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Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

Joy Cho Shares How She Spreads Positivity in Her Home and Beyond

It’s the little things that mean the most.

The Bump presents #MomBoss, a series dedicated to showing off all-star moms. We catch up with mompreneurs behind products we love, influencers who get real about motherhood and SAHMs who can multitask in their sleep.

Life is full of the unpredictable, and the great unknowns double once you have kids. It’s hard to stay positive and forward-thinking when you have curveballs constantly being thrown at you, but as a parent you have an ever-present audience in your kids. And those tiny humans have a knack for picking up on every little thing.

Making positivity a part of every day will teach your kids to always look on the bright side of life. Joy Cho is an expert on that. The mom is the founder behind Oh Joy!, a lifestyle brand dedicated to finding joy in regular, day-to-day happenings. The blog has risen in popularity over the years, and has created its own unique mindset for living life. We picked the mom’s ear to learn more about Oh Joy!, and how she spreads happiness in her own home.

So much has changed since the initial launch of Oh Joy!. What made you start blogging?

When I started blogging in 2005, I had just left my graphic design job in New York City to move back to Philly, which is where I’m originally from. I was going through lots of big life transitions—I was newly engaged, newly moved, had no new job and needed to make money while I was interviewing for jobs. I began freelancing as a graphic designer and started my blog as a way to share my inspirations and my work. Within a few months, I realized that if I kept hustling and showing the world what I could do, I could get enough design work to do it full-time.

My design business was my main source of income for the first several years, even as the blog grew and social media became bigger. In 2008, I also started licensing and designing products in collaboration with other brands. Eventually, I was able to focus full-time on Oh Joy! projects, and grow the content and product side of my business. By 2013, my business had reached another phase and I was ready to hire full-time employees and get an office outside of my house. It’s been a long, wonderful and unexpected journey, but I have really tried to ebb and flow with changing times, and use it to our benefit to help spread the word about Oh Joy! and the joy we try to bring to people daily.

Oh Joy! is all about spreading positivity. How do you instill that idea in your kids?

We’re very much in a phase right now about teaching them to be flexible and positive when things don’t go their way. Kids (and some adults!) act so emotionally when they don’t get what the want, so showing them how positivity can come into effect will hopefully help them think about the situation differently.

You’ve had so many cool partnerships, including a recent collab with Softsoap. Tell us about that.

I’ve used Softsoap since I was a kid—who remembers that clear bottle with the fish swimming on it?!—so it was a very natural fit to work with them to bring moments of joy into the hand-washing experience. The Décor Collection from Softsoap adds a touch of happiness to a kitchen or bathroom, and the five different fragrances let you personalize the space. Oh Joy! is all about how we can inspire people to bring joy to small moments every day, so this collaboration was a perfect fit.

Photo: Oh Joy

Name one product you wouldn’t have survived parenting without.

The Solly Baby wrap! I didn’t have it when my first daughter was born, but it was a lifesaver for us with my second. When you already have one kid, you can’t always be home for every single nap with your youngest, so it gave me a way to do more things on the go. I was able to keep my newborn on her nap schedule while still being out and about for our older daughter.

How does motherhood change when you go from one to two kids?

I think motherhood changes every time a new child enters your life, whether from no kids to one kid, one to two or anything else! I always say it takes at least a year to adjust to the new normal every time you have a baby. You readjust your priorities and figure out what’s most important for each new version of your family.

What’s your best parenting hack?

Get your kids to help make dinner—they’ll be way more likely to eat it!

What’s something you keep in your bag for when you have a day out with the kids?

Plus Plus is my go-to currently, and a must for any time we are out with the kids at restaurants. We pull some pieces from our larger set and bring a little baggie of them. It keeps the kids occupied and creative while we’re waiting for dinner.

Have you had any funny parenting fails?

One time, I wrote my daughter a letter from the Tooth Fairy and signed it with my actual name. Luckily, I didn’t totally ruin it because that daughter already knew the truth, so she was the one who pointed out the error to me the next morning.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Ice cream, always and forever.

Published May 2019

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Photo: Oh Joy