AN EXCLUSIVE STORY FROM THE INCOMPARABLE JOY CHO.
Whenever my day could use an extra dose of happy, I simply visit my good friend Joy Cho - on Instagram, that is. She's the boss lady behind the lovable LA-based lifestyle brand, Oh Joy! - and I was lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes interview with her this week. If you don't know Oh Joy! , they design the most colorful products from Band-Aids to chairs and everything in between, write books and educational courses, and curate an abundance of joyous content to fill our feeds with more whimsy, happy, and beautiful things. So beautiful, in fact, that they've partnered with Target, Johnson & Johnson, Petco ( hello, adorable straw hats for puppies! ), and countless other brands to brighten the retail space - and Joy has been a keynote speaker for HGTV and various summits. She has the most popular account on Pinterest (seriously, her content is THAT fun to peruse!) and has been named one of Time's 30 Most Influential People on the Internet two years in a row.
So where, and how, did this all begin? "In 2005, I left my job in New York to move to Philly for my boyfriend (now my husband). So I was in a new city, newly engaged, and looking for a new job. I started a blog as a place to keep my inspirations during a time when I had a lot of transition. The site slowly became read by more and more people and it helped me to be able to launch my own design studio due to the clients I was getting from folks who read my blog," Joy said. Now, 13 years later, she's grown her company from a solo freelancer working at home to a well-known brand with a full team behind her. And if others are looking to replicate her success, there's Oh Joy! Academy for that.
"I have also consulted for hundreds of small businesses over the years, helping to guide budding entrepreneurs through their growth and struggles. I wanted to be able to have a place to provide valuable and real-world experience and lessons to business owners just starting their side-hustle all the way through the journey to being a full-time business with full-time employees. The Academy has grown from that desire and will continue to offer practical advice and education to make businesses the best they can be," Joy added.
With the Academy in full swing and numerous young entrepreneurs under her wing, I had to ask what Joy's one piece of advice to creatives would be. "You be you. It’s so easy these days to get caught in the comparison trap by seeing someone else’s life or accomplishments on social media. But remember that everyone is working hard to accomplish something, and let someone’s success fuel the fire for you to reach your own goals, whatever they may be. You can do it in your own way that makes sense for you." In an internet-centric world saturated with insecurities, this is incredibly refreshing to hear.
But with so many busy projects going on, I'd imagine it could be tough to find balance, right? "I always remind myself and others there is no such thing as a perfect balance. It’s more about juggling and how you can best manage all the things in your life. Once you can place priority on the things that are most important for every area of your life, it helps you set a realistic expectation instead of trying to do everything! At the end of the day, I think back on what happened and if I can say that my family loves me, that I am happy at my job, and that I did my best to make a difference in the world in the way that I know how, then I can feel like I had a good day ," Joy said. I love that.
Some of Joy's current favorite products:
Joy's current favorite podcasts & book:
Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher
Don't Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller
Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Some lady-bosses Joy looks up to:
Grace of Design*Sponge
Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.
Her inspiring friends :)
Joy's favorite things about LA:
"The sunshine! It adds more color (which you know I love) to everyday life and makes me truly SO happy. Also, I love that LA has so much to offer…from culture to nature to art to food. It’s a very fun city to live in!"
How Joy finds joy in the everyday:
"Honestly though…my family brings my life daily joy. My husband, Bob, and my kids, Ruby and Coco, are the best part of my day and even when things can be hard (hello, threenagers) I wouldn’t trade it for anything."
And what is she most excited about in 2019?
"We are expanding our collection with accessories and more items for kids, so stay tuned!"
In fact, just yesterday they launched the cutest children's shoe line - right on schedule. You can check it out, of course, on Joy's Instagram - just in case you need another reason to smile today.
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