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happy friday + oh joy from 2005 to 2018...

Oh Joy / 13 years!

You guys! Oh Joy is officially a teenager! When I started this business 13 years ago, I never expected to have a business that was so connected to a community of people through the Internet! I never thought I'd make real, live friends through it. I never thought I'd connect with people all over the world and get to share my vision with complete strangers. I never thought that it would give me the opportunity to create something from nothing and create a job I truly love doing every day.

In celebration, I'm looking back at the last 13 years to show how things have changed and evolved and grown (both personally and professionally) in the last decade. This is a long post (but a fun one). So I hope you'll hang out and read along...

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all four collections of Oh Joy Band-Aids over the years!

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Since this is our very last collection of BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages by Oh Joy! & First Aid Kit by Oh Joy after four amazing years, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down design memory lane and take a peek at all four collections over the years...

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Oh Joy! Builds a House: Construction Loans!

Explaining Construction Loans / Oh Joy!

This might be the most exciting day of your life because I am holding a TON of piggy banks about to talk about LOANS! But seriously, I am VERY excited to discuss this topic with you because there are lots of misconceptions about how anyone can afford to build a house. The answer is...most people do it with loans! I was completely overwhelmed by this process when I started, but I have since learned SO much and want to share that with you...

Here's what most people think about paying for a huge home project (a custom build or major renovation):

A. You need all cash to build a house. (NOT TRUE. I don't have cash just lying around, and here I am doing this crazy project!)
B. You need to have saved up a lot of money. (SORT OF TRUE. You do need to have some savings to be able to qualify and provide a down payment to close a loan. The amount of the down payment will vary, but could be up to 20-25% of your loan amount. However, things like owned land can be used as equity towards this down payment.)
C. You can use a credit card to pay for a home renovation. (NOT A GOOD IDEA. Credit card interest rates are much higher than a loan and unless you are using a credit card to help your overall credit, get points on your credit card, and then pay off each month in full, then don't do it.)

Mortgages vs. Construction Loans
You may already be familiar with mortgages if you've ever bought a home or are in the market for a home. A mortgage is a loan you can get to buy an existing house that you pay back over time (10, 15, 30 years, etc.). The amount of the mortgage you are given is based on your financial credit, cash flow, income, and the value of the home you want to buy. Construction loans are similar but also different. If you do Google search for "Construction Loans", you will get a ton of information about it. All of that information can be overwhelming and confusing, so I wanted to explain how they work from my experience over the last couple years.

Essentially, Construction Loans can be used to build a house from scratch or to do major renovations on an existing house.

Explaining Construction Loans / Oh Joy!

Here's how a Construction Loan works:

1. In order to qualify for a Construction Loan, you need to first be approved for a Mortgage. The Construction Loan that you could get will eventually turn into a Mortgage when your renovation work or your new home is finished. So if you don't already have a mortgage, a bank needs to work backwards and first approve you for the Mortgage that you will eventually be paying off over time. This process is the same as applying for a Mortage, except that even if you are approved for the mortgage, it's not guaranteed you will be approved for a construction loan. You still need to go through additional steps to qualify.

2. A bank will usually lend you 70-80% of the value of your finished home. So, hypothetically (with made-up numbers here), if your finished home will be valued at $100,000, the bank can approve you for $70-80K in a construction loan. In some cases, that amount could completely cover the cost to build or renovate your home. But, let's say your work will cost $85K and the bank can only lend you $80K, you will need to come up with the difference of $5K to get approved for the Construction Loan (in additional to standard financial paperwork). Now, if you already own a home with a mortgage and looking for a Construction Loan for major renovations, your current mortgage will get factored into how much a bank can lend you for construction.

3. In a Construction Loan, the bank pays the contractor — not you. So, let's say you do in fact get this hypothetical $80K from the bank to cover the cost of your construction. Once the work starts, your contractor would request draws from the bank regularly (usually monthly) by providing a record of what work was done and what funds are being requested to be paid for. The contractor sends a "draw request" to you, you sign off on it, and then the bank pays that amount to the contractor. Sometimes the bank will send someone out to your project to make sure that work has, in fact, been completed before paying that amount. This process happens monthly until the project is completed. This is when a qualified and organized contractor comes into play because their ability to stay on schedule and complete the work that they are asking to be paid for will be reviewed by the bank regularly in order to get each phase of the project paid for.

4. Once building is complete, home construction loans are either converted to permanent mortgages or paid in full. Depending on your type of construction loan, you have either decided you will pay off the cost of your construction by the time the project is done. Otherwise, the money that you borrowed from the bank to pay the contractors now turns into a mortgage which you will pay off over time just like any other mortgage.

Now, keep in mind, I am not a bank nor am I a finance person. This explantation is a "101 of Construction Loans" and how I would explain it to a friend or family member asking me about it. But, if you have any other questions...please feel free to ask in the comments below and I will do my best to answer!

You can see more over at my post on Architectural Digest's Clever to see the details on what a Construction Loan can cover.

{Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes, styling assistance by Jess Hong.

a gift from us to you for 13 years!

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13 years ago this month, I started a blog and a design company called Oh Joy! What was intended to be a side project while I was looking for a new job turned into my real life job. I went from being a graphic designer and designing for a ton of other people's brands to having a site to share my inspirations and ideas, collaborating with brands to make products, writing books about various topics I was passionate about, being a business consultant for hundreds of other small businesses, growing a team, and doing more things than I ever thought possible. I'll go into a bigger recap of our last 13 years at the end of the month, but for today, I wanted to THANK YOU all for being here and for coming to this site and visiting our site, purchasing our products, reading our books, and for your support in general.

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I can't hug each and every one of you, but I can thank you with some amazing giveaways we have planned over the next 13 days! I have always loved sharing the work and products of other companies I love, so I've partnered with 13 of them to give one of YOU something! So, please follow along on our @ohjoy Instagram account for a new giveaway every morning at 7am PST/10am EST with giveaways with: Sugarfina, Max Wanger, Clare V, Loeffler Randall, DryBar, Hedley & Bennett, Ace & Jig, Artifact Uprising, State Bags, Joybird, Maya Brenner, Jeni's Ice Cream, and, of course, the Oh Joy! shop!

{Top photo by Lily Glass, styling by Wilmarose Orlanes, styling assistance by Jess Hong, graphics by Angie Stalker.} 

Oh Joy! Builds A House: Choosing an Architect and Contractor

How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

After finding land, our next step in building our forever home was to find an architect and contractor to make this dream come to life. The process in which this happens can vary depending on what type of home you're building. There are some developers and builders you can hire to design and build a custom home with both parts built into their process. In these cases, they may have specific types of land to build on or have a set style they build and design to. But you know by now, our land is on a hill and not the easiest to build on, so we chose each partner (Architect and Contractor) separately based on who was the best fit for our project.

Here's a video that shows at a glance of the process and how we went about it! We found an architect first and fully designed our house before finding a contractor that could execute it. Because the reality is...you can't get an estimate for the cost of construction until you have a design to show. And, both are crucial to my next post about getting construction loans for a home build. And, you can't get a construction loan until you know how much it's going to cost to build your home and you don't know how much it will cost until you have a design in place. There are so many interconnected parts to this process that heavily rely on one another.  

How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

The Architects. Cleo and McShane of Project M+ had recently finished building their own house around the time we were contemplating this crazy project. We had mutual friends in common so we chatted with them about their process. The next thing you know, we got to see their own home first hand which is a prime example from their own portfolio. Their style and aesthetic matched what we were looking for, and after a few phone calls to various past clients, we decided to hire them to design our home. They were really the first partners of ours for this project when we first found the land four years ago as we spent a good chunk of the first year with them designing and prepping for permits. We have had many in-person meetings as you do in the early stages of any design process. But once major designs are in place, we now communicate a lot by phone and email. In upcoming posts, we'll dive deeper into our actual home design and that whole process!
 
If you are looking for an architect and don't have any personal referrals, ask around as much as possible on Facebook, Instagram, and any social media channel you use. Chances are that friends, acquaintances, or even strangers who follow you or you may follow have similar tastes so those suggestions are a great start! You can also check out sites, like Houzz, where many architects feature their work!
 
How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

The Contractors. When it came to finding a contractor, I asked every architect I knew for a referral. Architects are a great place to start because they have to work with contractors on every job to make their designs come to life. Because both my husband and I work very busy full-time jobs, we needed a contractor who was very organized and had great communication skills. This is where Boswell Construction came in. While they were higher in price than another contractor we almost went with, their communication and organization skills are incredible so we felt they were worth the value they would bring to our project. We have weekly meetings on site (which is crucial for us on staying informed with our entire team), they respond to emails and texts quickly, and really make the process as seamless as possible for us. Most of your interaction with a contractor will happen after construction begins. Some people are very involved with their sub-contractors and want to be able to choose each sub-contractor for the job. We chose to let our contractor handle most of that. We do get to chose between some subs if there are varying price options, but for the most part, we do not interact with the sub-contractors.
 
In this process of choosing both an Architect and Contractor, you'll likely meet and interview several of each. After you decide who you're going with, I always like to close the conversation with those you have not chosen. While you don't necessarily owe them a "We've chosen someone else" email, I think it's good feedback for everyone to know why they didn't get chosen for a job. Whether it's due to their fees, you wanted a smaller or bigger company to work with, their style wasn't quite right, etc. That helps to inform them for their own knowledge and everyone can move on being in clear communication with one another of where you stand.
 
Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever, for the specific criteria I suggest looking for in both an Architect and Contractor!

If you have any other questions about this process or anything else you want to see in my upcoming posts on this project, please leave a comment here so I can make sure to reply and cover it!
 
{Photos by Lily Glass, video by Jenner Brown}

Our final edition of Oh Joy Band-Aid Bandages!

Oh Joy! Band-Aids / Collector Edition

I'm excited to announce our fourth (and very last!) collection of Oh Joy! BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages is here! You guys have been SO amazing in your support and love for them over the last three years, so we're excited to bring you one last collection available exclusively at Target!

Oh Joy! Band-Aids / Collector Edition

We’ve partnered with BAND-AID® Brand again for a fourth year to design bandages that help cover up minor cuts and scrapes but make the healing process way more fun. We have all new designs and the same square-shaped bandages for elbows and knees as well as standard shapes for fingers and everything else. 

Oh Joy! Band-Aids / Collector Edition

The handy First Aid Kit can be used to keep at home, in the car, at the office or in your purse so that you are always prepared to #SavetheDay. The new BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages by Oh Joy! will be available only at select Target stores and Target.com for $2.79 beginning TODAY

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P.S. The First Aid Kit by Oh Joy! is free with the purchase of three qualifying items (such as BAND-AID®Brand SKIN-FLEX™ Adhesive Bandages, NEOSPORIN® + Pain, Itch, Scar, BAND-AID® Brand of First Aid Products All-in-One Adhesive Gauze Pad and Tapes, and Extra Strength BENADRYL® Itch Stopping Cream.)

{Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong.}

back only for a limited time only...

NEW Limited-Edition Oh Joy! for Freshly Picked / Shop now!

Guess what's back, back, back and better than ever?! We've been blown away by your love for our Oh Joy! for Freshly Picked collection. So today, we've got something extra special and SUPER limited-edition up our sleeves. We're bringing back two of our sold-out designs, Moon Bounce and vintage (circa 2015) best-seller Pin the Petal, in the Mini Sole style! The Mini Sole shoes are meant for little ones who are learning to walk, skip, hop, and play, so they have a rubber sole to help grip during those first steps. 

NEW Limited-Edition Oh Joy! for Freshly Picked / Shop now!

Who remembers our Pin the Petal design from 2015?! These sold out SUPER fast when we first launched them and they were re-printed a handful of times and kept selling out. So we're super excited to bring them back for this run with the hard soles. 

NEW Limited-Edition Oh Joy! for Freshly Picked / Shop now!

Our Moon Bounce design was the first to sell out with our most recent collection. So if you missed your chance the first time OR if you want them with a rubber sole, too, shop now in bigger sizes before they're gone again! 

NEW Limited-Edition Oh Joy! for Freshly Picked / Shop now!

You can buy them all now online for a limited time only at Freshly Picked

{Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes, styling assistance by Jess Hong.

things i learned through my life coach that might help you, too...

 

Things I Learned Through My Life Coach That Might Help You, Too!

A couple weeks ago, I talked in detail about why I got a Life Coach. Today, I wanted to share some nuggets of information from some of the notes I've taken from conversations we've had or books I've read that could help you, too, in some way. These are pulled from various moments over the last several months. But I love that on their own (without the context of why we discussed them), they still make so much sense....

1. Any type of growth takes time and faith and practice. Growth hurts just like when you're exercising, and you get sore from using new muscles. Sometimes it's uncomfortable to grow and change and become the real you. 

2. Even though growth can hurt, you shouldn't stop it from happening. If you were to try and help a butterfly transform, you might do more damage then good. It needs to transform on its own to become what it can truly be.

3. Sometimes, if you prevent an experience from happening to someone else (because you are worried you'll hurt their feelings or they may react poorly), you’re holding them back from learning a lesson on their own to experience those emotions. They needs those lessons for their own personal growth.

4. Making an agreement with someone is much stronger than an placing an expectation upon them. This holds true for partners in marriage, employees, co-workers, etc. Others love to keep agreements that they can co-author with you. Then if something you're hoping for isn't realistic for the other person, you’ll find out in advance why something won’t occur the way you want it to.

5. The owner mindset is taking whatever life gives me and welcoming it in. Owning it and deciding what I want to learn and create from it.

The victim mindset sees circumstance as all powerful. And often those circumstances look negative and emotionally overwhelming.

The truth is we human beings have an endless, innate capacity for optimism and creativity already built-in that we can choose to tap into anytime we want.

6. We have to remember that the goal of life is not to be busy, it is to be successful. Often, it is when we let go of our busyness that vision returns, inspiration appears, and a new level of true success is possible.

7. Success is about being original and being collaborative. Success is about connecting with others and finding your team. Even the most original thinkers need to have backing and support for their visions and ideas.

{Photo by Lily Glass.}

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rugs are here!

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Today is an extra special day because our Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals rugs are here! I am so excited because if you know me, you know how much I love rugs to help to define spaces within the home and offer a softness underfoot that makes any space instantly more cozy. I have been a long-time fan of Lorena Canals’ rugs for their softness, quality…and the best part…they are machine-washable! When you have kids, pets, or just life happening in your home, it’s so important to have pieces that you can easily keep clean.

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

In our collection with Lorena Canals, we designed the rugs with the joy, whimsy, and delight of everyday in mind to create the “HAPPY" Rug Collection. It's full of color and verve and using whimsical details like stripes, clouds, flowers and confetti in six designs to add a bright, cheerful accent to any home. Each one is 4'7" x 6'7" and they're all made with 100% natural cotton. Come see them all...

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Happy Hills — The hills are alive with technicolor goodness with our Happy Hills rug. Whether in an entry way, dining room, or play room, this multi-colored rug will fill any space with a rainbow that’s sure to delight. 

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Happy Day — Our Happy Day rug offers the hope and joy of a new day with its playful cloud and rainbow-inspired design in neutral grey and white.

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Happy Lanes — If only every road was this colorful! Our Happy Lanes rug makes a clean, yet fun, statement with varying stripes. It’s perfect for a bedroom, living room, and any space that needs a small dose of color! 

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Happy Daisies — Delight in a bed of daisies underfoot with our Happy Daisies rug. Place this rug by a crib or by a bed, and it’s sure to make you smile every single day. 

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Happy Prism — Both simple and fun, our Happy Prism rug is inspired by beautiful prismatic rays of light. Add it to an office, play room, or any area that needs some inspiration! 

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

Happy Party — Celebrate every day with our Happy Party rug. Whether in a play room or kids’ room, dance parties are sure to commence right here! 

Oh Joy! for Lorena Canals Rug / Shop now!

We hope you love them as much as we do! You can shop them all now in the Oh Joy shop!

{Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Julia Wester and Wilmarose Orlanes, styling assistance by Jess Hong.

happy friday + why i got a life coach...

why i have a life coach... / via Oh Joy!

At the end of last year, I started questioning myself and my work and felt lost. Those feeling and events led me to working with a life coach which I wanted to share a bit more about with you today. I've talked a few times on Instagram Stories about working with one and originally planned to post all the things I've learned from working with mine. But I realized that so many of you have questions about it in general...Why did I get one? How do you find one? What's the difference between a life coach and a therapist? So today, I'm focusing first on all your questions about it...

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