Oh Joy

lessons learned / from my favorite makers... 22 Jan 2015

Shop Small Makers

In the past few years, there’s been a huge resurgence in handmade goods and the appreciation for the people who make these one-of-a-kind goods. In partnership with American Express in support of the Shop Small® movement, here’s a look at a few of my favorite makers right now whose work I personally love wearing or having in my home.  Also, because I love hearing how small business owners evolve over time, I asked each of them one thing they have learned as a small business owner...

Continue reading " lessons learned / from my favorite makers... " »

happy friday + teamwork... 16 Jan 2015

Oh Joy Studio Tour

I was never much of a team player when I was younger. I alway played solo sports (like karate and tennis) because I've always had a hard time trusting and relying on other people to get the job done. It's totally the control freak in me and something I have always wanted to get better at. However, a couple years ago, I knew a lot of big projects were on the horizon, so I stopped working from home and got a new studio space (which we revealed here). I had to hire a real staff for the first time ever because it finally became obvious that I couldn't do it all myself.

What went from one part-time assistant a year ago has grown into three employees who each have their own role, their own talents, and a very special place on the Oh Joy team. Without them, I could not have designed the entire Oh Joy for Target collection, created the new Oh Joy book, or created the many videos and editorial content we create, style, shoot and publish on a daily basis.

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Decor8 recently posted some updated photos of the Oh Joy studio and captured a fun shot of my team below. I wanted to introduce them to you guys cause they are the ones behind-the-scenes, the ones who help make my visions come to life, and the ones (in addition to our amazing nanny) who help make it possible for me to be a working mother—because without their help, I really couldn't do it all!

Oh Joy Team

The funny thing is...they all applied for the same assistant job from this post I put up two years ago. But I ended up hiring each of them for different reasons, and they each blossomed into their roles and took on even more of a creative role than I originally expected. From left to right...

Julia does all the crafting and styling. While I originally hired her to do production for our videos, she showed me what she was capable of and now she not only handles production, but she also crafts our DIY's and styles our editorials on the blog and in our book.

Angie, our graphic and surface pattern designer, helps me design all of our licensed products. She is a whiz at patterns and is so good at knowing exactly what I'm envisioning in my head and bringing it onto paper. She also designed the Oh Joy book and creates the graphics for our videos.

That's me, Joy. Ever since building my team over the course of last year, I have taken a Creative Director role at Oh Joy. Which means I come up with the ideas, concepts, colors, and product direction. I also manage the business (securing new partnerships, clients, and jobs) which takes up more time then the fun, creative parts. I still write every blog post and help design products as well, but I rely on my team to help my vision come to life and execute them with their never-ending talent.

Casey was originally hired to be my adminstrative assistant and handle emails and scheduling. But she was also a budding photographer so I started having her shoot some photos for the blog from time-to-time. She began to get my aesthetic and has since grown into our full-time photographer (she shot the whole Oh Joy book, too!). She's also our office manager and makes sure that I remember to be where I need to be and keeps my meetings and schedule straight.

The last two years for me are when I went from a solo player to a team player and learned to let people help me. It's something I'm constantly working on, but when you have creative, passionate people by your side, it makes it much easier to let go and trust others to do what they do best.

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Also, if I can give one big piece of advice for budding creatives out there looking for a job or trying to grow at your current job, show your boss what you've got! All of the girls on my team had talents beyond what I hired them for, but because they put themselves out there and showed me what else they could offer, they all now get to do lots of different things on a daily basis.

P.S. You can see more photos of our studio space over at Decor8! It's fun to see how it's changed a bit since it was originally designed by Emily and Sam in 2013, like how we decorated that space above our storage cabinets with our paper lanterns!

{Photos by Kelly Brown for Decor8.}

a sneak peek at the new oh joy book! 13 Jan 2015

Oh Joy Book - coming in April!

You guys! We have a brand new book coming out in April!

My third book, Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create and Give Joy is a colorful guide to help bring whimsy and joy to your life and into the lives of those you love. It's filled with quick, fun, and stylish (all brand new) projects from home decor to food to fashion as well as tips on how to shop for vintage, pick art for your home, and where I like to find inspiration. Inspired by my Make Someone Happy videos, this book is all about small things that make a big impact. It's about making your world a happier place and giving you the inspiration to make beautiful and joyful things for others as well.

Here's a peek at the cover (the real book cover will have some very fancy gold foil and neon that you can't see in this digital image). This book was a labor of love for sure. Making this book while pregnant last year was no small feat, but thanks to my team, we pulled it together and can't wait for you to see it. The book comes out on April 7th, but you can pre-order it now at these retailers:

In the US: Amazon | Target | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indiebound | Booksamillion | Google Play | Harper Collins. In Canada: Indigo and Harper Collins.

I'll have a couple book parties in April, too, so I hope we'll get to celebrate together soon!

oh joy for target / holiday snaps... 15 Dec 2014

Oh Joy for Target

Before the holidays come and go, I had to share some of my favorite #ohjoyfortarget photos you're sharing on Instagram of how you're celebrating the holidays with the Oh Joy for Target collection! I am constantly floored by how creative you guys are and appreciate the support more than you know. Here are a few of my favorites...

Above: I love how thebannerie mixed our fans with a bunch of others!

Oh Joy for Target

And more pretty holiday moments...colorful utensils by oleanderandpalm, falalala table by michelesarahphotography, fans by _laura_ford_, mug shot by myonlysunshine.blog,  iphone treats by sonixcases, cookie snack by takeamegabite, place setting by pizzazzerie, and kids party by stylewithinreach.

Oh Joy for Target

And, finally, this cookie exchange by perpetuallychic using our treat bags! The holiday collection will be available for a few more weeks and then it will be gone forever. I seriously can't thank you guys enough for all the love and support this year with our collection. It's been a dream come true, and it makes me so happy to see all the pieces out in the wild...

P.S. I'll continue to add my favorites to the Oh Joy for Target Pinterest board!

P.P.S. The process of making these products!

oh joy for target / behind-the-scenes, part 3... 29 Sep 2014

Oh Joy for Target

Since launching the Oh Joy for Target collection back in March, I've been sharing some behind-the-scenes peeks at the pieces and the photo shoots (see here and here) that helped bring our designs to life. I've shown you guys what some of our photo shoots are like, but one thing I always get asked is how the design process works. Did I really design everything? How did our designs go from ideation to actual product? And what's my role in the process vs. Target's? Well, here's a little look at how it all happens...

Before this collection came along, I personally designed every item with the Oh Joy name on it myself. But as this project approached and with hundreds of products to design on top of everything else I was working on last year, it became time to hire another designer to help me out. My designer, Angie, has been the perfect complement to help me create patterns, draw products, and make our ideas come to life.

Here's a look at our process using the current Fall 2014 collection as an example...

Oh Joy for Target inspiration

1. Mood Board—The first part of the process is making a mood board for our own internal use. I put together a secret board on Pinterest that Angie and I share where I'd add colors, images, types of products, and anything that I was thinking would inspire my vision for the fall collection. We'd talk about ideas as we keep adding to the board. We'd also create a real-life inspiration board in the studio that included materials, swatches, color chips, and anything else that we needed to see and touch in real life.

Oh Joy for Target colors

2. Colors and Patterns—From there, we created a color palette and a ton of patterns based on the mood board. We already create way more than will get used so that we have options to be able to show. When designing for a large retailer, like Target, you have to think about what trends will be relevant to their customer when the product is available. I didn't want the items to feel dated, but trends also take some time to get to the mass level. So we decided to mix in the geometrics that we saw becoming more popular but also added in some classic signature Oh Joy colors and details like shiny gold, pops of color, and quirky details.

Oh Joy for Target / sample sketch

3. Product Sketches—Once we narrowed down the colors and patterns, I'd sketch out all of our product ideas onto paper and then Angie would redraw them in Illustrator as flat 2-D drawings, apply the colors and patterns we discussed, and we'd specify the materials, size, and any other details of the item. This would be part of our presentation to Target so they could see exactly what I envisioned for every aspect of each item.

4. Meeting with Target—From there, Target gives us feedback on what they thought would resonate best with their customers, both from a surface design perspective and a product design perspective. We'd work together with them to discuss what changes needed to be made and ensure that we were all happy with the final selections. A lot of times changes to an item were purely from a production stand-point—maybe the material I wanted was too expensive. Or, there are certain finishes you can't apply to an item if you want it to be durable and long-term.

5. Deciding What Stays—Once we narrowed down the items to pieces that both Oh Joy and Target were happy with, we created spec sheets of every single product that spelled out in detail the materials, size, shape, colors, and any patterns in repeat that would be needed. Target creates the product, and from there comes the fun part...

Oh Joy for Target / sample reviews

6. Reviewing Samples—A few months later, we get to see the first round of samples that have been made. We usually review these samples in person at Target Headquarters in Minneapolis where we also look at the products on the shelves in a pretend store setting. Based on all the samples that were made and were successful, we decide what will stay, what will go, and what still needs tweaks. 

Oh Joy for Target / planogram sketch

7. Finalizing Samples—Then, any samples that still need work will go back for another round, and I get to see it either in person or via photo before it gets produced. Once we both love a product, it's marked as final and goes off to production to be made into the final pieces that you see in stores. The Target team works on a layout of the shelf display with our finalized drawings so we can all envision how the display will look.

Oh Joy for Target / before and after

Oh Joy for Target / before and after

 

Oh Joy for Target / before and after

Here are a few before and afters, so you can see how our initial drawings turned into the real-life items and how some turned out exactly as drawn, whereas some got changed along the way. The process is really fun and interactive, and I learned more about how customers will eventually use the product which informs what is actually made. For example, there were times I wanted shiny gold on items (like those stackable mugs), but we had to remove the gold otherwise the mugs wouldn't be able to be microwaved (and most people like to be able to heat up their mugs in the microwave). So, we changed the handles to solid colors instead.

I always find it fascinating to see things come to life from your imagination to a real-life product, so I hope you guys enjoyed seeing a little bit about how it all happened for us!

P.S. The fall Oh Joy for Target collection is only in stores and online for a few more weeks before the holiday collection arrives so get it while you can. We get a lot of emails after the collections leave stores about where to find past pieces, so just a reminder that once they are gone, they are gone!

{All drawings by Oh Joy for Target}

getting a little more personal... 25 Sep 2014

The Lively Show Oh Joy

Last week, I did a podcast interview with Jess Lively of the Lively Show, and it was one of my favorite interviews to date. It was nice to not talk solely about business and blogging and share a more personal side and some of the highs and lows of my life and my business. If you'd like to listen, click here!

{Photo by Bonnie Tsang}

two ways to party! 21 Aug 2014

Oh Joy for Target fall collection

Oh Joy for Target fall collection

Oh Joy for Target fall collection

Thanks so much for all your enthusiasm over the newest Oh Joy for Target collection (a couple items are already sold out)! When designing all of the collections, we want the pieces to be able to be used for lots of different types of parties. So here's a little video we put together showing how you can use the pieces for both an adult party and a kids party! Enjoy!

Oh and keep sharing on Instagram, how you're using your Oh Joy goodies with #ohjoyfortarget

P.S. For those of you in Canada, the collection will launch in stores this Sunday, August 24th (the launch is a week later than the US one).

// CREDITS //
Brought to you by Oh Joy + Target
Creative Direction by Joy Cho
Video by Jenner Brown
Production and Styling by Julia Wester
Hair and Makeup by Danielle Walch
Music is "Together Forever" by Gio Galanti
Photo stills by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy

this week... 15 Aug 2014

Oh Joy Studio

Oh Joy Studio

Oh Joy Studio

Oh Joy Studio

A few peeks at what's to come soon...parties for little and big kids alike, finalizing the Oh Joy book, colorful sugar highs, and dressing more bumps. Thanks so much for all your kind words on the Oh Joy for Target fall collection—I'll be up bright and early Sunday morning to see it on the shelves!

Have a great weekend all!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

oh joy for target fall / launches sunday! 12 Aug 2014

Oh Joy for Target Fall Collection

Oh Joy for Target Fall Collection

Hooray! I'm excited to share a little peek with you at the newest Oh Joy for Target fall collection that comes out online and in stores (in the US and Canada) this Sunday, August 17th! This collection continues to bring you easy and festive mix-and-match party and entertaining pieces that make any party look custom in no time. I'm really excited to be including some ceramic pieces this fall that will becomes staples you can use year round.

Oh Joy for Target Fall Collection

Oh Joy for Target Fall Collection

You'll see a ceramic pitcher, mugs, salt and pepper shakers, a pie dish, and a cutting board along with more paper and melamine pieces like as serving bowl, new goblets, the tiniest party hats around, and—you guys, paper plates and napkins with metallic foil (Just wait till you see them in person)!

Oh Joy for Target Fall Collection

Here's a sampling of some of my favorites from the collection that you can find starting Sunday! Like last time, some things will sell out fast, so get them while you can. The collection will be available for just 6-8 weeks (and get what's left from the summer collection on sale now)!

P.S. Next week, I'll share a fun video we put together showing different ways we used the new collection and you can follow along right here for more...

{Environmental photos by Thuss+Farrell and styling by Scott Horne. Product images by Target.}

in the studio lately... 8 Aug 2014

Oh Joy Studio

Oh Joy Studio

Oh Joy Studio

Oh Joy Studio

Oh Joy Studio

It's been a little mad in my office lately with prep for a ton of upcoming projects. If you stop by our studio on any given day, here's a few of the things you might see...pillows taking over every square inch of floor, kids hiding in said pillows, matchy-matchy moments, vintage clothes gone wild, and dogs wearing party hats. It's serious business over here, folks. Have a great weekend all!

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