Note-writing tradition inspires Middleton family’s giftable notebook

You know when a friend or family member says something so memorable, so funny you wish you wrote it down? A Middleton family is encouraging you to do just that.
Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 5:25 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2021 at 9:53 PM CST
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MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - You know when a friend or family member says something so memorable, so funny you wish you wrote it down? A Middleton family is encouraging you to do just that, with a special notebook they created for reliving life’s most quotable moments.

Over the years, high school sweethearts Mike and Stephanie Gardon documented their love story on slips of paper and in spiral bound notebooks. Once graduated from college and living together, their professional lives grew busy and leaving notes was their way to communicate.

Established careers and three kids later, their note-writing tradition never died. Believing it’s a secret to a happy marriage, the Gardon’s even encouraged other couples to do the same.

“I’ve given these as gifts to people on their wedding day – just a regular moleskin notebook but with a card saying this is what Stephanie and I do and its been really important in our marriage and in our lives to be able to revisit these in good times and in bad times,” Mike said.

So when the pandemic hit, so did the chance to pursue an entrepreneurial idea Mike had for a while.

“I’ve always had an idea to turn this into an actual product to share with other people and I’ve always put it on the backburner so when COVID hit it was like this has to happen now,” he said.


Quotebook was born. As described on their website, it’s “for recording your family’s most memorable moments.” For the Gardon family that usually means hilarious quotes from their youngest son.

“We were laughing at all the hilarious things little kids say and I remembered it and I said we got to keep writing these things down and keep this tradition going,” Mike said.

For Mike, an entrepreneur by trade, creating the book was also a way to teach his three young boys about what it takes to create a product.

“Having something meaningful and authentic behind a product or service that you do really matters and to show them the steps of what it takes to do these things,” he said.

The design of the book is simple: blank pages with room for the date, the quote and the context behind what was said. Unlike other notebooks and love letters that become tattered over the years, Mike hopes families will keep these books out in their homes as they are built to stand the test of time.

“It’s meaningful to my family; we’ve created a ritual around it and its brought us so much enjoyment I want to actually make it into a product that other people can buy and gift to couples and to families,” he said. “The feeling of connectedness resonates through the book and it’s what I want other people to feel.”

Quotebook retails for $39.95 and is available on their website and on Etsy. Mike says a portion of proceeds will be donated to help fight opioid addiction in the Madison area.

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