Oh JoyOh Joy

our new normal (for now)...

Oh Joy! Sparkle Series

Who would have guessed just two weeks ago that our world would be in the state that it is today? Things change day by day, hour by hour. So many things are unknown and still being solved. I shared some initial thoughts last week on Instagram. But here's how we're coping and spending our days over here...

Social distancing as much as possible. I saw this chart which was a great visual for me in terms of what we can do while also trying to get outside and get some fresh air.

Teaching my kids for part of the day. Both of my kids' schools are closed for 3-4 weeks, so Bob and I are working out some semblance of a schedule to help guide and teach them during the day and not let them think it's just a free-for-all Spring Break! There's a mix of structure and some flexibility which should hopefully work for all of us.

Working for part of the day. I mean, working...what's that? The world has certainly come to a halt so work has been very non-typical lately (which makes the part-time homeschooling not so impossible). But there's still work to be done in Oh Joy! land so we're navigating changes (previously planned event cancellations) and prepping for upcoming projects day-by-day.

Packing my house/office for part of the day. Who decided to move out of their office and their home in the same month that a National Emergency was declared? ME! That's who! While none of this was intended to coincide, here we are, and I'm just doing my best to stay optimistic and not spend my days crying in the corner. HA!

Supporting local small businesses. While we aren't going out much, I am making a habit to support a small business in some way every single day. Whether that's picking up coffee or bagels to go, getting delivery from a local restaurant, or buying a gift or other item online from a small business, we need to try and support them as much as we can.

Trying to stay calm and positive. The news can be a doozy to watch. It's hard to know what's completely accurate and what's not. But for our kids, we're doing our best to show them that—no matter what—we'll be okay at the end of all of this.

Keep doing and sharing joyful things! Over the last 14+ years, this site (and all the things we do here at Oh Joy!) have been here to provide you JOY in some way. That won't stop now...as you could probably use that joy now more than ever. If there's anything I can do that would help you during this crazy time, please pop a comment here and let me know! I have some ideas up my sleeve but welcome all your requests.

Stay calm and optimistic, my loves...

(Photo from my #OhJoySparkleSeries on Instagram)

let me shop for you: vintage duster coats!

let me shop for you: vintage duster coats / oh joy!

If you've been following along to my style posts, you may know that I have been obsessed with vintage dusters over the past year. What exactly is a duster, you ask? According to Wikipedia, a duster is:

A light, loose-fitting long coat. The original dusters were full-length, light-colored canvas or linen coats worn by horsemen to protect their clothing from trail dust. These dusters were typically slit up the back to hip level for ease of wear on horseback.

The ones I love tend to have a great pattern, texture, or color, and range from more 50's housecoat to 70's wild child style...

let me shop for you: vintage duster coats / oh joy!

This 70's style open duster with collar has a great, bold pattern with perfect pops of color. It's light and makes for a great layer in the spring or fall, and I love wearing it with a solid color piece (like this olive jumper). I get compliments from strangers all the time when wearing this...and it's just such a great and fun piece!

let me shop for you: vintage duster coats / oh joy!

This one is more like a 50's housecoat with a silky, embroidered fabric with a thicker batting inside. It's cozy, yet so soft and pretty, and I love wearing it over longer maxi dresses.

let me shop for you: vintage duster coats / oh joy!

Finally, this is a super lightweight, vintage Hawaiian style duster with short sleeves. This one is great over pretty much anything and even works as a bathing suit coverup!

Since I love vintage so much, but they are one-of-a-kind at this point, I thought I could do some shopping for YOU and find similar duster styles in a range of sizes. Here are some I've found that I love for you...

let me shop for you: vintage duster coats / oh joy!

1. Vintage 80's Denim Duster ($80, size 8), 2. 1960's Floral Sweater Duster ($95, M/L), 3. 1960's Floral Linen Duster ($49, size 6-8), 4. Vintage Embroidered Duster ($95, size L), 5. Vintage Floral Duster ($39, one size).

Here are a few that are new and current that have great colors and patterns, too....

let me shop for you: vintage duster coats / oh joy!

6. ASOS Abstract Duster ($56), 7. Urban Outfitters Colorblock Trench Coat ($200), 8. Anthropologie Kimono Duster ($138). 

Let me know if you like these posts and any other pieces you're on the hunt for!

Photos: Lily Glass and Casey Brodley.

adding warmth to a modern home...

Oh Joy! Builds a House / Redwood Exterior

For the last two years, I have been tackling the project of a lifetime! We've been building our family's first and forever dream house here in Los Angeles. While it's been a long time in the making, we're just about finished, and I'm excited to give you a peek right now. I'm so thrilled to be partnering with Humboldt Redwood to share how we brought this amazing, natural material into our modern home. Take a look at this video below for a peek and all the details...

Oh Joy! Builds a House / Redwood Exterior

Thanks for joining me to take a peek at this beautiful, natural material and how we've used it in our home build project! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

*This post is in partnership with Humboldt Redwood. All words are my own.

(Creative Direction: Joy Cho, Production: Julia Wester and Jess Hong, Video: Jenner Brown, Still Photos: Lily Glass, Music: "Milkshake" by Pleasant Pictures Music Club, Graphics: Angie Stalker, Special Thanks: Project M+ and Boswell Construction.)

our newest collection of kids' shoes is here!

Oh Joy! for See Kai Run Shoes

I'm so excited to share our newest collection and second round of kid's shoes for See Kai Run! Designed with adventure and play in mind, the collection is colorful, fun, and durable for every adventure!

Oh Joy! for See Kai Run Shoes

Oh Joy! for See Kai Run Shoes

This collection comes in two designs available in the high top sneaker style — Super Stars and Sunny Sprinkles! From sizes 4 to 13.5, they fit from toddlers to big kids which make for fun mixing-and-matching for siblings and friend, too. You can find them both here at See Kai Run right now!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Photo Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong. Shoe pattern design by Kim Vu for Oh Joy.}

Our first kids' book comes out in one month + a gift for you!

Oh Joy! Be Curious Kid's Book

Today is a very exciting day because we are just ONE MONTH AWAY from launching the first of our THREE KIDS' BOOKS coming with Scholastic this year. Written by me and illustrated by Angie Stalker, all three books emphasize qualities to instill in our little ones to help them become kind, strong, creative, and capable humans. Our first one, BE CURIOUS!, comes out in one month on April 7th! It follows along a curious cat and encourages exploration and curiosity in your everyday adventures.

Oh Joy! Be Curious Kid's Book

The book is written for ages 0-3, for parents to read to their babies and toddlers. But they are also the perfect level of reading for early readers from 4-6 who are practicing reading themselves!

Oh Joy! Be Curious Kid's Book

I'm so excited to give those of you who have already pre-ordered, or who pre-order now before it launches, a BE CURIOUS! Activity Booklet for you and your little one to create and be curious together. Check out my stories today on Instagram to get a sneak peek of the booklet.

Here's how to get one:
Once your book has been ordered, simple visit this page right here and you'll receive the colorful Activity Booklet via email (which you can print from home) on or around April 7th after the book launches. We're so excited for you to have another way to explore with your little ones!

P.S. For those of you in Los Angeles, we'll be having a book signing on Sunday, April 5th! We will have limited space, so sign up on our mailing list to get the email that will announce RSVPs for the event. I can't wait to see some of you then!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Photo Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong. Book Written by Joy Cho and illustrated by Angie Stalker.}

to all the homes i've loved before...

Oh Joy! Living Room - Photo by Monica Wang

As we get ready to move into our new home in a few weeks (yay!), I'm getting nostalgic about the home we've spent the last 10 years in. We started our life in Los Angeles here, started a family here, and really grew to love Los Angeles here. So, while I'm looking back..here's a look back at all the place I've lived in my adult life starting with my very first solo apartment in Brooklyn Heights after college...

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

Oh Joy Brooklyn Apt

From 2001-2005, I live in this 400 sq. ft. studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights, New York. This was my first solo apartment as an adult after living with roommates for four years prior. I was in my early 20's and working at my first couple design jobs out of college while living here. Brooklyn wasn't yet the cool spot that it is now but it was totally on it's way, and I loved it SO much. This apartment was on the 3rd floor of some giant house that looked like a haunted mansion from the outside, but it had such character and the best creeky, carpeted steps in the hallway that I will never forget.

I found someone on Craig's List to make me these stacking, modular boxes that I used as a bookshelf and divider area for my bed. (By the way, I was an early user of Craig's List and my friends thought I was crazy to find a stranger through a website!). This tiny studio apartment was $1270-1390 per month back in 2001-2005 (which still sounds SO expensive to me for such a tiny space), and I remember being SO broke because it took more than half my pay check each month. But I was young, had no responsibilities, and it was just the place I needed to be at that time in my life.

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

Oh Joy! Philly Apt

From 2005-2009, we lived in this one bedroom apartment in Philly. I had moved back to Philly (where I'm from) and left New York to live closer to my then-boyfriend, Bob, who had just started a long-term residency in Philly. We had been dating long-distance for 9 years and were ready to live in the same city. This is the apartment we lived in when we got engaged, got married, and had some of our biggest early married couple fights. This is the apartment where I started Oh Joy! back in September 2005. It was about 900 sq. ft. and the perfect size for a newlywed couple and our three cats. This was the apartment where my personal style started to bloom, and I really began to express it more through my slightly expanded use of color! In true Joy form, I found someone on Craig's List to sew these custom curtains for all these windows we had. Ha!

Oh Joy! San Diego

From 2009-2010, we lived temporarily for a year in Coronado (a tiny island off San Diego) while Bob was doing his last year of training in San Diego for the year. I had Oh Joy! but it was just me, so I worked out of a bedroom in a 3-bedroom duplex we rented for the year. I have no photos of it cause it was completely temporary and we used the owners furniture (so it never really felt like home). So here's a photo of me outside of it with the Mini Cooper I had at that time!

Oh Joy! Living Room, Photo by Monica Wang

Oh Joy! Kids' Bedroom / Photo by Sasha Guilish for Land of Nod

Oh Joy! Photo by Katherine Rose

From 2010-present (almost 10 years!), we have lived in this duplex (top floor of a house) in Los Angeles. When we rented this apartment back in 2010, we didn't look at schools or intend to raise our family here. We thought it would be temporary to get our feet wet as new residents of LA. 10 years later, we've started our family here and raised two amazing kids, met and grew some of our forever friendships here, had many Friendsgivings here, and really made Los Angeles our home here. Emily Henderson was a huge part of helping us to design our living room, dining room, and Coco's nursery (before she shared a room with Ruby). This is the home where my personal style really came to life, and it's fun to see how much my adult homes have evolved over the last 20 years!

I can't wait to show you what's next in our very first home that we'll actually own. If you want to catch up on everything I've shared over the past couple years on our progress, you can see it all right here!

(Professional photos above by: Monica Wang, Sasha Gulish, Katherine Rose)

a few of my favorite vases for spring...

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

Hello March! As we gear up for spring, here are a few of our favorite ways to display flowers! 

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

Reuse glass jars that you can upcycle...

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

Fill clear vases with rainbow colored water...

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

Create a fun DIY to paint your own vases...

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

...or paint them as ombre vases!  

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

Collect single stems in cute color-block bud vases...

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

..or make a pretty tray with lots of bud vases

a few of my favorite vases for spring... / via oh joy!

Finally, make any vase your own with a decal DIY for your vase that makes for a perfect gift, too! 

{Photos by Lily Glass. Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong. Written by Traci Michael and Joy Cho.}

when one chapter closes, another begins...

Oh Joy!

February 2020 will go down as one of the hardest months of my life. This was the month that I took a good, hard look at my business and realized it was going in a direction that I didn’t want it to go. I was burnt out and emotionally drained trying to maintain every single thing that I had built. I was no longer fully, truly happy...and it showed. I knew I had to make some changes, and they were sad, emotional, but also filled with a lot of hope in making space for the things that would allow me to breathe again and feel the joy that this business is all about.

I have already shared more details about the closing of our online shop. I've also decided to move out of our studio and into a smaller space instead. Our space has become a beautiful home to me and my team, and it's definitely bittersweet to see it go. But truly, the hardest decision of all was to scale back on my day-to-day team. I built a dream team of people who have helped me grow over the last several years. I focused so much of my efforts in giving them all the best work/life balance possible, that I forgot about my own life. I am so grateful to have had the best, most loyal team on earth...many of whom are now on their way to exciting and new opportunities (and some of them will still be working with me as freelancers!).

Often, we are taught to believe that growth means MORE of this and MORE of that. I realized that the growth that I really needed was to have less of all these things that I always assumed I needed to be successful. What I really needed was to focus on the parts of this business that made me the happiest and take it to a place that I could manage it all while having a fulfilling life with my family and be present as a mother, wife, and friend.

A few weeks ago, I would have not been able to write this or share this with you because I was deep in the throes (and deep in tears) of making these hard decisions. And, while this next chapter of Oh Joy! is still being written, I feel confident that these difficult decisions were for the best, and I am truly excited for this pivot and what's to come.

The good news is...a lot of the things you know and love (products, content, my house reveal, the academy, new books) will all still be here as there are a TON of new things we have been working on for 2020. You'll see and hear my voice around here more, start to see a slight shift in focus, and...the rest has yet to unfold.

I read this line recently in Dave Hollis' new book that felt so timely for me right now and might be helpful for you as well:

"You and you alone have to feel the call on your heart to grow and pursue the life that's better than the one you already have, even if it means shedding the identity you've become comfortable with." — Dave Hollis

Thanks for your support and for always being there for me and for us throughout the almost 15 years I have been running this business. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you guys back here next week!

P.S. My awesome 4400 sq. ft. studio in the Frog Town area of Los Angeles (see some photos here, here, and here) will be available starting April 1st. If you're interested in more information, email us: [email protected] and we'll send you more info!

{Photo by Lily Glass}

color adventures: oh joy wears mint and dots!

color adventures: oh joy wears mint and dots

Mints and dots pretty much combine two of my favorite colors and patterns together...so I was excited to put together some outfits with those two things in mind!

color adventures: oh joy wears mint and dots

This top just feels so special. I love it not only for the color but the sheer sleeves, the sequins, and how it just feels so fresh and happy. I paired it with these silky dotty pants for a fun contrast of color and texture. Because both pieces are a bit looser, I tucked in the top in front to help define the waist and make a loose outfit feel a bit more tailored.

Sources: Anthropologie top (via Nuuly), JOA pants (via Nuuly), Marais shoes (past season).

color adventures: oh joy wears mint and dots

color adventures: oh joy wears mint and dots

Since we're still in winter but I love wearing skirts, I mixed a sweater and a skirt! I paired this multi-color dotty sweater with a fun and light skirt for an outfit that transitions so well into spring. I also love both pieces separately so much!

Sources: Anthropologie sweatshirt (via Nuuly), Carolina K skirt (via Nuuly), Zuzii shoes (past season), Mur scarf.

color adventures: oh joy wears mint and dots


color adventures: oh joy wears mint and dots

Sources: Rebecca Taylor coat (past season), Ban.do shirt (past season), January Moon necklace, We The Free jeans (via Nuuly), M.Gemi shoes (past season)

See a video of how I styled some of these pieces and a few others over on my Instagram Stories!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Outfit styling by Joy Cho, Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong}

new oh joy! pillows...

new oh joy! pillows

I've loved seeing our pillows in your homes since we launched our first collection last year. So, I'm excited to share that our new Oh Joy! pillow collection is available now! There's a mix of shapes, sizes, and colors for both adult and kids' spaces...

new oh joy! pillows

They all mix and match really well together like this trio above that mixes a few different shapes and sizes together.

new oh joy! pillows

These pieces make me so happy, and the price point is so great (from $38-48)! You can buy them all right here at Makers Collective.

{Photos by Lily Glass. Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong, Pillow designs by Angie Stalker.}