The story begins in 2017 when I started for funsies City Scoops – a humble little hand-dip ice cream cart.
At the time, I was playing in the corporate world and slowly coming to the realization that the corporate path was not for me.
I’ve always had a strong desire to own my own business and build unique ways to collaborate with other small, locally owned businesses.
When my entire department was laid-off in 2018, I was thrilled. I was already laying the groundwork for expanding City Scoops to be something more than just for fun. Don’t get me wrong, losing my stable salary and choosing not to stay in corporate life was (and still is) a terrifying adjustment. Anxiety much? Definitely. Anyone choosing this crazy entrepreneurship path knows that feeling especially if there is no access to generational wealth or support sharing living expenses. I’m still waiting for pup to get a job. Mooch.
Influences launching a brand
The Chilljoy name came together with several influences:
- My grandmother Thelma Joy: She went by Joy her entire life – and that she was. A beautiful soul. I knew I wanted to include her as part of my future so “joy” needed to be in the name. Plus, the word “joy” – as the dictionary defines it – is just beautiful and embodies that wonderful feeling when you enjoy something good with someone you love.
- Hawaiian style shave ice: My love of Hawai’i has not diminished from my time living there while in the Army. Adding authentic Hawaiian style shave ice to the menu – something not found in Columbus – only made sense. In addition, I wanted to create a name that embodied tropical vacation vibes.
- Chill Joy: As I brainstormed new names, this was one of the first combination of words I put on paper. The word chill in the sense of both “cold, chilly” plus “relax, laid-back” created a fun double-meaning.
Even though those closest to me said Chilljoy was a perfect, my biggest hang up was not reading the word, but saying it out loud to someone hearing it for the first time. I regularly have to repeat myself. Try it with someone…you’ll see what I mean.
These additional play on words finally helped me break out of my analysis paralysis:
- Kilroy was here: My interest in understanding the history of WWII goes back to my teenage years. That’s when I learned about kilroy was here. This would become a doodle I’d draw in the margins of my notebooks for years. A little play on words while also paying homage to the past. Can you spot our modernized version of “Kilroy” on our truck?
- Killjoy: noun – a person who deliberately spoils the enjoyment of others through resentful or overly sober behavior. Who wants to be a killjoy when eating frozen treats? No one, so it’s another fun play on words! (Seriously, don’t be a killjoy when visiting us.)
Doing Business As
Chilljoy officially launched in early Spring 2019 and I could have cried. So much work to get it there including finding and building our truck Thelma.
Fast forward to today. Chilljoy has thankfully survived the pandemic so far. Even though 2022 presents a new set of challenges, I’m hopeful to ultimately reach the full vision I’ve had since beginning. Creating a fun and safe space to be y0urself. A place you can take a moment out of your crazy life to be present and enjoy amazing frozen treats and sweet vibes by yourself or with someone you love.
Maybe we’ll grow to a second truck or a brick and mortar or two around Columbus. Or licensing for others to create a Chilljoy experience in their neighborhood? Who knows? For now, just relax, treat and repeat.