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UW Design student makes spreading joy his business

Jerred Mace describes the W/Joy Project like a fortune cookie for coffee. #k5evening

EDMONDS, Wash. — Every Wednesday in Edmonds, customers at Walnut Street Coffee can walk out with something extra. It's all part of what they call "With Joy Wednesdays". 

If you purchase a drink and request a sleeve for the cup, it comes with a small inspiring message attached. 

Jerrod Mace is in his junior year at the University of Washington, and he said he got the idea while hanging out at a coffee shop in Spokane. 

"The barista was writing little notes on the side of the cups and I found that to be a sincere extension of her joy and that was memorable," explained Mace.  

Credit: W/Joy Project
University of Washington design student makes sharing joy his business

Although he was just finishing high school, he launched a two-year journey to figure out how to make that experience a possibility for more people. He landed on what he calls the W/Joy Project, a design-based approach to joyfulness. 

Mace said the sole purpose is to uplift people's mornings and bring something inspiring to their day. 

The student has always had a knack for the inspirational. While in high school, he wrote a book of poetry called Visions. The W/Joy project, he explained, expands upon the book's themes of love and growth.

Walnut Street Coffee is the first business to try the w/Joy messages and the owner Pam Stuller said she's so glad she took the chance. 

"It's exciting to have something that's bright and positive to share when we keep getting hammered with more unhappy messages.  Coffee and joy just seem to go hand and hand and this is a way of amplifying that," explained Stuller. 

W/Joy is at Walnut Street Coffee every Wednesday. But Mace hopes to eventually expand in the Seattle Metropolitan area and beyond.

Meanwhile, he's open to ideas.  People who have a quote, phrase or joyful message they would like to send, can submit through the w/Joy website.

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