We’ve been big fans of Joy Cho, founder of Oh Joy!, for a long time. Her charmingly bright blog is a favorite at the office, so when we heard that she’ll be attending and speaking at AmericasMart this summer, we were pretty psyched. Her thoughts on the journey of building her brand and her blog will be something that you won’t want to miss! We thought we’d reach out to her and get a little taste of what’s to come. We wanted to know a little more of how she works and what got her to where she is today.
You’re going to be talking about your journey from starting a blog to being Time Magazine’s 30 Most Influential People On the Internet – you are clearly a hardworking woman! What’s your daily routine like?
No day is the same, but a typical day usually starts by checking e-mails, having staff/client meetings, and getting the more administrative tasks out of the way. Then in the afternoon, I focus on the creative side of my job, by working on editorial content and design projects with help from my team to brainstorm new ideas and make these projects come to life. I start and end my day with my family and making sure I have dedicated time for them too.
We love your blog Oh Joy! and it has been around for 12 years — how has it changed over the years?
When I first started my blog, it was very much just a place for me to keep all my inspiration and design work in one place (Pinterest didn’t exist yet!). Once my readership grew, within six months I created a design business from people who read my blog that then turned into design clients. I designed branding, logos, packaging and websites for other brands for a long time as a graphic designer. I made it a goal to work with and design for brands that I love, like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and eventually, Target. Now, we’re able to focus on mostly Oh Joy! projects and I have more flexibility to really choose the work I love most to move forward with. Your business strategies grow with you as your business grows and evolves.
Your blog has a really clear point of view, has there ever been a time that you wanted to post something that was off-brand but that you were passionate about?
My blog is all about sharing joy with people in everyday of their life – giving a pop of color or a wink of whimsy to their day. But sometimes I think it’s great to share some real life things that other people can relate to, that might not necessarily be bright and whimsical, but are real and relevant. Overall, I still try and keep my blog positive as I think positivity encourages people even in moments that they may be struggling through and looking for inspiration. So the long version of the answer is that as long as I feel it in my gut and the topic is interesting to me, I will still share it.
Of the design collaborations, the daily posts you’ve put together and writing your book, what is one enjoyable moment since you started Oh Joy! that stands out?
Having a had a long-term collection at Target has been a big dream for me that I am proud to have seen realized.
Also, last year I was asked by then First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House to design the Easter eggs for the 2016 White House Easter Egg Roll, and was invited to D.C. to meet the President and First Lady. That was pretty epic.
What is something that is on your desk that you love?
My assistant will tell you that I don’t keep things directly on my desk that I love, because the piles get too high! But in our studio, there is a painting of my oldest daughter Ruby by my former assistant (now our current photographer) that I just love!
The focus of your talk is to inspire others through the message of your journey, what’s been a key element for your success?
While social media is definitely essential to the success of a business these days, the most important thing? YOU BE YOU. Because social media allows us to see so much (maybe sometimes too much) of what everyone else is doing, it also makes us compare ourselves to others more than ever. So stick to who you are—your style, your voice, and what you believe in.
What are you looking forward to doing or seeing at AmericasMart?
I can’t wait to find the food stands and the kitchen demonstrations. Anyone that follows me on social media knows that #OhJoyEats. I’m also hoping for a glimpse of the ever glamorous SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker will also be attending this summer).
You can attend Joy’s talk at AmericasMart on the 13th of July, from 10:00 am – 11:00 am.