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Rising Stars: Meet Esther Cho of Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Esther Cho.

Hi Esther, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Milky & Co. Studios started out in our living room in Bear, Delaware at the end of May 2020. My sister, Hannah, and I, while very different, shared a mutual love for stationery and our mini schnauzer, Milky, and decided that quarantine was the perfect time for us to launch our own small business on Etsy. When coming up with a shop name, we knew without a doubt that Milky would need to be involved somehow – after lots of brainstorming, the name Milky & Co. Studios was born. We started with hand cutting all of our stickers and eventually invested in a sticker cutting machine. In the middle of July 2020, our family made the move to Scottsdale, AZ, where we continued running our shop in our living room.

Fast forward to today, we have expanded our product lines to include greeting cards, waterproof stickers, washi tapes, and sticky notepads and have launched our own standalone website. We still hand design each and every one of our products and have also recently started partnering with brick-and-mortar shops around the U.S. to extend our wholesale arm. We center our products around functionality, versatility, and relatability. We love creating products that resemble our backgrounds as Korean Americans as well as share our culture through our creations as well.

From working with just the two of us in our living room, to now having built a platform and expanded beyond our imagination, Milky & Co. Studios has become a passion project that continues to spread joy and stationery serotonin around the world.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Like most businesses, we’ve experienced a fair amount of struggles and bumps along the way. Out of excitement to launch, we started our shop without having built a proper platform, and so, initially, we were discouraged by the lack of engagement. However, as we kept building and growing our platform, we built an audience and more so, we built a community in the stationery world.

We’re only one year into our business, so there is still so much more room to grow and develop, and we still have many ebbs and flows. Some months we do really well, and other months, not so much. But we all take this into stride as building blocks for a stronger foundation for our business journey.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My sister, Hannah, currently works in Investment Banking full time and works on Milky & Co. on the side. She recently graduated from Cornell University for both her undergraduate degree and her MBA. I am currently a junior in high school and work on the shop as well as participate in activities such as speech and debate and recreational golf. I’m also an avid violist and have been playing for about 3 years.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Hannah and I work on Milky & Co. as a “long distance business relationship”. She is currently living in Minneapolis, MN and our shop is based in Scottsdale, AZ. We’re thankful for technology for allowing us to have “business meetings” over FaceTime, which often go on tangents from our original conversation with features by Milky who loves to join in on our meetings. When Hannah is home in Arizona, we often do restocks together with Milky ensuring that we stay on task. While physically together or apart, we often tag team the work that goes into each shop update to both be involved in the growth and development of our business.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Personal Photo: Jennifer Bowen Photography Product Photos: Milky & Co. Studios, LLC

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