Oh Joy

happy friday + what do you think?... (now closed) 23 Oct 2015

Dallas Clayton

Happy Friday guys! As you may know, we celebrated 10 years of Oh Joy last month! I used to have annual reader surveys to see what my readers liked and wanted to see more of. But it's been four years (ahh!) since I've done one and it's about time I checked in with you guys again. A lot has changed in the last four years. I went from having contributors and regular columns to writing all the posts myself again. I had two kids, my business grew, I began developing a lot more products, and I got a real office with real employees.

The content on this site has certainly changed over the last 10 years. And throughout, I have always stuck to the intent of sharing content and ideas that inspire me and things that I want to share with you. Because if I don't enjoy what I'm doing, there is no way you guys will and then there is no point of having a blog to begin with. But really, what it comes down to is that I don't blog about the same exact things that I used to. The latest accessories or must-have trends or things that were once important to me in the earlier days of my blog, are just not priorities anymore. Some of the things I used to share (like the hottest new products or designers and round-ups galore) are easy enough to find on other blogs now. My site has become more personal and 90% of the content is all of our original photography. In some ways that makes it more unique than it used to be but in other ways it also makes it harder to come up with new content all the time.

So the short answer to this long story is that we've changed, we've evolved, and we've (hopefully) grown. But I still want to know what you guys think and what you like (and if you want to tell me what you don't like, too, that's okay as long as you can be kind and constructive about it because I'm sensitive, too). We have a lot of new products launching next year that I can wait to tell you about. And a lot of fun plans for new content for 2016. I'm always looking for ways to improve everything I do, so please click on this link to answer a short and easy (I promise) survey. And for those of you who are so kind to take the time to answer this survey by October 30th, we'll randomly pick 5 of you to send a special Oh Joy gift to.

Here is the link to the survey!

Thanks in advance guys! Your support means the world to me.

UPDATE: Congrats to Sarah M. from CA, Shruti K. from NY, Lauren D. from KY, Stella P. from MD, and Sarah from London, UK for being our winners this time!

{Mural by Dallas Clayton}

behind the scenes / oh joy band-aid brand bandages! 21 Oct 2015

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

I always find it fun to see how things are made, so today I wanted to share with you guys the process of designing our Oh Joy BAND-AID® Brand bandages! Designing these has always been a dream of mine because they are like little canvases that everyone uses and keeps in their home/car/purse, etc. Not to mention that Ruby is obsessed with them so she thinks it's pretty cool that we have Oh Joy ones now. Here's a detailed look at how we went about designing these last year...

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

We started with an internal review between Angie, my designer, and I looking at patterns that would work well in this tiny format. For some products, we design patterns from scratch that are exclusive to that product or season or store. For these, we were able to use patterns we had already designed but made sure to mix in some that had yet to be seen, too. We always design so much more than what actually goes through and gets produced, so we had a ton of patterns that never saw the light of day just waiting for their turn to shine. In reviewing patterns with Angie, I wanted to work with Oh Joy patterns that could work on in a very small area. We knew we might have production issues with patterns that were too intricate or had very fine lines, so we stuck with mostly bolder patterns. And since I knew this product would be in stores for at least one year, I didn't want the colors to feel specific to any one season so we colored them in a mix of very Oh Joy colors.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

This is what we sent to Johnson & Johnson for a first round review. I narrowed down our internal review to a dozen or so designs. We also played with some typography options as I thought it would be fun for the bandages to say something, too! For the sake of production and what reproduces best on the BAND-AID® Brand bandages material, Johnson & Johnson cut out any designs that were too fine or had very small details. They also loved the idea of the typography, but we all felt that these type ones in particular felt a little too young (I wanted moms to feel like they could wear them, too!). So we wanted to focus on just patterns for this initial launch.

You'll also notice a registration shape on the top of every bandage which is what helps with the printing process to help line up the bandages for cutting. We were able to draw a very simple shape for this registration process and went with a circle. While we could have done something a bit more complex there, I felt like any other shape would take away from all the different patterns we had going on, and I really wanted the patterns to be the star. We also took a look at how we wanted the Oh Joy name on there—simply typed out or as an actual logo.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

After a bit of back-and-forth, we narrowed it down to these patterns in two different sizes. I wanted to keep the Oh Joy name on there and felt that the logo was too distracting on this small space, so we went with the text version. We also tweaked and finalized the scale of the patterns as well as the icon on top (and little details like how the white gets added behind the registration circle and the "Oh Joy" when it's on a busier area of pattern).

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

And this is what they look like in real life if you haven't seen them yet! Once the designs were close to final, we were able to know what was going into the box that also needed to be designed.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

For the box design, I wanted to morph a few of my favorite patterns from the strips into a new custom pattern for one side of the box. Here are the three versions we showed to Johnson & Johnson using a template for the real box that they gave us. We all agreed that Carton C felt a bit too young, and we liked B over A because it was bolder and easier to see on shelf from further away than A. 

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

The, for one of the sides, we needed to add a layout of the bandage strips to help show the customer what they'd get inside. Johnson & Johnson specially asked for the layout of the "strips" to feel a bit more tossed (rather then laid out in neat rows) since some of their other designer boxes had the strips in neat rows, and they wanted to differentiate the layouts of each brand. So we worked on a few "tossed" ideas. These were both feeling a bit too messy, so we played with it some more until we got to this final version which they liked and ended up being our final box...

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

I like to call this "The Band-Aids Are Talking to Each Other!" because they look like they are chatting and having a very important brain-storming session or telling each other their deepest and darkest secrets.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

I hope that helped you get a sense of what our process what like for this recent Oh Joy product collaboration! You'll be able to get this current set of Oh Joy BAND-AID® Brand bandages in all Target stores and online for a few more months so get them while you can! (Sorry, our First Aid Kid has already sold out)

{Photos by Casey Brodley, designs by Oh Joy}

oh joy answers / how to make time for a side business... 13 Oct 2015

Oh Joy Answers

Today in "Oh Joy Answers", I'm chatting about how to make time for a side project or side business. It can be hard to do when you have so many other things going on! See my video below to hear what I recommend...

P.S. And thanks so much to Fast Company for including me in this month's article on productivity (next to Oprah! Ahhh! NBD).

we need a textile designer! 24 Sep 2015

Oh Joy Textile Designer

It's been said that if you work at the Oh Joy office, you get pregnant within seconds! Ha. We're having a baby boom over here, and my designer, Angie, will be going on maternity leave in a few weeks. I thought I could do her job AND my job while she's away. But then I realized I was being a crazy person. So, I am looking for a talented textile designer to help fill-in while Angie is on maternity leave. This is a great chance to work at our studio, build your portfolio, and get to be part of designing a bunch of Oh Joy products for upcoming collections! You can see a sampling above of the work that you'd get to do!

Duties include:
-Working with Joy on design/production of Oh Joy products
-Creating and designing original patterns and illustrations
-Putting patterns into repeat for production
-Drawing CADs
-Graphic design for promotional materials

-Ability to take art direction and translate that into designs, patterns, and illustrations (both hand-drawn and digitally-drawn)
-Ability to draw 2D CADs in illustrator
-A love of fashion, home decor, and children
-Resourceful, efficient, strong multi-tasker, organized, punctual, excellent attention to detail
-Enthusiastic, go-getter attitude, and exemplary work ethic
-Consistent availability
-Graphic design skills with advanced knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator

You must have prior experience (sorry, no entry-level candidates for this position). This is a paid, temporary, part-time (2-3 days per week) freelance position to run approximately from late October to December. Exact pay will be based on experience. You must live in the Los Angeles area and have transportation to get to our studio in Hollywood.

In order to apply, please download and fill out this application, then email it to: hi@ohjoy.com with the directions noted on the application. 

Label the subject of the email with: “OH JOY TEXTILE DESIGNER”. We are accepting applications now and reviewing them by Friday, October 2nd. If you or anyone you know fits the bill, we would love to hear from you!

oh joy from 2005 to 2015... 22 Sep 2015

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

Last week, I celebrated ten years of Oh Joy! When I started this blog (and my business) 10 years ago, I never thought it would turn into my job. I never thought I'd make real, live friends through it. I never thought I'd connect with people all over the world and get to share my vision with complete strangers. I never thought that it would give me the opportunity to create something from nothing and create a job I truly love doing every day.

In celebration, I'm looking back at the last 10 years to show how things have changed and evolved and grown (both personally and professionally) in the last decade. This is a long post (but a fun one). So I hope you'll hang out and read along...

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2005 - This is when it all began. I left New York to move to Philly in pursuit of love. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) had just started his residency, and it was time to live together after almost 9 years of a long-distance relationship. I had just moved into a new apartment, gotten engaged, and was looking for a new design job. The world was my oyster, yet I was unemployed, broke, and yet trying to start my career and new life with my future husband. My blog in 2005 was about the things I loved—Bob, my cats, lip balm and potatoes, and snacks. I also started interviewing designers who I admired to ask them business advice and began sharing wedding vendors whose work I admired. I was looking for a new job and didn't yet know my blog would become a big part of it.

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2006 - This was the year I got married. I shared a lot of wedding inspiration (remember, this is before all the awesome wedding blogs were out, so it was all from print magazine and tear-outs). I also started freelancing at this time and worked for a variety of different companies. I turned our dining room into an office and started showing a peek into my design inspirations and indie products I loved. This was the year that I realized I was getting freelance work through those who were reading my blog and decided to freelance full-time and turned "Oh Joy" into not just a blog but a design studio as well. This was the first (and last year) that I liked the color "chocolate brown". I still liked cats, too.

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2007 -  By 2007, I was a somewhat legit business. I had design clients from around the country and was really immersed in Philadelphia and getting to know other designers/entrepreneurs there. I began a weekly design column for the local newspaper. I also launched a stationery line that year which gave me a taste of what manufacturing was like. This is the year I created one of my most recognized floral patterns for a card that now still lives on in wallpaper today. I started sharing my love of interiors and even got nominated in a Domino Magazine contest. It's funny to look back at the colors I liked back then and how much more muted my color palette was.

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2008 - This is the year that blogs started to become a thing. It was a really good year for new bloggers and some of your favorite blogs probably started around this year. I loved sharing up-and-coming designers I was discovering and kept myself constantly scouring for what was fresh and new. While I was still blogging daily, I was also focused on growing my design business. I did a lot of freelance work for Urban Outfitters and was still selling my stationery line in stores around the country—including Anthropologie. I was sharing all things Philly and even getting design recognition locally. And, I hired my first intern!

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2009 - In 2009, we left the comforts of Philly to move to San Diego for one year for Bob's job. I was sad to go but opened my eyes (and tastebuds) to a new city. I started using a social media tool called Twitter and I started a second blog dedicated to my love of food (I soon realized how it didn't make sense to start a new blog and just merged the two together ;). After realizing how much I loved making products (but hated dealing with manufacturing), I began to work with more companies to license my designs. I began exploring more local sites and shooting more original photos and getting more comfortable taking photos for my blog.

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2010 - I was loving San Diego life and going out to local events and eating my way through the city. I loved the weather so much, I begged Bob to look for a job on the West Coast so that I could stay in the sunshine forever. He found a job in Los Angeles and (after making sure our moms would be okay with us not moving back to Philly), off to LA we went! My first book, Creative, Inc., came out and we celebrated with my first book party (I still love this trailer we made)! I celebrated 5 years as a blogger and began adding in regular columns and contributors to my site. I began to develop real friendships with people I met through my blog (which now a days doesn't seem like a big deal, but back then was very new and kind of still weird ;). I began to acclimate myself to (yet another) new city.

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2011 - As we began to start our future in LA, we also worked on starting our family. I announced my pregnancy, shared those bump photos along the way, and welcomed our first (life-changing) baby. I was working with a handful of freelancers who contributed to the site. I was managing 5 different freelancers, and we were posting 3 times a day! Bob (briefly) had a guy's column on Oh Joy which I loved but his real job took over, and I wasn't able to support his demand for a raise ;P. We were on Emily Henderson's show, Secrets from a Stylist on HGTV, and Emily almost gave me a heart attack with her first reveal all in pink and red. My design work was going well, but with the arrival of Ruby, I began to slow down on freelance design work and focus more on Oh Joy related projects. I also started using a new social media site called Pinterest ;)

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2012 - We were growing our content on the blog, and I was continuing to manage regular contributors as I transitioned into life with a newborn. However, after beginning to share more personal posts on my blog (especially when it came to those about motherhood), it felt weird for me to mix my voice with those of my contributors. I loved the visuals we were coming up with, but my blog didn't feel personal anymore. So, I took my blog back. I kindly let go of all of my freelance contributors who worked on columns for the site and went back to writing all the posts myself. It was ironic because my second book, Blog, Inc. had just come out, and here I was going in a direction that seemed like the opposite direction of where you'd think to go when you want to grow. But getting more personal felt right. We also celebrated Ruby's 1st birthday!

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2013 - My business was growing, and it was time to get help—not just remote freelancers that I had worked with previously, but actual employees who would work with me in person by my side. This was the year that my business really grew—I got a studio, hired my first two employees, and signed licensing deals with The Land of Nod and Target that would launch the following year. I was also creating more video content and trying to expand the types of content I was creating for the blog. Pinterest was a growing space for Oh Joy and images from this post got re-pinned 1.5 millions times within 2 days of the post going live. We also went to France, and Ruby learned the joys of baguettes and chocolate croissants.

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2014 - This was my biggest (and hardest) year yet. We launched our first Oh Joy collection for Target and baby bedding with The Land of Nod. We stopped having banner ads on the blog and blog income came from sponsored content instead. I focused more on outside projects (Oh Joy book in the works, our line at Target and other licenses) and had the blog be the companion to the Oh Joy world. I announced our 2nd baby and loved sharing style tips for other pregnant mamas. So we made my favorite video series to date—Dressing the Bump. I had a bumpy pregnancy with gestational diabetes and 3 weeks of bed rest while trying to finish a book. But that all didn't matter once our newest babe arrived. The cherry on top of the cake of the best year yet professionally, was the arrival of our little Coco who made our family complete. 

Oh Joy Blog - 10 years

2015 - This year, we launched my 3rd book and a line of Oh Joy Band-Aids,. I expanded my Dressing the Bump series from last year into Dressing the Babe which is so much fun for me to get a chance to show my personal style and take some fun photos with my kids. And because it's taken me a while to "not feel guilty" about the fact that I choose to work and own my own business and be a working mom, I've decided to show what I've come to realize my strength is as a mother—that my kids get to see their mom creating her own job, pursuing her dreams, and hopefully teaching them about passion and going after what you want in the process. Our "Career Day" series was inspired by this after seeing what Ruby would naturally pick up on by getting to see what I for a living. This year isn't over yet, but we've been working really hard on a lot of exciting things coming out next year!

So, here we are 10 years later. Lots of people ask...what's next? What's your plan for the next five years? Honestly, I don't have it totally mapped out. I have learned to put out a few goals out there (more products, doing more new things that challenge me, etc.) but also to know that there are paths that will reveal themselves and things I will do that I don't even know about yet. When it comes to blogging, I can't believe I'm still doing it. I still love sharing my ideas and my vision with you all, but to be honest, it does get harder and harder to keep coming up with new ideas every day. There are so many talented people out there, and I am always thinking about how I can improve and how I can share ideas in new ways with you. If there's anything you'd love to see here in the near future, please let me know. I always want to hear from you guys. And, again, simply thank you for just being here and for choosing to spend any part of your time here. It means more to me than you'll ever know.

oh joy answers / balancing work & family... 21 Sep 2015

Oh Joy Answers

Since I'll be posting a review of the last 10 years of my business and blog soon, I thought it would be fun to address one thing that has changed everything for me from 2005 to now—my family. Becoming a parent has given me the greatest joy (and also the biggest stressor for me as a business woman). It's impacted me in so many ways—creatively, logistically, and even in the way that I connect with others.

We have a new batch of Oh Joy Answers videos, and here's a new one that addresses "How to Balance Work and Family" and "How to Prepare For a Baby" when you have a business. I share a little bit about how I handle the above questions in hopes it will help some of you too...

And, P.S. I've been doing weekly Periscopes (usually 10am PST on Fridays...I'm @ohjoy) to show you some behind-the-scenes of what we're working on, but I also answer live questions there, too. I've been finding that to be a great format for answering some simpler questions you guys have. But I'll still make videos for longer ones or for some of the more commons questions that come up!

oh joy is 10 years old! 18 Sep 2015


Holy crap you guys. This month, my blog and business turn TEN YEARS OLD. How on earth did that happen? When I hit publish on my very first blog post 10 years ago, I never thought I'd turn this site into part of my job, have a space to be able to reach and connect with so many of you, and to have the chance to share my ideas with the world. Even once I started blogging more seriously, I never thought I'd still be doing it 10 years later. THANK YOU for being here no matter how long or how short you've been following along...

I know you haven't all been following along since the beginning (but if you have please let me know who you are!). Because I love timelines, next week, I'll be sharing a little bit about where I've started and where I've come—both as a designer, blogger, business women, and as a person. I always enjoy seeing how people follow their paths and also what happens when their path changes into something they didn't expect (raises hand).

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend! I hope it's full of things that make you sparkle inside...

{Photos by Casey Brodley, art direction by Joy Cho, styling by Ariel Fulmer. Cake topper from Sweet & Saucy.}

happy friday + the today show! 10 Jul 2015

Oh Joy / Today Show!

You guys...a couple weeks ago Jenna Bush Hager came to our studio to interview me for a segment on the Today Show on women in business. The episode is airing on Monday morning on NBC (in the 8 o'clock hour), so I hope you'll check it out!

I hope you have a great weekend! I'm taking Ruby to her first hip hop class so I can't wait to see her shake her little booty in class ;)

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

we need an oh joy crafter/stylist! 17 Jun 2015

Oh Joy Crafter/Stylist

Ok guys, so half of the Oh Joy team is pregnant! And when you only have four people on your team, that's a big deal. I am looking for a talented person to help fill-in while our in-house crafter/stylist, Julia, is on maternity leave. This is a great chance to work at our studio, build your portfolio, and get to be part of creating so many different things. You can see a sampling above of the work that you'd get to do!

Duties include:
-Sourcing of materials and supplies for projects
-Creative brainstorming, ideation, and storyboarding for photo shoots and videos
-Crafting and producing DIY projects and recipes
-Styling food, still lifes, and interiors

-A love of fashion, food, home decor, and DIY
-Great hand skills (your friends say you can make anything!), creative thinker, and crafty
-Resourceful, efficient, strong multi-tasker, organized, punctual, excellent attention to detail
-Enthusiastic, go-getter attitude, and exemplary work ethic
-Consistent availability
-Experience working on photo shoots or TV sets a plus
-Graphic design skills and working knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator a plus

This is a paid, temporary, part-time position to run approximately from August through November. Exact pay will be based on experience. You must live in the Los Angeles area and have access to a car.

In order to apply, please download and fill out this application, then email it to: hi@ohjoy.com with the directions noted on the application. 

Label the subject of the email with: “OH JOY CRAFTER/STYLIST”. We will be accepting applications for the next two weeks and reviewing them by July 1st. If you or anyone you know fits the bill, we would love to hear from you!

oh joy answers / on finding success... 11 Jun 2015

Oh Joy Answers

Hey guys, here's my newest video in the Oh Joy answers series. Today I'm talking about the one thing that I think has helped me to find success in my career. It might seem like common sense, but it's something I've been doing since I started my career 14 years ago...

What do you think? What has helped YOU find success in your career?

And, I promise I'll be wearing a different shirt in the next Answers video (We filmed the last 5 videos on the same day ;).


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