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happy friday + teamwork…

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Oh Joy Studio Tour

I was never much of a team player when I was younger. I alway played solo sports (like karate and tennis) because I've always had a hard time trusting and relying on other people to get the job done. It's totally the control freak in me and something I have always wanted to get better at. However, a couple years ago, I knew a lot of big projects were on the horizon, so I stopped working from home and got a new studio space (which we revealed here). I had to hire a real staff for the first time ever because it finally became obvious that I couldn't do it all myself.

What went from one part-time assistant a year ago has grown into three employees who each have their own role, their own talents, and a very special place on the Oh Joy team. Without them, I could not have designed the entire Oh Joy for Target collection, created the new Oh Joy book, or created the many videos and editorial content we create, style, shoot and publish on a daily basis.

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Decor8 recently posted some updated photos of the Oh Joy studio and captured a fun shot of my team below. I wanted to introduce them to you guys cause they are the ones behind-the-scenes, the ones who help make my visions come to life, and the ones (in addition to our amazing nanny) who help make it possible for me to be a working mother—because without their help, I really couldn't do it all!

Oh Joy Team

The funny thing is…they all applied for the same assistant job from this post I put up two years ago. But I ended up hiring each of them for different reasons, and they each blossomed into their roles and took on even more of a creative role than I originally expected. From left to right…

Julia does all the crafting and styling. While I originally hired her to do production for our videos, she showed me what she was capable of and now she not only handles production, but she also crafts our DIY's and styles our editorials on the blog and in our book.

Angie, our graphic and surface pattern designer, helps me design all of our licensed products. She is a whiz at patterns and is so good at knowing exactly what I'm envisioning in my head and bringing it onto paper. She also designed the Oh Joy book and creates the graphics for our videos.

That's me, Joy. Ever since building my team over the course of last year, I have taken a Creative Director role at Oh Joy. Which means I come up with the ideas, concepts, colors, and product direction. I also manage the business (securing new partnerships, clients, and jobs) which takes up more time then the fun, creative parts. I still write every blog post and help design products as well, but I rely on my team to help my vision come to life and execute them with their never-ending talent.

Casey was originally hired to be my adminstrative assistant and handle emails and scheduling. But she was also a budding photographer so I started having her shoot some photos for the blog from time-to-time. She began to get my aesthetic and has since grown into our full-time photographer (she shot the whole Oh Joy book, too!). She's also our office manager and makes sure that I remember to be where I need to be and keeps my meetings and schedule straight.

The last two years for me are when I went from a solo player to a team player and learned to let people help me. It's something I'm constantly working on, but when you have creative, passionate people by your side, it makes it much easier to let go and trust others to do what they do best.

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Also, if I can give one big piece of advice for budding creatives out there looking for a job or trying to grow at your current job, show your boss what you've got! All of the girls on my team had talents beyond what I hired them for, but because they put themselves out there and showed me what else they could offer, they all now get to do lots of different things on a daily basis.

P.S. You can see more photos of our studio space over at Decor8! It's fun to see how it's changed a bit since it was originally designed by Emily and Sam in 2013, like how we decorated that space above our storage cabinets with our paper lanterns!

{Photos by Kelly Brown for Decor8.}


  1. When you’ve worked so hard to create something, it’s really (really!) hard to put trust in other people’s hands and give them a piece of what you’ve worked to make. But I’m so glad you did – and so glad to hear that it’s working out so well! As hard as it can be to get there, it’s a magical feeling when you find people you just jive with.
    xx Kathryn

  2. How nice to acknowledge your team, Joy! I’m still pretty far from being able to hire people to help me with my business, but I have the same control issues as you. Glad to hear your experience has been so positive, and you’ve been able to create a team that helps you get so much done! and PS: your space, ugh! It’s what I dream about my own studio looking like someday!

    A question: Were is that polka dot termo from the very first picture from? thanks! have a nice day!

  4. Thank you for sharing your amazing and talented team! I am also in the creative industry so I am inspired by other creatives. One of my favorite things about working in the creative field is to collaborate with photographers, stylists, artists, printers and writers, that make the process so much more fun and rewarding for all.

  5. It’s so cool to see your brand grow! I first found your blog from the piece you used to write for the Philly Inquirer, a lot of change since then.

  6. Exactly! I think it’s more of a gut feeling and learning how to trust yours. You know when you can trust someone when they show it. I’ve worked several people in the past and I can tell what their priority is, and more often than not it’s the money that’s on the table for them.

  7. What a colorful space to work in! Did you make the paint dipped wood dowel piece hanging over the table, LOVE IT!

  8. I’ve been reading your blog since nearly the beginning, and it’s so great seeing how your business has transformed over the years! CONGRATULATIONS to you and your team!!
    My own business & blog is still in the early days, but completely relate to the feeling of wanting help but not trusting. I still work full time as well (in the creative agency world), and that lesson of letting go is one I struggle with every day. Thankfully I was able to hire amazing talent who each brought a different set of skills with them and can each step up and shine in different ways. It took me being close to creative burnout to understand that my team was eager to help – I just needed to let go. Still, it’s something I have to remind myself of every day.


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