properties and growing my business. I also strive for balance between work and play and try to work on that each day.

A bit about your pet:

My pet’s name is Bella. I often work from home or drive around in the city, so I thought it would be great to have a little companion with me. This is my first dog so I sought the advice of friends, like my good friend John Wilk, (previously featured), to give me advice on what breed of dog would suit me best. Since I have a lot of dark furniture (I love moody spaces), I also figured I should get a poodle mix, which will not shed. Then, Bella was found — the perfect little pup. She was the runt of the litter, which makes her exceptionally small — but she is fearless. She will literally chase after great danes in the dog park! She is not afraid of anything or anyone, and I think that’s a reflection of my personality as well. To run a business you need to take risks, be fearless, and have the outlook on life that most likely if you try something new your chances are pretty good that everything will be just fine.

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What does your ideal weekend look like?

Spending time in our sunny backyard with my husband Mariusz. I also enjoy going for long, and I mean long (8 hour) adventure walks throughout Toronto. We often park the car at my office at 628 Wellington Street West and then just walk in any direction going in and out of cafes, restaurants, and lounges. There is so much to discover in Toronto. Tikki bars are the new rage; if you haven’t tried one, there is a great one on Queen West called the Shameful Tikki.

Also, I am the designer of Jimmy’s Coffee, with 5 locations in Toronto, so I try to make a habit of visiting them on the weekends. I also really like the dog park inside High Park. It’s a hidden gem — all dog lovers should try it!

Describe your personal style:

“Designer professional.” I love to wear black as it often serves as a backdrop to the designs that I am presenting. I really enjoy fashion.

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What inspires you?

I am inspired by the potential of living a “freedom based lifestyle.” What that means to me is having summers that aren’t jam-packed with work so that I can spend time out on my boat on the waters or travelling. I prefer to work really hard in the winter to make up for a summer of fun. (Unfortunately everyone who knows me knows that somehow I am always working – data plans and a light laptop go with me everywhere.)

How would you describe the look and feel of your office?

Bella often joins me at our office. We recently acquired this beautiful French style house on Wellington Street in Toronto, one block west of Bathurst. We turned the house into our office by opening up the walls and creating lots of open space. Bella has her own little nook in our office behind the desk. Instead of a standard bed, we used a rug sample. It’s a green shag rug that we decided should never be presented to a client as part of a design, so we gave it to Bella and she loves it. She also has toys that are sprawled out all over the floor. She creates a cheerful atmosphere in the office and has been known to sit on a client’s lap from time to time during an interior design presentation.

A story about Bella:

When Bella was puppy, we, like all dog owners, started to train her to sit. We used treats and Bella quickly fell in love with the idea that she could perform a trick for a treat. However, the trick was not “sit”. Bella’s excitement for a treat led to a hilarious dance performed on her hind legs – and we couldn’t help but laugh! With our positive reaction (we couldn’t help it – the dancing was too cute), “dance” quickly became associated with a treat. Because she’s such a small dog, it wasn’t the end of the world, plus, Bella’s dancing never gets old.

One time, Bella got out of our Backyard through a small hole she dug under the fence. We were panicked, scouring the neighborhood at 7am and fearing the worst. We realized that the best way to get her to come out of hiding was to offer treats and, of course, the word she associates with treat is “dance”. We quickly became the coolest couple on the street, running around shouting “dance!” Alas, our fearless puppy was simply next door, mesmerized by the neighbor’s cats. She eventually came running and yes – she danced with happiness at reuniting with us.