As L.A.-based blogger and designer Joy Cho was reveling in the launch of her first line of home goods for Target, another special arrival was on its way.
In a recent post she writes, “The last time I celebrated a new Oh Joy! for Target collection in-store launch, I was 38 weeks pregnant with [second child] Coco and didn't know that I was actually in labor at that very moment (she arrived later that night).” She goes on to nonchalantly explain that any sold-out items — her followers are known to flock to the store and wipe out their supply — will soon be restocked.
The graphic designer started her art-and-design blog in 2005 “purely for personal reasons and totally by accident.” About four years ago, she shifted her career and started fostering the Oh Joy! brand, dedicating herself full-time to managing the blog, choosing new clients and designing things for brands like Freshly Picked, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Hygge & West, products ranging from bandages to wallpaper to baby shoes.
Appropriately, her latest Oh Joy! line for Target — her second — focuses on home decor and nursery items. Her diaper bags sold out so quickly that Cho had to reassure her followers on Instagram that there were more coming soon.
The things she designs are bright and whimsical, but she makes sure to give her readers a taste of what mom life is really like. “[Readers] wanna know your life isn’t perfect, they wanna know that you have dirty laundry and your kids have meltdowns,” Cho says but adds, “I don’t believe in unnecessarily complaining and having that moment of ‘oh my life sucks so I’m gonna share every single crappy moment.' … I believe in offering it when it makes sense and when you know people can relate to it.”
It took six years for Cho to learn to love L.A. She'd previously lived in Philadelphia and New York City, but L.A.'s weather finally won her over. Now she credits it with fueling her artistry.
“The weather and the sunshine and what that does to my mindset and what it does to my creativity and my ability to just be a nice person is far better in L.A.,” Cho says, laughing. “The sunshine just makes you happier and you’re not crabby because of weather issues. I really feel like I came into I think the best version of myself after moving to L.A.”
Now that Cho's a full-fleged brand, she's had to enlist the help of a full team of staffers and freelancers. Her L.A. studio bursts with color — a teal SMEG refrigerator stands near a framed print of donuts, colorful striped baskets keep odds and ends organized, and a carefully styled bookcase holds plants in bright vases and other knickknacks.
Cho says she often finds inspiration at the farmers market by learning more about people and the attention they put into their craft. She's even had people tell her that she inspired them to start a side project or pursue their dream career. And nothing brings her more joy than that.