If balancing kids, career and home has you wearing too many hats (or a superhero cape!), we feel you. When it comes to doing it all, there’s one thing Seattle parents need (no, not donuts)—more time. Enter Yohana, the new wellness company that’s helping Seattle parents lighten the load by doing some of the heavy lifting. Read on to find out more.
A Mom-Owned Wellness Company
Yohana is the brainchild of Yoky Matsuoka, mom to four, former endowed UW professor and MacArthur Genius Grant winner (she won it while raising three kids under four!). Matsuoka left Seattle for the Silicon Valley where she worked at Google, Nest and Apple before taking on her current role as the Managing Executive Officer at Panasonic. In each step of her career, she’s had to juggle a young family, managing a household and a demanding career. And at each step along the way, Matsuoka’s had her eye on the way technology can help people be the best versions of themselves and live happier, healthier lives. Yohana is the reality of that vision. It’s her hope that for parents (moms especially) Yohana allows them to be present for the moments that matter most.
Yohana’s Yo Membership launched in Seattle on September 9 and has been connecting parent users to Yo Assistants ever since. The Yo Membership has three elements: the Yo Assistant, the Yo App and the AI behind it all. It’s this trifecta that sets Yohana’s personal assistant services apart. While it’s run through an app, there’s a real person on the other end that helps parents get through that ever-growing to-do list.
Here’s How it Works
Yo Assistants Tackle Your To-Do List
That always-expanding to-do list you’ve got on your phone or sitting on your counter (or maybe in your head)? Yohana lets parents finally take it on once you’re connected to your Yo Assistant. They can help you get your gutters cleaned, order snacks for soccer practice, find that just-right gift for your long-lost aunt, plan your kiddo’s upcoming birthday party, even coordinate a post-pandemic get together at Discovery Park. They can even help you find a babysitter or a nanny. And while we’re pretty sure they’re not sorcerers, one by one, you and your Yo Assistant will get things done. So rather than putting off researching Seattle gymnastics classes because you'd rather play games with the kids on a Friday night, you can do both.
Yo Assistants & the Tech at Their Fingertips
So who are these assistants ready to become your new right-hand people? Many are former personal assistants, executive admins, event planners and project managers. They’re also super tech savvy, and they go through an interview and training process before becoming part of the Yohana team. For each task they get from you, they’ve got tech-enabled resources that help them get things just the way you want them.
Let’s say you want your Yo Assistant to plan your kiddo’s birthday party. Using the AI-assisted tech, assistants can figure out not only what your family likes (and dislikes) but also what’s popular for parties, what kids of certain ages like, what’s trending in Seattle and more. As Matsuoka explains, this AI aspect is what really makes them unique; they’ve done this (literally) thousands of times. And working with your assistant is like chatting with a friend, so parents can still feel connected without having to manage everything.
Managing Your Workload
While some Yo Assistant tasks are simple, like coordinating snack for preschool next week, others can be more complicated, like planning a weekend getaway with the kids. In this case, Yo Assistants make proposals for parents. They’ll give you easy-to-understand options to choose from, with personal comments about why they're recommending something. From there, make your selection and voila, your once overwhelming task is done.
The Yo App
Most of your interaction with your Yo Assistant is through the Yo App. And it makes things easy because you can assign out tasks from pretty much anywhere. So when you remember that you need to schedule doctor’s appointments for the kids in the middle of the grocery store or during an online meeting, you can pull up the app and get it done. But don’t worry, if you’ve got more complex things on your list, it’s possible to connect over the phone.
Cost: $149/month, unlimited to-dos (Seattle-area members get the first two months of service for the price of one).