Joy Cho is about as iconic as you can get in the lifestyle world, and there’s a good reason why. Oh Joy! started as a graphic design studio and blog in 2005. Now Joy’s got books, product lines and partnerships, a sweet daughter Ruby and another lil’ girl on the way.
Joy’s family has almost full-time child care four days a week, and she stays home with Ruby on Wednesdays. On work days, Joy is home by 4:30pm so that she can spend the afternoon with Ruby before bedtime. If needed, she’ll often continue working after her bedtime.
We’ve had the privilege of watching her business and family grow before our eyes through her posts, tutorials and Instagram feed. It’s not surprising Heidi was enraptured with her keynote at this summer’s Alt Summit. And it’s not surprising we were thrilled to have the chance to catch up and learn more about her juggle & hustle (at 33 weeks pregnant no less!).
Here’s what Joy had to say about being SpitfireMom.
How does being a mom influence your work?
Ruby was inspiration for many projects this year. I created my line with Target after I planned her first birthday party when I was struggling to create a whimsical party with limited time and energy to create the décor myself. And now, the Oh Joy for Target line contains all the ingredients for an easy, yet stylish, party. Also, the kids’ bedding collection I designed for The Land of Nod was inspired by Ruby’s favorite food—ice cream!
One positive thing about being a mom is I definitely appreciate my time more now. I really didn’t know how much time I had for myself before I had less of it. So, I value simple joys way more and small breaks that I get to take for myself every so often. The most challenging thing really is trying to juggle it all (my business, family, friends, etc.), knowing you’re doing your best, and just being okay with it no matter how it turns out.
Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients?
I think I’m pretty open with sharing my personal experience with photos on my blog and my Instagram. And since my business and blog are so closely linked, most of my clients know I am a mother and embrace that. However, I do make sure all of my meetings and calls are kid-free as it’s just better for everyone to focus when there isn’t a little cutie pie running around nearby.
We know a SpitfireMom like Joy has tips to share, so we asked for her best time saving trick:
This may not be anything new, but really for me it’s writing everything down. I have serious mom brain, and if I don’t write something down, it takes that much more time for me to remember what I needed to do. I save a lot of time by keeping notes and to-do lists in consistent places (usually on my phone).
What’s one thing you haven’t figured out?
I haven’t figured out how to make a home-cooked meal more than a couple times a week. I used to cook way more often before having a child and a business, but cooking gets pushed to the last of my priorities these days. I just cannot do it all, and sometimes something gives. I still make sure my family has a healthy dinner, it just might involve take out or going out to eat.
And, if you’re a mom entrepreneur and just found out you’re expecting, Joy says:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I struggled with that for the longest time and still do. Whether it’s in the form of childcare, getting help from employees for your business, hiring someone to clean your house, or just asking your partner to do more around the house. I wouldn’t be able to do half the things I do if I tried to do it all myself.
How much does that line about not knowing how much time you had to yourself before it was gone resonate? I caught my breath when I read it. Perhaps we all take Joy’s advice and ask for help (it’s not a four letter word!) once in a while to reclaim some of that time? We’re all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ruby’s little sister and more divine creations from Joy and the Oh Joy! crew.
Julie & Heidi
Know a fabulous, creative mompreneur? We want to hear about her (or YOU)!
Website: Oh Joy
Thanks to the following for lending your oh-so-pretty photos!