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Meet Danrochelle Yumul – Founding Editor of Meet The (818)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danrochelle Yumul.

Hi Danrochelle, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Being a journalist has always been a dream of mine. Writing features on people is one of my favorites. There’s something about listening to someone’s journey and being able to take that story and share it with your audience. In 2009, I started my side “gig” as a freelance writer, contributing to online publications such as The Studio City Patch, The Examiner, Yahoo! Contributors Network, and My Daily Find. Most of these publications featured the San Fernando Valley locals and I got to meet and write about the people in the community. A couple of years later, motherhood happened and I had to shift gears and change my focus. Writing took the backseat for a bit.

Fast forward to January 2019, after writing for other websites, I finally decided to take the plunge and launch a website of my own. People always say, “Write about what you know.” One of the things I do know is the San Fernando Valley. I’ve lived in Burbank, went to school and graduated from CSUN, and worked around the (818) from Toluca Lake, Northridge, North Hollywood to Sylmar, Encino and even Woodland Hills. My family set up our roots here. It made absolute sense to launch a website featuring San Fernando Valley locals–from small business owners to creatives to community leaders. That’s how Meet The (818) came to be. It’s a passion project, combining my love for writing, hearing other people’s stories, having adventures in your own backyard, and making connections.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There has definitely been some challenges along the way, especially in terms of balancing priorities from family time to a 9-5 to meeting self-imposed deadlines. People assume there’s a team when in reality, Meet The (818) is currently a one woman show. Is it challenging? Absolutely! But doing something you love and working on taking your dream to the next level is definitely worth it. It just involves a lot of maneuvering, time management, and knowing/accepting your limitations.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Apart from being the Assistant to the COO at a Home Health Agency in Woodland Hills, I’m the creator/founding editor of Meet The (818), a website featuring 818 locals, from business owners to artists to local celebrities and community personalities. Everybody has a story to tell and that’s what I highlight because you never know when someone else is inspired and empowered by another’s journey. The goal is to connect, inspire, and support each other as a community. Apart from that, it’s a locals’ guide to the San Fernando Valley! Restaurants, coffee shops, places to go to, things to see in the 818 are all featured on the website as well as on the social media accounts.

For the most part, the format for Meet The (818) has been write-ups, articles, and photos. In the past couple of months, I’ve integrated zoom interviews and video features in the storytelling process. Some stories are just best told via conversation or visually via video. This opens up a whole new avenue for future features.

One of the biggest things I love about running the website is all the phenomenal people I meet and get to know. It’s truly, truly a privilege to share their stories. It gives me so much joy when I hear positive feedback from the people I feature–from getting more followers, getting more customers in their establishment or garnering more support for their projects. I love being able to help out even in the smallest measure!

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Pre-pandemic, I always conducted interviews in person. Being able to talk to someone face-to-face allows you to read between the lines and get a sense of who they are (which helps a lot when you’re writing about them). During the pandemic, all interviews were done via email or via direct messages which was a little frustrating because emails and messages don’t give you the same interaction. If there’s anything that this pandemic taught me is connections are everything—from family ties, friendships, and even something as simple as an interview. The value of an honest to goodness face-to-face chat is absolutely priceless.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Danrochelle Yumul

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