#WCW Joy Cho | Founder and Creative Director of Oh Joy!

Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.

Up next, Founder and Creative Director of Oh Joy!, Joy Cho

 

Where did the inspiration for Oh Joy! Come from? Tells us about how it came to life.

I worked in New York City post graduation for 4 years and worked at a couple different design companies. In 2005, I had left my 2nd job in New York City to move to Philly for my boyfriend (now my husband). I was in a new city, newly engaged, and looking for a new job. I started doing freelance design work to make ends meet while looking for a new job. I also started the Oh Joy! blog as a place to keep my inspirations during a time when I had a lot of transition. More and more people started to read the site and it helped me to be able to take my freelancing and turn it into a full-time business and design studio due to the clients I was getting from folks who read my blog. I didn't initially plan to start my own business, but once I saw that I could get my own clients, I took the leap of faith. The transition to a lifestyle site and brand was not planned at all. As the Oh Joy blog grew, and as I was able to focus more on Oh Joy! projects (and less on client projects) as we grew, I was able to really begin to tell my story (personally and professionally) and share the ideas and inspirations I wanted to share with the world. It took a long time to get to where things are today, but it’s been a fun and ever-changing ride! Today, Oh Joy! is a design company and lifestyle brand which focuses on creating inspirational content on social media and designing products. We have an online shop, 3 books out (with 3 more coming next year), and an Oh Joy! Academy where I help budding entrepreneurs.


You have given keynote speeches on entrepreneurship and leadership and have even been named one of Time’s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet. What advice would you give women who want to launch their own project or business?

There is never a perfect time to start something. Whether you start it on the side in addition to your day job or you’re looking to evolve and change your business in some way, it all starts with one small step and a little bit of risk to go for it.
 

Here at LIVELY, we think every badass woman has had to take a risky leap of faith to get to where they are now. We call this our YOLO moment. What was yours?

For me, it was going from being a business of one to deciding to get an office (outside of home) and hire employees. It was such a financial leap of faith for me that I had so many moments wondering if I made a mistake and if I could sustain it. But by growing my team, it allowed me and my company do more things than I could do on my own as one person.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?

“Who says you can’t?” I tell myself this in moments of self-doubt because typically the main person stopping you is you. And once you get over that hurdle, anything else gets much easier.

 

When do you feel most empowered?

When I feel in control of my future and doing the things that make me happy.

 

What keeps you motivated when you’re feeling burnt out?

I love that I can connect with others through my work in a way that wasn’t possible before social media existed.

 

What are your thoughts on “following your gut”?

I 100% believe in that feeling you get when you know something is meant to be or not. Whether it’s walking into an open house, looking at a potential new apartment, being in a relationship, or starting something with a business, your gut has instincts that can often be trusted.  

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