Oh Joy

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.}

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}

career day / a handbag designer...16 Sep 2015

Career Day with Clare V.

Clare V. Studio

If you have a bag obsession like I do, then you probably know of Clare Vivier. In our newest Career Day, we visited her studio to get a look behind-the-scenes of her fast-growing brand, Clare V. I love her brand so much that I'm often seen wearing two of her bags at the same time (one for my purse and one for my laptop). They are chic, durable, light, and feel classic yet fresh all at the same time.

As a CFDA winner, she has a certain je ne sais quoi that the modern woman loves. To an almost 4-year-old, the idea of making a purse is pretty thrilling. Clare showed Ruby how to make a fabric pom-pom accessory to adorn her little drawstring bag. And even though Clare Vivier is now a name known around the fashion world, I love that she's rooted here in LA (and she's even in my own neighborhood!). Here's a closer look into the chic world of Clare Vivier...

Clare V. studio

Clare V. Studio

What’s your background and when/why did you start Clare V? / I don't have a traditional design background. I was working in French television when I wanted a chic laptop case to use for work. When I couldn't find what I was looking for, I knew how to sew and so I decided to create my own, and that's how the line was conceived.

Career Day with Clare V.

Career Day with Clare V.

When did you know you had something good? / I think when I began to see women wearing my designs locally on the street in Silverlake, where I live, that's when it really hit home. I had tapped into something that I knew that I found to be lacking, but it was what so many other women were wanting too.

Clare V. Studio

Clare V. Studio

If there were two of you, what other type of business or job would the other Clare have? / Hmmmm, this is like Sliding Doors. I love it! I do not know, I think I would have started another creative business. I’ve always had the notion that a good idea and the right people make successful ventures.

Career Day with Clare V.

Clare V. Studio

How many hours do you work each day/week? Do you take off on the weekends? / It really never ends, but that's also something that I love about it. In many ways, I feel like I've become the brand which has been so incredibly rewarding, but that also means that it's quite hard to turn "off." I'm at the office or I'm traveling or I'm meeting with people or at dinners and when I do get some downtime, I like nothing more than to spend time at home with my family.

Career Day with Clare V.

Clare V. Studio

Best part about your job? / The people I get to meet and work with day in and day out. No two days are the same which keeps it interesting and exciting. 

Worst part about your job? / There's no worst part but there are certainly challenges that come with building and running a company. There are constantly things that I'm learning on the business side and need to be better at and need help with and those can be frustrating but also all important things to learn about.

Clare V. Studio

Why did you change your brand name from Clare Vivier to Clare V.? / As our company really began to grow, we were approached by another company with a similar name. In order to avoid any conflict, it made the most sense for us to rebrand as Clare V. in 2014. It actually came at a really great time for us as the brand was really at a turning point in terms of growth and recognition and so the rebrand made sense. Of course it's had its challenges and we still have people who refer to us as Clare Vivier, but Clare V. has a nice sophistication that I think fits where we are quite nicely.

Career Day with Clare V.

Career Day with Clare V.

What is your dream for your brand? World accessory domination? / I like the trajectory we have right now. We're building in a really strategic and organic way that makes sense for the brand. We have four stores now and are excited to introduce more in the near future in markets that are a real fit for CV. We're also making our way into other product categories like t-shirts and men's and shoes and will continue to serve our customer with everything they're looking for. It's fun to continue to extend the brand and see where we go.

Ruby had the best time seeing what goes into making those pretty purses. And, I love seeing businesses and women in business grow. I remember when Clare opened her first shop in our neighborhood a few years ago. It started as part of another shop, then grew to her own store, and now to four stores. It shows how her strong aesthetic, point of view, and the desire to fill a void in the market has helped Claire achieve her continued success. 

P.S. See past Career Day posts right here!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

tic-tac-toe!15 Sep 2015

DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

There's nothing like a ol' good game of tic-tac-toe. Even Morris and Nelson, our studio zebras, think so. Using just a few ingredients, we made this tic-tac-toe set for your next backyard party, game night, or when you just need something fun to do (that doesn't involve your phone).

DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

You'll need:

- 12" x 12" wooden board (we used plywood)

- 2 colors of acrylic paint

- Painters tape

- Epoxy resin and catalyst

- Paper cups (for mixing the epoxy)

- Something to stir with (like a stir stick or plastic spoon)

- Gold glitter

- Silicone alphabet mold

  DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

To make the board:

1. Tape off the board into nine equal squares. Paint the four corners in the first color.

2. Once dry, remove the tape and tape off the other quadrants and paint with the second color. Then paint the center color. The end result should look like a checkerboard.

To make the X's and O's:

1. Prep your space by putting down plastic or paper bags. Also make sure to wear gloves and a mask because the resin has a very strong smell. It is preferable to work outside or near a window for ventilation.

2. Mix the first batch of resin in the paper cup and add catalyst according to the directions on the package. Add the glitter to the mixture in the paper cup. The resin has a working time of about 10 minutes once the catalyst is added until it starts to harden, so pour the glitter-resin mixture into the X and O in the silicone molds immediately.

3. The resin will harden within an hour and should be hard enough to pop out of the mold to dry on a piece of wax paper.

4. Repeat the resin mixing process until you have 5 X’s and 5 O’s for the playing pieces.


DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

{Photos by Casey Brodley, crafts and styling by Ariel Fulmer}

10 {classic} tabletop pieces...14 Sep 2015

10 Classic Tabletop Pieces / Oh Joy

I have a serious love of tableware. My husband complains that we have way too many dishes, glasses, and bowls in different sizes, shapes, and colors. That's partially because I have collected a lot of little sets over time...and partially because a couple years ago, our cabinet that holds our dishware came crashing down leaving us with random odds and ends from my years of collecting. It's been a goal of mine to (someday) restock our cabinets with my dream tabletop collection.

While I love the hodge-podge mix-and-match thing for some areas of my home, for tableware lately I just want to have a classic and chic set that goes with everything. It's like painting your walls white, having wood floors, and putting in some accents of marble or brass. Once you have that, you can add color and pattern as you wish for each occasion. As I dream about having a fresh set of these basics, I thought I'd share with you 10 of my favorite classic pieces to help create a dream tabletop set...

1. Duralex Gigogne tumbler, 2. Duralex Picrdie tumbler, 3. Anthropologie copper flatware, 4. Anthropologie gilded stemless wine glasses, 5. Doma serving set, 6. napkins by Native Organic, 7. wire bowl by Menu, 8. Dansk dinnerware, 9. Morandi pitcher, 10. bread serving tray from Leif.

P.S. See more of my favorite on my Tabletop Pinterest board.

happy friday + vancouver...11 Sep 2015

Oh Joy Twirl

This past month has been a fun one with lots of little getaways...some work and some play. In a couple weeks I'm headed to Vancouver to speak at IDS West at their Social Sessions (if you're in Vancouver and into design/blogging), hope to see you there! We'll be there for a long weekend with the kids. Since I'm headed to a new city yet again, I wanted to ask for your always amazing recommendations of where to go with the kids, where to eat, and any other spots to check out.

Thank you in advance and Happy Friday!

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

how i decluttered my house...10 Sep 2015

Oh Joy / Six Tips for Decluttering Your Home

I'm one of those people who is generally clean and organized. But I am also one of those people who has a lot of stuff. I wish I could have one pair of shoes, one simple, classic tee shirt that I could wear 25 ways, and that I could have my kids play with just 3 toys. But when I get things, they accumulate. I get attached, and I have a hard time letting go...especially if it's a thing that I can use to make something (you know..."Oh, I can use that if I'm ever making a Cleopatra costume" sort of thing). Our home has been feeling smaller and smaller everyday after adding a second babe in the mix, so I just needed to declutter and dehoard to feel like I could function and live in a space that was getting filled up with too much stuff.

So, I enlisted my friend Beth from B-Neato Bar to help me. Could I do it myself without help? Yes. But would I have kept putting it off week after week if that was the case? Yes! When there are things I don't really like to do, I need accountability to get those things done (ie. like getting a friend to meet you at the gym otherwise you won't show up and instead you'd sit on your couch eating a bag of chips and watching reality TV instead). Once a week for the past couple months, Beth has been coming over help me go through every room of my house. Sometimes we worked for six hours, sometimes it was only a couple hours. The point was that I learned a lot about how to really get rid of stuff (it's not just about throwing it away), and now I'm much better at decluttering on my own.

Here are a few things I learned...

Continue reading " how i decluttered my house... " »

have kids, will travel {giveaway}! ...(now closed) 9 Sep 2015

Have Kids Will Travel / Family Getaway Giveaway

You guys...we have a HUGE giveaway today for you. With my recent family trip to Seattle, I'm feeling excited to travel again with my whole family in tow! So, I've partnered up with some of my go-to travel and lifestyle brands to give away these amazing goodies that are some of my favorites when jet-setting with my family!

Have Kids Will Travel / Family Getaway Giveaway

Enter here for your family’s chance to win $2,750 in prizes from Kid & Coe, Ergo Baby, Orbit Baby, Clare V., Instacart, and Artifact Uprising. 

$2,750 Prize Package Includes:

‐ $500 in Kid & Coe travel credits to stay at a well-designed and kid-friendly rental home

‐ $250 Artifact Uprising gift card to make photo books full of your best adventures

‐ $200 Instacart gift card for getting groceries delivered right to your vacation's doorstep

Orbit Baby stroller bundle for toting around your littles

Ergo Baby 360 carrier for being hands-free with your babe

Clare V. black Agnes backpack for holding mama's must-haves

Visit right here to enter and see all the rules for entry! And good luck!

dressing the babe / wink this way... 8 Sep 2015

Oh Joy / Mama and Me Style

Oh Joy / Kids Style

Oh Joy / Kids Style

I never thought I'd come back to a black and white phase, but here we are. I'm totally loving black and white again when used graphically and with a hit of color...

Oh Joy / Mama Style

A simple, graphic tee has been one of my go-to pieces lately. Tuck them into anything (jeans, skirts, shorts), and it instantly feels a bit more put together. And, those clogs?!? (You might remember them from this zebra photo).

Mama outfit / 1. Samantha Hahn wink tee, 2. Gap denim jogger pants, 3. Bryr clogs (custom color).

Oh Joy / Kids Style

Those new Freshly Picked sneakers are out-of-control cute, and I just want them in my size!

Babe outfit / 4. Ultra Violet Kids (past season - similar), 5. Camp Wolf shorts from Yolk, 6. Freshly Picked shoes, 7. Crew Cuts unicorn necklace.

Oh Joy / Baby Style

People still think Coco is a boy when they see her in public (since I don't dress her in pink very often), so I'm giving "hints" to people with a little pin or patterned headband here and there...

Littlest Babe outfit / 8. Riley & Co. tee, 9. Ultra Violet Kids (past season - similar), 10. Freshly Picked moccasins, 11. Bitte headband.

Oh Joy / Kids Style

Oh Joy / Mama and Me Style

Oh Joy / Kids Style

Oh, and we're finally at a place where Ruby truly loves her sister. It took us a while to get there, but it's the best to see their relationship starting to form.

{Mural outside of Coffee Commissary/Siren Studios in Hollywood. Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Ariel Fulmer. Coco is 10 months old and is starting to have opinions. Ruby is almost 4 and finally growing out of the terrible three's.}


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