Joanna Griffiths

Toronto, Ontario

One of Canada’s highest-profile entrepreneurs, Joanna Griffiths is a businesswoman best known for founding Knix Wear Inc., an apparel company that creates and sells comfortable and functional women’s undergarments. She holds multiple patents in conjunction with her work at Knix.

Early life

Joanna Griffiths was raised in Toronto, Ontario. She was an admirer of music from an early age, and at one point even joined the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. Her first job was sweeping floors at a local hair salon, sometimes earning a few dollars for her efforts, and sometimes trading her labour for a free haircut. Starting at age 15, she also worked as a counselor at a sleep-away camp.

As a young woman, Griffiths attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario between 2001 and 2005. She studied abroad as a visiting student at Trinity College Dublin for the academic year of 2003–2004, ultimately earning a degree in commerce for her combined efforts. During her time at Queen’s, she served as co-chair of that institution’s Conference on the Arts and Business.

Upon entering the professional world, Joanna Griffiths took a role as a publicist for Universal Music Group for three years. She then became a Media Relations Manager with the Toronto International Film Festival for a little over a year, before making a move to CBC Television, where she was a Promotions Manager for another year and a half.

In 2011, Joanna Griffiths decided to alter her course. She enrolled in the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), one of the world’s foremost business schools, where she completed an MBA in 2012.


Once she had concluded her studies, Griffiths founded Knix Wear Inc. in 2013, with a vision of designing, manufacturing, and marketing leakproof, practical underwear for women of all shapes and sizes.

In an interview with Canadian Business Magazine, she recalls how a critical part of her business research process informed her thinking about the undergarment industry. “Before launching Knix, I interviewed hundreds of women to learn what they wanted from a lingerie company. It was at the height of Victoria’s Secret, and the women told me that the industry made them feel bad about their bodies. We became the first brand to have products in every size and the first brand to use real people—our customers—in our photo shoots.”

In 2015, Knix Wear Inc. debuted a second product—a seamless bra— through the global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The bra was an immediate hit and brought $1.3 million in revenue to the company during its first month of availability. This caused Griffiths to have an epiphany about the structure of her business model: she would stop selling products in stores and begin offering products to customers online. The next year, she relaunched Knix Wear Inc. as a totally direct-to-consumer brand. The company would eventually expand its offerings to include eight styles of underwear, three styles of bras, five styles of sports bras, and a selection of tops and accessories.

In 2021, Griffiths teamed up with Domino Kirke to write Life After Birth: Portraits of Love and the Beauty of Parenthood. The book takes an honest look at the transition from pregnancy to motherhood, reflecting on the many physical and emotional changes that occur within new mothers. It was published by Rizzoli New York.

Joanna Griffiths was chosen as Canada’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Ernst & Young in 2022. While accepting the award, she made some remarks about the core values of Knix, saying, “We’re a company that focuses on impact and one that celebrates people for who they truly are. In a world that profits from society’s self-doubt, we at Knix believe that the most aspirational thing is to love yourself exactly as you are.”

Later that same year, she would sell an 80% stake in her company to Essity, a global health and hygiene corporation, for the sum of $320 million USD.

Over the course of her career, Joanna Griffiths has received several awards, including the ‘Canadian Women Entrepreneur Startup Award’ from the Royal Bank of Canada, ‘Canada’s Most Admired CEO Award’ from Waterstone Human Capital, and ‘Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ from Ernst & Young, among others. In the past, she has been profiled by Forbes Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, and The Globe and Mail. She is also a highly acclaimed public speaker, delivering keynote addresses at professional meetings and corporate events across North America.

Joanna Griffiths currently sits on the board of Futurpreneur Canada, an organization dedicated to providing financing, mentorship, and other valuable tools to promising young Canadians working to launch new businesses.

Net Worth



Founding Knix Wear Inc. in 2013.
Receiving the ‘Canadian Women Entrepreneur Startup Award’ from the Royal Bank of Canada in 2018.
Being named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Women of Influence in 2018.
Knix Wear Inc. being named ‘Brand of the Year’ by Strategy Magazine in 2020.
Receiving ‘Canada’s Most Admired CEO Award’ from Waterstone Human Capital in 2020.
Writing and publishing her first book Life After Birth: Portraits of Love and the Beauty of Parenthood with her co-author Domino Kirke in 2021.
Being named one of the 35 ‘Women Trailblazers’ honourees by Adweek in 2021.
Negotiating the sale of an 80% stake in Knix Wear Inc. for $320 million USD in 2022.
Winning ‘Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ from Ernst & Young in 2022.