Joy Cho was a self-proclaimed “crafty kid.” While her immigrant parents were hard at work building a Thai restaurant in Philly from the ground up (what would eventually become a chain of four restaurants), she found ways of keeping herself busy with a myriad of creative pursuits and, by the age of 11, her first business. After a year attending classes with her mother at the Philadelphia calligrapher society, Cho began dropping business cards in the mailboxes of her neighbors, expecting a call for her unique services. When the phone lines remained idle, Cho took a different approach and offered to pen the belt ceremony certificates at her karate school, demonstrating the value of her services to a new clientele. “That’s when I learned about marketing,” Cho recounts on that latest episode of Second Life. She was in business.
Joy went on to study graphic design at Syracuse University and put her degree to use at a boutique ad agency in New York, working primarily on fashion accounts. After a few years though, she found herself pining to design physical, tangible things, and landed a job at Cynthia Rowley, where she helped design the brand’s Swell collection at Target. Eventually, Cho left NY and moved back to Philly where her career as a freelancer began.