On Monday, Women’s History Month began. And this year, we’re celebrating by celebrating some of the incredible stories and victories of our Oh Joy! Academy students!
First up, Joonbird! Run by Soli, Joonbird is a cheery vintage-inspired kids line. Everything she makes is inspired by the past. She uses vintage and dead stock fabrics and all pieces are ethically made in Los Angeles.
Says Soli: “I was so excited to see my shop grow in 2020, but then like most small business owners I experienced major setbacks due to Covid and at one point began sewing all my pieces myself due to my factory temporarily closing due to Covid concerns. The demand for my business is officially way more than I can handle, but I plan to hold back on hiring anybody until it is safe to work closely with other people. I am not nearly where I would like or expected to be at this point, but I am proud that I am still going after doing it all myself while taking care of a toddler and new baby. I’m just glad I survived and kept going!”
Both of Soli’s parents immigrated from Iran in the late 70s, and she was raised watching and helping them with their small business. Now she’s an independent female small shop owner herself! Soli took the Oh Joy! Licensing Class, and one of her goals for the coming year is to work on licensing her bedding prints. We’re rooting for you, Soli!
Next up is Mochi Kids! Founder and Art Director, Amanda Stewart, runs this independent children’s clothing brand. All the apparel is based on things kids love and is made in the USA.
Says Amanda: “What a year it has been! Business-wise the start of the pandemic was ROUGH. We saw a significant dip in our revenue and felt very uncertain about our future. However, I decided to focus pretty quickly on the things my community and customers needed during this wild time. As a business I was able to survive and even thrive by creating genuine and meaningful connections with my customers and community and pivoting to offer products that aligned with customer’s needs and desires.”
We designed cute PPE, over 20 free printable activities, holiday designs to make spending holidays at home even more special, the comfiest clothes (including sweatsuits which are very necessary during a pandemic), and partnered with complimentary small businesses to create new and exciting products our customers loved.
Amanda took the Oh Joy! Licensing Class and has already worked with many brands including a custom tie dye brand, a bakery, and a notable influencer! Congrats Amanda!