'I no longer have Monday blues': 25-year-old quits her office job to sell tote bags

PHOTO: Instagram/Goodtotes.co

The concept of Monday blues has been ingrained into the typical working adult's psyche.

Yoyo Zheng isn't one of them.

Having graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2020 with a degree in Communications and New Media, she job-hopped for about a year in an attempt to find her true calling.

The 25-year-old admits to having a serious case of the Monday blues at her previous job and even though she had amazing colleagues, Yoyo felt like a regular nine-to-five job wouldn't cut it for her.

"On a personal level, I'm a creative at heart. I've always wanted to start something of my own because I love the process of transforming my ideas into reality," Yoyo tells AsiaOne.

In July 2021, she took a leap of faith and started Good Totes, an online fashion business selling tote bags.

Happy birthday Good Totes!

https://www.tiktok.com/@goodtotes/video/7116474121134886146

Just last week, Good Totes celebrated its one-year anniversary. From the outside looking in, Good Totes seems to be doing pretty well.

Even at the beginning, Yoyo shares how the response from customers has been overwhelming.

She posted a number of TikTok videos in preparation for her debut launch, expecting "a few hundred views at best".

Instead, the view count went through the roof and her launch wait-list grew to thousands of potential customers.

"I thought that I was dreaming. My debut launch sold out within four minutes, and I remember being in so much shock because doing what I love for a living was all that I could ever ask for," she recalls.

Yoyo expanded Good Totes to a team of five in April this year and a quick check on their products page shows many of their tote bags sold out at the time of writing. 

Not your regular tote bag

The Going Places Tote in Latte, Espresso, Sea Sage and Forest. 
PHOTO: Instagram/Goodtotes.co

She certainly struck a chord with her customer base, who must have shared similar sentiments when they prowled for aesthetically pleasing and functional tote bags.

"I decided to start Good Totes because I was a frustrated consumer myself. Totes with pretty designs are everywhere, but most of them are flimsy or don't come with pockets," she shares.

Yoyo would then feel annoyed at having to dig for her keys or lipstick (as many other tote bag users can attest to).

"On the other hand, functional tote bags are usually not visually-appealing, at least to me," the NUS alumna says.

When she Googled "cute functional tote bags", the results disappointed her as the utilitarian designs she saw didn't match her "Pinterest-y" aesthetic preferences.

Swapping 9-5 for 24/7

A look at Good Tote's Good Times Circle Tote in cream colour.
PHOTO: Instagram/Goodtotes.co

While Yoyo mentions how Monday blues are a thing of the past, work stressors still very much exist in her current job. 

"I like to tell my friends that I quit the nine-to-five to work 24/7! Being an entrepreneur definitely isn't as glamorous as it seems."

There aren't any more off days and given that it's something she's passionate about, the 25-year-old is "twice as affected" when a product launch doesn't do as well as hoped.

However, when everything does fall into place, the sense of joy is unparalleled.

Yoyo reminisces about a memorable pop-up event held last December which saw snaking queues for her booth.

"It was also surreal seeing people carrying Good Totes, something that I designed and created. I felt so fulfilled interacting with my customers and seeing what I've achieved."

When AsiaOne asks about future plans for Good Totes, she shares that owning a physical store in Singapore is her biggest dream.

"But that probably won't happen until a few years later. For now, my main goal will always be to design amazing products for our customers."

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amierul@asiaone.com