It is our pleasure to introduce you to this week’s Smarty mom, Julie Yenichek. Julie was “mominated” by her good friend Lori Webber and I will let her introduce you to Julie.
Why I am nominating her: She is a ROCKSTAR mom!! She is my very best friend that I have no idea what I would do without! She works fulltime at the bank, has two toddlers, and is constantly thinking of ways to make life for her kids easy – making sure that they have every opportunity for school and college. She works non-stop, I will get emails from her timestamped at 2am, 5am, all hours of the day – she works all day then again at night, just so she can make sure she spends as much time possible with her kids while they are awake. And, while doing all that – she has a great marriage, her husband is her rock. Julie has been married to hubby Tony for 5 1/2 years and is the proud mom to Jack (3 1/2) and Katie (1 1/2).
Julie moved to Charlotte in 1997 and began working for the American Cancer Society, a job that started her career in marketing and public relations. While working at ACS she met some amazing people with amazing stories, Julie took their stories and co-wrote a book about people diagnosed with Stages III and IV cancers that beat the odds. From the ACS, she moved on to a local Fortune 50 company and excelled in her roles in public relations and corporate events. Looking for more time to spend with her family, she moved on to another Fortune 50 company, where she continues to work in their corporate communications department. During all of this time, she has developed a product to help parents bathe their children (or pets). It is called the “Yeni,” a bath apron that you use when you are bathing your baby or your pet so you don’t get wet. It has become a staple in my home as well as my signature baby gift. She was an editor’s pick for Redbook’s Holiday Gift Guide and sells in boutiques in 12(it might be more) states. She worked very hard to make sure all of the components of the apron were made in the USA and the apron itself is assembled in NC, as well as the terry cloth being spun in NC. While that made production a little harder and increased the cost of the Yeni, it was very important to her, especially in today’s economy to have it “Made in the USA.” She truly deserves this recognition from CSP, she is a true Smarty Mom!
What an awesome introduction! Let’s hear from Julie:
What inspired you to create the “Yeni”?
The Yeni was designed as solution for a dryer, happier experience for my husband and I while bathing Jack and now Katie. My friends and moms-to-be loved aprons so much, it became my gift of choice. Word of mouth and demand spread, and the Yeni was born.
How do you balance 3 jobs – your career at the bank, your “momprenuer” business and your family?
I could not do it all without my husband. He is the amazing! Of course family time comes first so I work on the Yenithing business when the rest of the family is sleeping and on the weekend.
Is there a nonprofit you’d like to highlight?
Cookies for Kids Cancer was started by friend Gretchen whose little 4 year old (Liam) son is battling cancer. It is an amazing organization. We are in the process of developing a Liam Yeni where all the proceeds will go to the organization. I hope to have this up and going in a few weeks.
Tell us your greatest accomplishment with Yenithing?
I just received the paper work last week that the U.S. Patent Office has granted me a design patent. A close second is an Editors Pick for the holiday online issue Redbook Magazine. I am also working on adding hooded bath towels and hope to have them ready by summer.
How are you using your business to help others?
Yenithing was recently a sponsor of the Bella Tunno’s Charlotte Rescue Extreme Mission Makeover last weekend. It was an amazing event and I feel blessed that I was able to be a part of it. Michelle Buelow spearheaded the event and was able to bring together over 75 people and was able to make an incredible difference in the lives of many people in the Charlotte area.
What advice do you have for other mompreneurs starting their own business?
Develop a business plan and continue to work your plan. When you are passionate about what you are doing, it is a lot of fun but it also takes a lot of patience and time.
Now more about your family, what is your favorite family activity?
Playing at the park and baking treats.
What is your favorite date night?
Dinner and a movie
What is your favorite kid-friendly restaurant?
What is your favorite piece of baby/kid gear?
Besides the Yeni Bath Apron…it would be the baby Bjorn.
Best birthday party?
My son’s 2nd birthday party we hired the little blue choo to come to our house and all the kids had train rides – he still talks about it….
What is your best money-saving tip?
We clip coupons, compare grocery stores weekly circulars and love triple coupons at the Teeter.
Funniest thing your children have ever said to you?
On his way down the stairs on Christmas “Oh Mommy, look at all those presents…I was a good boy…Santa thinks that I am a good boy….”
Minivan or SUV and why?
Minivan – I thought I would never say this but I love our minivan…it is awesome for travel and so functional!
Best thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
Our friends, the weather and our backyard.
I could not live without my… (mom or kids-related)
I am also so grateful for all of my friends…when people say it takes a village to raise a baby, it does but I would also say that the same is true when you develop a product and bring it to market. I would not be where I am today if I were not for my incredible support group of family and friends. We are so blessed.
Thank you Julie and thanks to Lori for “mominating” such a smarty mom!
If you know a mom that you think is “oh so smarty”, mominate her! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.