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NAME: Salwa Khan & Hamza Muraj
KIDS (names/ages): Inaiyah, 4 (daughter); Jibreel, 1 (son)
WHERE DO YOU LIVE: Austin, TX
Salwa: When we were pregnant with my daughter, I noticed how all the marketing for everything baby was geared towards mothers and not fathers. It indirectly made me, the woman, the primary caregiver, even though Hamza and I have always been 50/50 partners in our relationship and wanted to continue that into parenthood. I noticed there was subscription for everything baby (diapers, toys, books, food), but a subscription for something as predictable as baby clothing was absent. Hamza wanted to be more involved in the shopping, but was constantly checking with me about what to buy. We basically made the first concept of Cubbiekit to make shopping error-proof for him.
Later, as our daughter grew, we noticed the clothes cluttering our house and it felt wasteful spending so much on clothing that she ultimately grew out of so quickly. There were so many random gifted outfits that were worn only once. Not knowing whether we were going to have a second, we didn’t want to hold on to all of it, and felt weird about just placing it in a bin not knowing where it was going. We decided then we wanted to know the end to end supply chain and give back to organizations that support parents in need.
Hamza: Salwa’s background is in finance and my background is in tech. What started out as a side project for her evolved into a business venture for us. She’s definitely the brains and the hard work, I just do what she says 😉
Salwa: Manage your time well. That’s a universal rule of thumb, but becomes even more true when you’re responsible for the livelihood and well-being of other little humans. It’s tiring being a parent on its own with school/daycare, sleep training, mealtime, feedings, play dates, pick-up, drop-offs, extracurricular activities, but combined with starting a business means you’re stretching yourself pretty thin. Learn how to optimize your time when you’re “on the job” so you feel successful at the end of the workday and still be a “present parent” when you’re with the kids. I find myself responding to emails or slack during dinner on the days that I wasn’t as productive as I could have been, and my kids notice.
Hamza: Have a lot of caffeine. Have a support system, whether it be your partner, family, or close-friends.
Hamza: It has made me significantly appreciate the time I have with my family. When everyone was in lock down it made me realize how much time pre-pandemic I was away from my family. I would see them an hour or so before work and a few hours after work before they slept. Feels wrong on so many levels. I cherish my free days a lot more now and try to soak in as much time as possible.
Hamza: In the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander said “My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” Out of all the amazing quotes and people out there, this one for whatever reason stuck with me. It helps me remember that while there are certainly times to worry, worrying for the sake of it doesn’t solve anything. Instead, it helps me bias towards action and fixing whatever the concern is.
Hamza: We are definitely a KPop family. My daughter loves singing and dancing to BTS. We have had many dance parties in the house. I really can’t dance but that doesn’t stop me!
Salwa: What he said, plus Queen – We Are the Champions
Hamza: The perfect day would be (in order): a big breakfast with the entire family, several hours of video games, a nap, then dinner at a steakhouse with my better half!
Hamza: Being a parent really is an awesome and nuanced responsibility. I love teaching my kids facts and skills. The feeling of seeing them struggle on something and then finally accomplish it is a hard emotion to replicate.
Hamza: The first words both of my kids said are pretty funny, since it was neither Mama or Baba. My daughter’s first word was “Gato” (or cat in Spanish… and mind you we don’t even speak Spanish) and my son’s first word was “woooow.” Not “wow”, it’s ” woooow.”
Salwa: There are probably a lot that have happened over time, but the one top of mind recently is when we were talking about stand-up comedy, and I mentioned how I don’t really like stand up. My daughter interjects “you’re right mama, I like sitting down too”
Firstly, Cubbiekit officially launches on June 21, 2021, just after Father’s Day.
Secondly, We’re definitely “average parents” who have parenting successes and failures every other day. We started Cubbiekit with this community of parents in mind and thinking about how we could best serve their needs. Whether it be a subscription that grows with your baby to put shopping on auto-pilot or thinking about sustainability and philanthropy from the very beginning. If you have any feedback or just want to trade baby stories, feel free to email us a firstname.lastname@example.org.