Our story.
(Meet Alison + Rachel)


our heart. our passion.
our why.

JoyWell Collective Co. is a labor of love inspired by our enthusiasm to blend our creative skills with our honest desire to support, connect and empower individuals and businesses who are passionate about doing good work, whether locally or across the globe.  

We believe in the life-breathing power of authentic community, and want to serve as an outlet for kindness, compassion and hope in the world. We invite you to join us.

Hi! I'm Rachel.

I’m a communications and marketing specialist, brand strategist, copywriter, event planner, wife, mama…and an avid maker of homemade bone broth.

My love for all things creative began during my sophomore year “intro to marketing” course as a student of James Madison University – Go Dukes! I was instantly captivated by every aspect of the creative process of content and image design, and immediately selected marketing and communications as my major of choice.

Following the completion of my BS in Marketing and Communications at JMU, I was eager to expand my business knowledge, and went on to earn my MBA from Liberty University. I had a solid grasp of the fundamentals of marketing but was excited to offer my clients a 360 approach to support business growth and effectiveness using a combination of strategic marketing, communications and brand building activities. Business content tells an important story about a brand, and it is critical to craft a story in a way that it is authentic, memorable and impactful.

I often tease that my career experience resembles that of Burt, the “do all the things” character from the classic film, “Mary Poppins.” Over the span of 13 years, I’ve had the joy of experiencing a wide variety of work positions, industries and unique learning opportunities. I’ve worked as an assistant producer for a television station, co-owner of a wedding and event company, and the marketing director for a private university — overseeing its rapidly-expanding online education program. I served as the global communications liaison for the Information Systems team within a large corporation in the energy sector, written audio and video scripts for a host of corporate and private advertising projects, organized and directed large corporate conferences and events, and have been a contributing writer for a variety of print and online publications. I also am a certified personal fitness trainer and health coach with acac. I love to learn and will never stop pursuing opportunities to hone my skills to better serve the needs of my clients.

As I’m sure many can relate, our life journey isn’t built solely on success or the high points, and this is certainly true for me. Driven by my personal journey healing with chronic illness, I’m also extremely passionate about educating and empowering others to lead a life that is mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually enriching. Whether through personal connection or business interactions, it is my desire to cultivate an environment of peace, joy and authentic connection…a key reason for launching JoyWell Collective.

Favorite Quote: “Joy is the best makeup.” – Anne Lamott

Favorite City: Any city as long as I am with my family, but I’m so very happy to call quaint and cozy Charlottesville my home.

Favorite Book: The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas

Favorite Word: Cozy. Cozy all the things!

Favorite Moment: Throwing on pj’s and curling up with a good book after a long day.

Things that bring me joy: Boy mom life. Virginia in the fall. Using my Instant Pot. Long outdoor runs. Meeting new people and making meaningful connections. Nerding out to my favorite wellness podcasts. Trader Joe’s sweet plantain chips. Mushroom coffee. Most importantly, the beautiful gift of God’s peace and grace in my life.

Hi! I'm Alison.

I am a writer, a graphic designer, and a creative director. A native and lifelong New Yorker (yes, you can sometimes hear it when I say “water” or “quarter”), I now call Virginia my home.

College took me on a four-year jaunt to the Indiana cornfields, where I graduated with a BA in English and Economics from the University of Notre Dame (cheer cheer. rah rah). Because I decided my love of books and publishing superseded my need for sleep, I became Editor-in-Chief of the Notre Dame Dome Yearbook. My career began in the marketing department of Longman Publishers in Manhattan. Quickly tired of using Microsoft Word for page layout, I threw myself into studying color wheels and typography, and surrounded myself with some of the top design mentors in NYC, to obtain a degree in Graphic and Digital Design from Parsons School of Design.

For the last 18 years, I’ve launched, developed, and art directed integrated advertising campaigns and events for media companies, corporate clients, non-profits, and small businesses, including InvestmentNews, Advertising Age, BtoB Magazine, Pearson Education, Environmental Health Trust, Critical Mention, and others. I’ve worked with clients internationally on their branding and identity, publication designs, email and social media campaigns, website planning and development, trade show spaces, sales collateral, media kits, webcasts, and conference sponsorships.

As a journalist, I cover environmental health, bio-electromagnetism, chemical safety, regulatory policy, and technology addiction. I’m a regular contributor to Paleo Magazine, and I’ve also been published in Southern Living MagazineCraftsmanship Magazine, Best Self Magazine, Notre Dame Magazine, and other print and digital outlets. In my spare time (aka 3am), I write nonfiction essays on topics of existential interest. A handful of these soul-baring works have been published (thank you Dreamers Creative Writing, The Chaos Literary Journal, and Suffering the Silence). A few reside on my blog uncommonalchemy.com. And three were proudly rejected by The New York Times “Modern Love” (one day, Mr. Daniel Jones… one day…).

Because of my twenty-year health journey through autoimmunity and chronic illness, I’m personally committed to educating others about the importance of the environment in healing and preventing chronic disease. I’m Paleo by philosophy and nutrition, and I follow the tenets of building biology in how I live.

Favorite quote: “It’s the wanting to know that makes us matter.” – Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Favorite city: London … in 1998.

Favorite book: Identity, by Milan Kundera

Favorite word: ephemeral

Favorite moment: When someone who is not me fixes “The WordPress Problem” (thank you, Paul).

Things that bring me joy: Shutting the Wi-Fi. Ethernet cords. Connecting with people in person. Rachel’s dog. And coffee. Really. Strong. Coffee.


Charlottesville, Virginia

Contact us

Rachel McLean

Alison Main


By Appointment