Joyce Ballou Gregorian was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the third child of the noted oriental rug dealer and expert Arthur T. Gregorian, an Armenian immigrant, and Phebe Ballou, of New England descent. She graduated from Beaver Country Day School in 1963, attended Edinburgh University for one year and graduated with honors from Radcliffe College in 1968. She then taught English for one year at the Iran Bethel School in Tehran. After that she joined the family business and became it's president. She married John Hampshire in 1986 and died in 1991 in Boston, Massachusetts, at Massachusetts General Hospital, after a long battle with cancer.