Local Business Spotlight: Joy & Co.
Kalli Hawkins

Local Business Spotlight: Joy & Co.

The North Shore of Minnesota is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and its thriving local business community. 

One of the thriving local businesses in downtown Grand Marais is Joy & Co.

Joy & Co., owned by Jill Terrill, is more than just an eclectic gift shop. It’s a hub for creativity, a place to support local artists and build community.

When you walk into Joy & Co., you enter a world where artistry knows no bounds.

Whether it’s photography, jewelry, soap-making, crocheted dishcloths, kiln-fired fish designs, or watercolor paintings, Joy & Co.’s mix of items is a testament to the diversity of talent in the Cook County community.

Since its inception in 2010, the quaint gift shop has progressively evolved and grown. “We started with 12 makers,” Terrill said. “We now have over 130.”

The mission of Joy & Co., Terrill says, is to “help people to take roadblocks out of their way and to help them find their way down the creative path.” The business, housed in the historic Lind Chevrolet Garage building, has continued to do just that. 

“About 60% or more of our artists are from Cook County. And then the others are from Duluth and the Twin Cities,” Terrill said. “We give preference to Cook County residents.”

Terrill said supporting local talent enriches the community and provides residents with supplemental income. The store’s commitment to the region goes beyond showcasing art; it’s about making Cook County a better place to live and fostering a thriving, creative community. 

Like many businesses, Joy & Co. faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Terrill said, the pandemic proved to encourage growth in creative avenues as individuals spent more time looking for ways to spend their time. The business experienced an increase in makers wanting to feature their art, and art supplies purchases “skyrocketed.”

Frequent makers on display at Joy & Co. are Sam Zimmerman, Lee England, Rachel Rae Klesser, Red Fox Botanicals, Terry Lewis, Mary Jo Flack, Nace Hagemann, David Johnson, Boreal Soap Co., and many others. 

In addition to the variety of handmade or curated goods and art supplies, Joy & Co. sells antiques and has a bustling rock shop, which includes thomsonite and agates. 

As Terrill looks toward the future, she said she would love to “work more with individual artists and people who are just wanting to experiment.” She wants to build upon the Thursday night ‘Open Art’ nights from 4-6 p.m. and provide more opportunities for creative individuals to “let yourself play.”

As Joy & Co. plans to grow and looks at expansion plans to add more production capacity, Terrill says, “We’ve recreated and recreated ourselves. I’m extremely proud of what we have.”

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Jill Terrill, the owner of Joy & Co., in the latest edition of the Local Business Spotlight. Audio from the feature is below. 

The Local Business Spotlight highlights our local business community’s economic strength and innovation. This feature is brought to you in partnership with Visit Cook County and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce.