Joy Cho On Signing With a YouTube Network, How She Became No. 1 Most Followed on Pinterest [INTERVIEW]

Last month, NMR shared interviews with newest Kin Community partners Rosanna Pansino and Wayne Goss, along with top exec Michael Wayne. There was one person missing, however: Joy Cho. Also a recent Kin signee, Joy was just too damn busy to talk. 

It’s not a surprise that was the case considering that she lists herself as “a graphic designer, blogger, food enthusiast and the founder and editor of Oh Joy.” She’s also now of course a YouTube personality — sort of a twee Martha Stewart-ish one — and today officially became a designer for Target merchandise. In a savvy move, Target chose to partner with top Pinterest pinners, of which Joy is the No. 1 most followed, to create products aimed at bringing in all the aesthetically-inclined millennials that make up the Pinterest community. Joy’s line, called Oh Joy, is made up of colorful party items and decor to liven up even the worst of parties (NMR just brings mollys to our parties and all seems fine).


Peep my interview with Joy below to find out how she became Pinterest’s de facto ruler, what a YouTube channel banner should be like and how she is also planning to add “taxidermist” to her long list of occupations. Okay, I’m joking about the last one, but I wouldn’t be surprised …

What do you think it is about Pinterest that makes women love it so much?

It’s a space where you can keep and organize all your favorite interests in one place: recipes, travel, fashion inspiration, your shopping wish lists, DIY projects, home decor ideas, etc. I used to tear things out of magazines and pin them on a bulletin board or save them in a binder for future reference, and Pinterest is basically the virtual version of that. It’s the perfect tool for both short-term and long-term goals — whether it’s simply finding a recipe to make for dinner or collecting a ton of inspiration for a home renovation project. It’s my favorite way to bookmark things I want to do/make/create/wear.

How did you become the No. 1 most followed Pinterester? Is there a strategy behind that?

I think it was a combination of being on the site early (I was one of the early users), having an audience already from my blog who were interested to see what I’d collect over on Pinterest too, pinning lots of lots of things I love (in all sorts of categories), and also not over-thinking it. I really use it on a daily basis probably 10-20 times a day. One thing I can suggest is to make sure you put useful captions on your pins because they’ll be more likely to show up in a search and have a better chance of having other pinners find you from the search results.

You have a family, a blog, lots of product design work, consulting work, magazine work — why did you add YouTube host on top of all that? Is sleeping not a priority?

It originated when I decided to start a web series called “Make Someone Happy.” I shared the first video on my blog in Sept. 2012 to inspire readers to spread happiness to others in unique ways. The videos became popular, and people asked to see and hear more of me, so I expanded into some of my other favorite topics (including fashion, food, and home decor) and new types of content. It has forced me to break out of my comfort zone and be more present on camera.  It also gave my readers a chance to get to know me in a new way — which is scary, but fun ;).

And P.S. I love sleep! I’ve had to cut down on my “watching mindless TV at night” time to make time for new things, but something’s gotta give, right?

Pretend I’m a budding YouTuber. How important is my channel banner? What are some important tips you can give me for its design?

Your banner is like a magazine cover and should give an instant glimpse into what they’ll see on your channel. If you have one focus (like food), upload a gorgeous photo of one of your favorite recipes or you making something in the kitchen. If you span different topics, you can include a montage of images from past or upcoming videos.

Tell me about signing with Kin Community.

As someone who has been in the social media world but new to video, I wanted to partner with someone who could help me grow in this space. Kin Community is a great network to be a part of because it has so many different inspirational women sharing a variety of topics — everything from food and health to parenting and entertaining tips. It’s a community that encourages me to present quality videos with a unique twist, in addition to being a valuable resource for learning how to grow my channel and gain new viewers.

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