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Meet Cheryl Yul-Behrenwaldt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cheryl Yul-Behrenwaldt.

Hi Cheryl, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My name is Cheryl and I’m the designer and owner of Notebooks & Honey, the ultimate modern tote bag. With its thoughtful and sleek yet timeless design, this is a tote that can be used as a diaper bag, laptop bag, knitting bag, or just their everyday carry-all. I decided to design and produce this bag several years ago when my kids were babies, and I wanted a diaper bag that did not look like a diaper bag; this seemed so hard to find. All of the diaper bags out there screamed “DIAPER BAG,” and that just wasn’t for me. Since I’m a freelancer and am constantly toting my laptop around with me, I also needed a bag that I can use as a laptop bag but also hold my other everyday items. Eventually, I decided to design my own bag, and now I want to share it with the world… for people just like me. Go-getter, multi-tasking women that care about style and having a highly functioning bag that they can take with them every day.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Notebooks & Honey is my first endeavor as an entrepreneur, and it’s been a journey of learning as I go… from designing, sourcing, finding manufacturers, marketing, building e-commerce platform and so on and so forth. It hasn’t been a smooth road per se, but all of the hiccups have taught me lessons that have now become part of the journey.

For instance, I was able to design the bag myself (on paper) because I’m an interior designer and understand the rules/concept of designing in 2D and working with scale/proportions. However, it took me a couple of attempts to find a manufacturer that could accurately help me make my design come to life (they either wanted to put their own “spin” to my design, or they were not able to properly execute). Getting started was probably the most difficult because you are trying to bring an idea to life, but after that is the expected trials and tribulations of finding vendors, building a website, working on SEO, getting online traction, deciding where to go next with this passion project.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
Other than Notebooks & Honey, I’m an interior designer that freelances with a branding studio that specializes in restaurant/food/beverage design. I’ve been working in this field for close to 10 years now, at first in an office (with traditional work hours) and now as a freelancer. I have three kids now, ages 5 to 10 y.o. and as you can imagine, my time and capability to juggle the kids, freelancing, Notebooks & Honey and home life is a challenge and adventure… and I love it. I think it’s important for moms to be able to be involved in their kid’s lives, time flies by so quickly, and at the same time, make a mark for themselves in life. I’m proud that I’m able to be in two separate fields where you can create something and share it with the world, whether that is a beautiful restaurant space or the ultimate tote bag for other busy women like me!

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I don’t know if I have favorite childhood memory, but I definitely have a unique-ish childhood experience. My family moved to the US from Taiwan when I was two y.o. and we moved to Cartersville, outside of Atlanta, when I was four y.o. and I pretty much had the epitome of an immigrant experience growing up. We moved to Cartersville because my parents bought a Quality Inn motel and I grew up being in the motel business (we even lived in the motel for a couple of years before buying a house). I “hung out” in the motel laundry room and reception during the weekends, helped cleaned rooms, loading vending machines and basically saw the motel as my personal playground.

I learned English when my parents dropped me off at Kindergarten, and when I graduated from high school, I was the only Asian in my graduating class (there were only four Asians in the entire school). I suppose my favorite memory is just my experience growing up in a motel and being in a place where nobody looked like me! It really builds character and gumption. My parents had such a strong work ethic, and I could see that every day and now as an adult, I especially appreciate how brave they were to come to America to start this new life for their family in an environment that they were not at all familiar with and they really succeeded. I definitely get my go-getter work ethic from them, and I don’t think that would be the case if I didn’t have the experience that I had growing up.

Pricing:

  • $225 per bag

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Hannah Lozano

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