Oh Joy

happy friday + in my bag... 25 Sep 2015

Oh Joy Bag / Styled by Emily Henson

One of my favorite prop stylists, Emily Henson, recently featured the contents of my bag on her blog. I had no idea the contents of my bag could look so good, but leave it to a stylist to turn the madness into a beautiful shot! You can read the full story about what I carry around in there and why right here!

Have a great weekend guys!

{Photo by Casey Brodley for Emily Henson}

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 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.}

finally...sisterly love! 17 Sep 2015

Oh Joy / Sisterly Love

If you've been following along with this blog, you might have read some of my past posts about how life would be with two girls. Ruby went through several months that included a mix of terrible three's and sibling jealousy. It left us all exhausted and frustrated almost every day. Ruby even told our nanny to take Coco home and have Coco live with her instead of us! We began to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel when they started to share a room five months ago. And then it's slowly (definitely slowly) gotten better from there.

Oh Joy / Sisterly Love

Sure, there's always some jealousy that pops up here and there. Mostly, Ruby misses getting that kind of attention and "baby things" that babies get. She wants to play with Coco's toys, pretend to lay in Coco's crib, or use her stroller (we'll oblige her every so often if it's just for fun). But now—several months later—she finally enjoys her sister's attention, does things to make Coco smile or laugh, and misses her when they are not together. I cannot wait until they can really play together and become actual (for real) friends.

Oh Joy / Sisterly Love

And, p.s. the "three'"s were no joke..."almost four" is suddenly way better so far. My happy, friendly child is (mostly) back again.

{Photos by Morgan Pansing from the Orbit Baby O2 Family Retreat}

we'll be back... 21 Aug 2015

Oh Joy Zebra Butts

You guys! I'm going on vacation! I haven't been away on a real vacation (for more than a weekend) since Christmas of last year. So I'm excited to recharge my mind and my body and spend some uninterrupted time with my family. We're headed to Seattle for a little adventure! (Thanks again for everyone's recommendations).

I'll be posting some snaps on Instagram during our trip. But in an effort to really get away from work, I've closed my office for the week and taking a blog break as well. I'll be back here on Monday, August 31st in full force, and will be sure to share some adventures from our trip!

In the meantime, if you want to peruse some of our favorite posts from the summer, click here to see some of my all-time favorite posts.

P.S. In case you didn't know...

1. We have a general Oh Joy mailing list where you'll get a monthly newsletter and hear about new products before anyone else!

2. We also have a daily email that sends blog posts straight to your inbox. (If you sign up for either, make sure to confirm your subscription via email in order to get them!)

Have a great week all! See ya soon!

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

and then came the princesses... 20 Aug 2015


Ok, so I'll start this post by saying that I was never into princesses as a kid. I barely had any dolls. My dad got me a fake Barbie from Chinatown one time, and I played with it once. I never fed a baby doll a bottle, I never brushed a doll's hair with a plastic comb, and I never dressed up like a princess for Halloween. The closest I came to that was the year I was Strawberry Shortcake when I was 5. And then a bird pooped on my mask while I was at school in my costume. I took that as a sign to never be a character for Halloween again ;)

Fast forward to 30-some years later, and I have an almost 4 year old whom I rarely expose to princesses (Ok, I did let her watch Frozen because I liked how it was about sisterly love) or dress up. And it's not that I have anything against princesses, it's just not a world I know about. And now she's infatuated with being a princess and having a magic wand and dressing up in these princess dresses that her friends have (like said outfit above). Ruby has even asked for plastic princess heels for her birthday. I guess I understand. I know little girls like this stuff. But since I never liked this stuff, it's a little harder for me to process. It doesn't help that "princess stuff" is both pink AND purple and all kinds of shiny, frilly, and glittery all at once. (Could I just redesign what a modern day princess would wear?!)

So, what do you do...say "yes" and let your kids be into this thing that every other kid is into? Or do you steer them away from it?

happy friday, you crazy animals! 14 Aug 2015

Oh Joy BandAid Animals

Oh Joy BandAid Animals

Oh Joy BandAid Animals

Happy Friday guys! I hope you have some fun things in store. Bob has been traveling for work so much lately that I'm just excited to hang with him and our girls and just be. These little animals always make me laugh. They were from Ruby's 1st birthday party, and they've seen better days so we gave them a little patch up with our Oh Joy Band-Aids :P

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Ariel Fulmer for Oh Joy}

happy friday + have a wild weekend... 7 Aug 2015

Oh Joy Zebra

Happy Friday guys! We've been going through a zebra love affair over here at the Oh Joy office so we made this fun image inspired by my current favorite jumper and summer sandals. These four little guys are now our newest office mates.

Our stylist/crafter extraordinaire, Julia, is going on maternity leave next week, and we're sad we won't get to see her everyday but so excited for her newest adventure with her little baby zebra.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

{Creative Direction and outfit styling by Joy Cho, zebra illustrations and photos by Casey Brodley, production and styling by Julia Wester. Jumpsuit from Anthropologie (on sale!) and clogs by Bryr.} 

my least favorite color... 5 Aug 2015

Oh Joy Purple Rain

Oh Joy Purple Rain

Oh Joy Purple Rain

People always ask me "What's your favorite color?" but I find it more interesting to know what someone's least favorite color is. Do you guys have a color that you NEVER wear or would hate to have in your home? My least favorite colors are purple and red. You've probably never seen those colors in anything we've designed here over at Oh Joy or in any projects we make (unless it's Christmas and then I'm okay with red). I used to love lavender when I was younger but now it reminds me of feminine products. And as much as I love red on other people, I never wear it myself (except as a lipstick). 

What's your least favorite? Is there a color you used to hate and now love? (I used to hate pink and now wear it all the time).

{Photos by Casey Brodley in this purple rain poncho by Clashist...the first time I have worn purple in a decade!}

going with the flow (it's hard to do)... 29 Jul 2015

Oh Joy

I am a serious planner. Like, I need to know what's happening every day and have a plan in place for every single scenario. In some ways, it's always made me the responsible one—in my friendships, in my relationships, in my business, and as a parent. But being someone who lives and breathes by a schedule, it also makes me really resistant to change and really bad with just going with the flow. When I'm given a change to my usual routine, I shudder and push it away. I fight so hard not to let anything new or different in...until someone convinces me, encourages me, and pushes me to just go with it. And then, I'm always glad I did. But, boy is it hard. I dream of being one of those laid back girls in those romantic comedies who starts a food fight while making breakfast or shows up at the airport and then jets off to some random destination.

Are you guys more of the planner type like me or do you just roll with it?

{Photo by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy. My top by J.Crew, skirt from Anthropologie.}


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