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what we did before working at oh joy!

What We Did Before Working at Oh Joy! / via Oh Joy!

What We Did Before Working at Oh Joy! / via Oh Joy!

Happy Monday! Often when I show the Oh Joy! team on Instagram Stories, people ask me how they got their jobs at Oh Joy, what they did before, and also about how I started this company. So today, we have an extra special post that gives you a little peek into what everyone was doing before they joined the team here. See it all right here…

Oh Joy Team // Courtney / Attorney in 2012

Courtney / Executive Assistant and New Business – At Oh Joy for 2 years

What did you go to school for? I graduated with an undergraduate double major degree in English and History.  As soon as I finished undergrad, I immediately went to law school, where I graduated with my JD.  I took the Texas Bar after graduating law school and was admitted to the Bar in November 2011.

What has your previous job experience been before Oh Joy? Before working at Oh Joy, I practiced law in Texas in a small practice my father had perviously started, focusing primarily on Estate Planning and Probate.  

What did you love about the work you did before? My favorite part of being an attorney was having the knowledge and understanding to help people in very real and tangible ways.  When a loved one had passed away, I was able to take some of the burden away and walk clients through the probate process.  With estate planning, I was able to help clients know that their families would be cared for and that their wishes would be respected. 

Why did you want to work for Oh Joy? I wanted to work for Oh Joy! because the position was perfect for me!  I wanted to do administrative/business-running things in a creative space.  I love being the right-brained kid in the left-brained studio.  Working here has also inspired my more creative side!

How is your job different now? Or the same? My job is different now than when I first started.  Initially, I was strictly Joy’s assistant.  I scheduled phone calls and answered general emails, but nothing without supervision and guidance.  Through the two years I have worked here, trust has grown between Joy and I, and I now handle more of the paperwork and business that comes through.  Joy knows that she can trust me (I think!) and I am more confident in knowing how she wants Oh Joy! to run and operate.  I still am Joy’s assistant, but now I manage all new business and licensing deals in the studio.  

What’s your fave thing about your job now? There are so many things I love about my job – all the ladies at the studio, finding new partners for our brand, all of our AMAZING design collaborations…the list goes on and on!  But probably my very favorite thing about my job is opening up mail.  I love getting mail so much! – and even though it’s all for Joy, we get wonderful things sent to the studio.  Also, the snacks here are the best!

Oh Joy Team // Julia / TV Producer in 2012

Julia / Creative Content Producer and Stylist – At Oh Joy for 5 years and currently on maternity leave

What did you go to school for? I went to school for Television Production.

What has your previous job experience been before Oh Joy? I was a reality television producer and actually won a daytime Emmy for my work on a Food Network show.  

What did you love about the work you did before?  I liked how everyday was different and with TV you’re able to work on a variety of different shows so I never was bored.  

Why did you want to work for Oh Joy? I’ve always been super creative and crafty. At the time when I applied for Oh Joy! I was in between gigs and wasn’t really sure that I wanted to work in TV anymore. The hours were long and it was fulfilling my creative juices as much anymore. So with the push and support of my then fiancé, I decided to apply at Oh Joy! And the rest is history.

How is your job different now? Or the same?  I handle all of the creative content at Oh Joy! so I still use a lot of my producing skills. Its similar in a lot of ways. I produce photo shoots as well as our video shoots along with styling and crafting. It basically combines all the things I love to do in one position.

What’s your fave thing about your job now?  I’m creating something new everyday. I have the freedom to try things that pop into my head which I love. I mean I get to eat ice cream for a living! What more could I ask for? 🙂

Oh Joy Team / Angie // Art Teacher in 2009

Angie / Visual and Product Designer – At Oh Joy for 5 years

What did you go to school for? I graduated from the University of South Dakota with my Bachelors Degree in Fine Art, emphasis in Painting and I received my Masters Degree in Fine Art with and emphasis in Design from the California College of the Arts. 

What has your previous job experience been before Oh Joy? I was many things before I was a Visual and Product Designer at Oh Joy. I have been a Lifeguard, Swim Teacher, Meter Maid, Barista, Server, Camp Counselor, Art Instructor, and an Elementary Art Teacher. 

What did you love about the work you did before?  In my past jobs (except Meter Maid), I enjoyed being a helpful and nice human, serving people a little bit of happiness in the shape of a perfect latte and creating lessons that challenged kids to view the world from an exploratory and inventive perspective.

Why did you want to work for Oh Joy? Initially, I knew that I wanted to have a career that was somewhere in-between an artist and a designer. I wanted to give utility to visual systems. From one of my first emails when I was applying for the design position: 

“I feel like I didn’t adequately express how amazing this opportunity is, and how excited I am for you to consider me. This opportunity is spectacular and the more I process it, the more excited I get about it. I can’t wait to hear more details! 

Have a great weekend, stay cool, eat popsicles!”

Working at Oh Joy! sounded dreamy because I would be able to merge my talents as an artist with my desire to create products that would live beyond a canvas. 

How is your job different now? Or the same? After 5 years, I’m more efficient, organized, and confident in what I do. I get to experiment with mark making and am able to pick-up and build upon new design techniques and tools. 

What’s your fave thing about your job now? Aside from seeing our products out in the wild bringing joy to every day moments in peoples lives, I love the variety of challenges and projects I get presented with regularly. From bandaids to murals to luggage, I’m always working on projects that makes me re-think how a product can exist in the world in a way that brings joy and celebrates every day.

Oh Joy Team / Jess // Balloon Wrangler in 2016

Jess / Creative Content Assistant – At Oh Joy for 2 years

What did you go to school for?  I went to school at Northeastern University and majored Music Industry.

What has your previous job experience been before Oh Joy?  My first job out of college was at a talent agency, where I quickly realized it wasn’t the right kind of environment for me and it wasn’t work I could really get behind or see myself continuing long term. Basically, I learned right after I graduated that I wanted to do something that was NOT what my degree was for…

I have always loved creating things, so I began an internship at a company that did custom installations for events, store fronts, etc., while simultaneously working at Geronimo who made incredible, grand balloon installations. Both were a great foot in the door for me to start figuring out a path working in a creative industry, which led me to Oh Joy!

What did you love about the work you did before? I loved that with each new client, every project was different. There was a lot of figuring out how to take something from an idea to reality, both logistically and visually.

Why did you want to work for Oh Joy?  I felt incredibly lucky when I found out about the position at Oh Joy! because it was the exact kind of creative, hands-on work that I love doing and was looking to pursue, but is also a very small niche. It definitely felt like fate in some ways!

How is your job different now? Or the same?  We have a larger studio now, which means more props, which means more lifting and moving! (oh, and more walls to paint!) As the company grows we have definitely become busier, so that there’s also more to balance between blog content, collaborations, and our new shop! I’ve also become a bit more independent in the execution of our DIY’s

What’s your fave thing about your job now? My favorite thing is inspiration trips! Not many jobs let you get outside the office to explore beautiful, fun things!

Oh Joy Team // Nicole / Fashion Buyer in 2014

Nicole / E-Commerce Coordinator and Buyer – At Oh Joy for 6 months

What did you go to school for? I went to Los Angeles Trade Tech and studied Visual Merchandising & Business Operations.

What has your previous job experience been before Oh Joy?  I have worked in Apparel Wholesale Industry for over 15 years and worked both in E-Commerece customer Service as well as an Apparel Sales assistant. 

What did you love about the work you did before? The Clothes!!! 🙂 No, to be honest I truly love working to help customers and making sure at the end of the day they are happy.  

Why did you want to work for Oh Joy? I wanted to work for Oh Joy! because I wanted to feel like I was a part of something and bring my customer service/operations experience to the team.  

How is your job different now? Or the same? My job is much different. The apparel industry is fast-paced, long long hours, demanding, and stressful. At Oh Joy, I feel appreciated and my ideas are listened to. Also my priorities changed after having my son and finding that family time is the key to being happy. With long hours, high stress, and the demanding work I did before, I realized I wasn’t going to get that with where I was previously. 

What’s your fave thing about your job now? Being able to work with Joy who is an amazing business women, mom and wife. To be able to watch her experience and learn from Joy is one of my favorite parts of my job. It’s also nice to have someone my age in the office who understands my 90’s references. 🙂 

Oh Joy Team // Traci / Customer Service in 2011

Traci / Social Media Coordinator – At Oh Joy for 1 year

What did you go to school for?  I got my BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing.  

What has your previous job experience been before Oh Joy? Before Oh Joy! I was also doing social media, but it took me a little while to land where I am now. Prior to working in social media, I was a content specialist and worked in customer service for a start-up. My role there grew into a community management position (which is basically managing everything that happens after content goes live on social media and engaging with your audience). Eventually, that role grew to where I was creating and managing the out-going content. Having both experiences and understanding both sides of social media definitely helped prepare me for this job, where I do both.

What did you love about the work you did before?  I decided to continue working in social media because I love how creative it is and how it’s one big community. One of my first jobs out of college was at a desk behind a computer all day, and I missed interacting with the world and other people. Working in social media means I am on my phone most of the day, BUT it’s also interacting with lots of people to create something super fun and amazing, and then sharing it with the world!

Why did you want to work for Oh Joy?  I wanted to work at a smaller company that was doing good in the world (like bringing people joy!) and having fun while doing it. I had been following Oh Joy! for years, so when I heard they were looking for a social media coordinator it felt like a really natural next step for me. 

How is your job different now? Or the same? A lot of it is the same! I came from a much larger company, so one of the biggest differences is going from a big department to an office of seven. But that also means I get to do more and try new things, which I love. 

What’s your fave thing about your job now? I love creating Instagram Stories! It’s a great place to have a little fun and try new things. …Plus, that’s where all the GIFs are!

Oh Joy Team // Wilmarose / Event Planner + Prop Stylist

Wilmarose Orlanes / Substitute Creative Content Producer and Stylist – At Oh Joy for 3 weeks

What did you go to school for? Visual Communications

What has your previous job experience been before Oh JoyBefore starting at Oh Joy a few weeks ago, I freelanced as a commercial and editorial prop stylist – specializing in lifestyle, beauty, and food. Before that, I styled, designed, and produced events and editorials in the wedding industry. 

What did you love about the work you did before? The ability to tell stories and convey messages through imagery and film.

Why did you want to work for Oh JoyOh Joy! has been a brand that I’ve admired for many years – both as a consumer and as business owner. The brand encapsulates this idea that you can fold in fun and joy into every step of life – and I wanted to be part of communicating that message! 

How is your job different now? Or the same? It’s fairly the same, except I have one main client vs. several clients with varying styles. The hours are definitely different. The freelance game, although with its perks can be isolating at times. But working in an office with a fun and supportive team has been a breath of fresh air!

What’s your fave thing about your job now? All the cake! After all, there’s just cake laying around always readily available to eat! Haha jk… My favorite thing is giving the Oh Joy! reader something to be inspired about. I love having the chance to inspire her to inject life, color, whimsy, or even simplicity into a corner of her life makes me love what I do even more.

Oh Joy Team // Joy / Graphic Designer in 2005

Joy Cho (that’s me!) / Founder & Creative Director – at Oh Joy for almost 13 years ;P

What did you go to school for? I went to Syracuse University and graduated with a BFA in Communications Design and a minor in Fibers.

What has your previous job experience been before Oh Joy? I worked two jobs in New York City both as a graphic designer. My first job was for a boutique ad agency with a lot of fashion clients and the other was for Cynthia Rowley and her then Target line called Swell.

What did you love about the work you did before? I loved getting immersed into the world of fashion—both jobs allowed me to go to New York Fashion Week! And living in New York in my early 20’s was a dream. I worked very long hours, but loved the energy of New York City. It was the perfect place for me during that phase of my life.

Why did you want to work for Oh Joy? I never planned to start a company. But after leaving New York in 2005 to be closer to my then boyfriend (now husband), I found myself without a job in Philadelphia. I didn’t have much luck find a job that felt like a good fit for the skills I had developed, so I began freelancing (and started this blog) in 2005. The blog became an accidental marketing tool to grow my freelance business into a real design company. And Oh Joy was really mostly a design company for several years even though more people know of it as blog. It wasn’t until my first daughter arrived in 2011, that I stopped designing for other brands and focused on Oh Joy only design work. After that, Oh Joy became more of what you know of it as today…a lifestyle brand combining both daily content and licensed products…all with the intention to add happiness to every day!

How is your job different now? Or the same? I am still (and always will be) a designer. However, as a business owner, I don’t really get to design or style as nearly as much. I still get to do creative things, but more along the big picture and brainstorming side. I give all the fun work to my team who uses their talents to do all the amazing things you see grow while I focus on new business, pitching products and getting us new work, as well as being the face and voice of the Oh Joy! brand.

What’s your fave thing about your job now? I love that this business has become what I have made it. I’ve worked really hard (and continue to every day) to accomplish various dreams I have had of mine, and it’s amazing when I can say that some of them have come true with persistence and hard work. It didn’t happen overnight by any means, but I slowly and organically grew this company from nothing with no savings and no investors. And that feels pretty darn good!

I hope that look back into all of our past work before Oh Joy helps to answer some of your questions as well as show you how some people’s work evolves from how they started, how some completely change, and all of it is really up to you!

P.S. All of these photos (except of Wilmarose since she just started) are from our Dressing the Team series.


  1. love this post, so real so inspiring! I am currently struggling with careers so this was good to read today! Makes me so happy for all you girls.

  2. Great idea to introduce the team to us. I have thoroughly hly enjoyed following you this past year, it was a great and accidental introduction to you at the Shriners Imperial Session ladies luncheon in Daytona Beach. Keep on creating and inspiring us!

  3. Joy,
    You’re inspiration! I love following you on social media and to see your beautiful team and know that you started this company out of necessity without any investors. Go girl, if you ever write a book, I’d read it!

  4. Thank you for sharing!! It’s great to see how you all came together. I look forward to all content & posts from OhJoy!!

  5. I love this so much. I’ve always assumed that the team all had a design background, but it’s fun to see how all your journeys took you on different paths to the Oh Joy brand. I’m currently transitioning to a new field, and it’s exciting to hear stories of other women who’ve adventured in their careers too. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thank you for sharing! I will always love that you’re a people first, products second sort of company. That your company values are in line with what you’re selling. It’s not a feat to be trivialized especially in LA/NYC where COS is so high. It’s no small feat that your team seems happy and chill, what a role model you are to show that being productive and happy are not opposites! There’s a couple other burgeoning blogs I read and it’s unfortunately evident that the team is sleep-derived and frazzled in order to upkeep an idealized image because it’s $ first, people second, the mindset that a minute chilling is a minute wasted.
    It’s really what keeps me reading since 2005-6 (since high school!) Even though the desserts and rainbows don’t hurt neither!

  7. As someone who has had MANY different jobs in many different fields, I love learning about people’s career paths especially creatives. I quit my full time corporate job to become a creative entrepreneur. It’s challenging and scary and stressful, but I love what I do and I’m determined to make it work!

  8. Thanks Melodee!
    I’ve written 3 books! You can see them in the “NEW” section of our shop at:

  9. Hi Joy and team, thank you for writing this insightful post! I realize I am a bit late in commenting but hoping you will read and reply:)
    Somewhat similar to Courtney, I come from the business world. I love the analogy she used ” being the right-brained kid in the left-brained studio”. I feel the exact same way. I ended up in Finance. I am good at my job, I am very efficient at making “things work” but I always wanted to have a creative career. For cultural and socioeconomic reasons, my immigrant (Asian :)) parents encouraged me to follow a conservative and predictable career path. Being respectful of their wishes, I took my first job in corporate finance, then transitioned to healthcare finance and have had a fulfilling career. I am now in my mid-thirties (!) and when I watch my two toddlers at play, I am amazed at their innate curiosity and desire to explore. I feel like I have been missing out, and healthcare red tape has overregulated my creative gene for too long! I would love to make a switch now, working for creative companies, but I don’t know how…
    So my question is for you, Joy. What is the best way to market (what could be construed as) a very boring resume listing finance positions, to a creative business owner/company? Which skills do you seek out in candidates who apply from the business/finance backgrounds, or how have the lucky ones (like Courtney!) been successful in winning you over? What sets them apart from the rest? I have made some artwork but nothing portfolio-worthy… Do you have candidates go through some creative exercises?
    I would love to hear your feedback! Thanks!

  10. Hi Thi-Nhi,
    From Courtney:
    My best advice for you would be to make sure you are tailoring your cover letter to the job that you want, and proving that you have the right experience for the job, even if you didn’t have the right “label”. Applying for Joy’s executive assistant, Imade sure to emphasize that while I was currently an attorney, i had all the skills and the practice of being an executive assistant – to myself! The “experience” barrier can be tough, but I think employers are looking for a more broad array (maybeeven than they know), and you can point to your skill-set and prove your experience to them (even if it doesn’t necessarily fit in their preconceived mold).


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