JoAnna Garcia Swisher Discusses Valentine’s Day Plans And How She Found Her Happy Place

Photo Credit: Heidi Ryder

For JoAnna Garcia Swisher, the concept of “home is where the heart is” is the most important of all. In fact, this concept inspired the actress, who’s starred in films like “Fist Fight,” and “The Internship,” as well as TV series like “Once Upon a Time,” to create her interior design and lifestyle site, “The Happy Place.” Garcia Swisher wants to live her best life, and encourages others to do so as well, by exploring, motivating and empowering. On her site, she not only shares personal experiences, but curates things she loves. On that note, we decided to talk to JoAnna about the day of love—Valentine’s Day—and how she and former MLB-player husband Nick Swisher, are celebrating.

Joanna with husband Nick

Photo Credit: Heidi Ryder

What inspired you to create The Happy Place?

The Happy Place came about in a really natural way. Between Nick’s baseball schedule and the different locations my career had brought us to, I had been creating ‘happy places’ for my family for years. It became super important once we started a family. I used my love for interior design and my desire to make our temporary homes feel like ‘home’ and a philosophy for living that was quietly evolving. As time went on I studied Interior Design more formally and my loved ones started asking me to help bring their homes to life. Each project started from the same place…’how do you want to FEEL when you walk into your home?’ ‘What’s YOUR definition of a happy place?’. It doesn’t have to subscribe to any design trend or aesthetic. It just should reflect you and what makes you happy. The more I shared my approach, the more I was asked to share my thoughts and ideas. It just felt right. It’s a celebration.

What is your goal with the site?

My hope is that followers and supporters feel inspired and enthusiastic when they visit our site. All of my tips and tricks are attainable and affordable. It takes so little to spark magic in our lives and I want to encourage the idea that we all have the power to do that for ourselves even in small ways.

Joanna with daughters Sailor and Emerson

How does it challenge you?

Oh boy! Where do I begin?? At first I felt so vulnerable sharing so much, but I have decided to leave that behind and shout it from the mountain tops. I’m constantly challenged by trying to find a new way to tell a story that is a common design dilemma. Everything I share on The Happy Place is inspired by my life, my loves, and 100% curated and designed by me. I’m so grateful for my co-founder, Kate, for all her contributions and dedication to creating this destination. I don’t know that when this began she thought she would be crafting and cooking and organizing all of my wild ideas, but she has rolled up her sleeves and together we are putting something into the universe that is so positive and HAPPY.

Nick Swisher creates with love

Photo Credit: Heidi Ryder

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. How do you and Nick typically celebrate? What have you taught your daughters about Valentine’s Day and do you think it has to be a holiday reserved for romantic partners?

Nick and I will always try to make time for a special date leading up to Valentine’s Day. But on the day itself we celebrate my mom’s birthday and Nick goes to town spoiling me and the girls…starting with his ‘famous’ heart waffles. Full disclosure, everything Nick makes he prefaces with the word ‘famous’. But his waffles are pretty cute. Ridiculously sweet, but super cute. I think because my mom’s Birthday was always the focus of the holiday, Valentine’s Day has been much more about family than romance.

Do you have any special mementos between you and your husband (or you and your girlfriends) that is a symbol of your bond?

Aside from our wedding bands, I just gifted Nick with a really unique gift that I loved when I came across it. My friend, Nikki, owns Established Jewelry and she has a really special necklace set that comes together like a puzzle piece. So each of us have half of it. It’s like a modern best friend charm.

Established Jewelry’s puzzle piece necklace

Photo Credit: Heidi Ryder

Does The Happy Place have an anecdote for single men and women who aren’t romantically involved with someone?

I think so much pressure can be put on the day. This year we are hosting a ‘PAL-entine’ party. It’s the perfect reason to get our friends together, single or attached, and have some fun together. We are going to mix some unique cocktails and Nick will man the grill. Very casual, but always with my Happy Place touches.

Where is YOUR “happy place” in life and why?

My happy place is with my family. Wherever I am, the love of my family, the life we share together, that makes me complete. And under that roof you will see little sparks of magic that twinkle as we attempt to make memories. It doesn’t have to be ‘Pinterest’ perfect or take hours to prep. Finding happiness in the little things is something I always aspire to do, which bring us to…..the happy place.