SnapSights chats to Mama’s Box founder Chirin Khawatmi…

May 20th, 2015

20141018-IMG_0607 med resWhether you are currently pregnant, have a new little person in the house, or want to treat a friend expecting their own little bundle, a subscription to Mamas Box should be top of your wish list. The new Dubai-based company sends out a box every month to mamas and mamas-to-be, filled with goodies tailored to your point in pregnancy or age of your baby. We love the idea  – so we sat down with founder Chirin Khawatmi to find out more. Over cups of coffee and slices of cake, we asked Chirin about how she went about launching and running a successful company, whilst also being mama to two adorable little ones, born just 12 months apart. And we couldn’t resist finding out more about her life as a mother in Dubai…   Hi Chirin, can you tell us a little about yourself and your business? I am a mother of a two-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl (exactly 12 months apart!). I’m originally Syrian and lived my life between Syria and Germany. I recently launched Mama’s Box – my third baby! Mama’s Box is a subscription box for pregnant and new mamas. Moms can subscribe for 1, 3 or 6 months and will receive every month a box of high quality goodies and essentials handpicked and customized especially to the mama’s pregnancy stage or her baby’s age. It’s a beautiful surprise and a fun way to discover new brands and items at just the right time. Our mission is to make this journey for Mamas a little easier and a lot happier!   When did you move to Dubai? I moved to Dubai nearly 5 years ago after finishing my studies in Germany.   How long have you been a mother? 2 years and 1 month now! Both children were born here in the American Hospital in Dubai and I am glad that this is the case – Dubai is so baby friendly.   What is the story behind Mamas Box? The idea came to me in November 2014, when my children were 18 months old and 6 months old. The concept of monthly ‘boxes’ is trending in the UAE and I wondered why there wasn’t something for pregnant and new mothers. This might sound a little silly but my heart literarily skipped a beat when I had the idea! The last time I felt that way was jumping out of a plane in Skydive Dubai. After that it was all I could think about – my brain told me it was insane to even think about starting a business now with two very young kids, but my heart wouldn’t have it any other way and a few months later Mama’s Box was launched! My husband was also extremely supportive – he believed in the idea right from the beginning as well. The sight of someone 7 months pregnant and holding a 10 month old baby is not very common. I would always get approached by other mothers in play areas or the park asking me how do I manage – and I didn’t have a nanny back then. Yes, it is exhausting but there are also so many little joys that come with it! My eagerness to share this joy with other mothers is what inspired Mama’s Box. I know that if I were to receive a monthly box of surprises handpicked for me and my baby it would definitely bring a smile to face and we all know a happy mama means a happy baby.   What support network do you have around you to enable you to be a working mother? I don’t have family here in Dubai, but I do have an amazing Nanny who joined a month ago and helps out with the house and kids. Even when I was without a full time nanny, Dubai makes it easy to find paid support such a cleaning lady or a babysitter for reasonable prices (at least compared to Europe). My 2-year-old started nursery when he was 18 months and my little one usually takes a 2 hour nap in the mornings, so I am usually running around during that time trying to finish as much as possible. After 3pm I try to turn everything off and spend my time with them.   What tips to you have for mothers than want to start their own business? Make sure it is something you enjoy, because if you do – it won’t be work anymore. For me Mama’s Box brings back my sanity when things with the kids get crazy!   Describe your perfect family day in Dubai? Lunch with my family in JBR or Marina Mall – and then depending on the weather, we’ll go to a park, the beach, or a play area. As long as it is somewhere where the kids are entertained and happy, we’ll all be happy.   And your perfect evening out with just your husband? Any evening out with my husband is perfect! But seriously, we love going out, weather it is for a shisha and a card game with friends, our weekly Tuesday movie nights, or the occasional night out partying. We have strict rules not to speak too much about work or spend too much time on our cellphones when we are out.   What do you love about being a mum in this city? I love how understanding everyone is with children. So if my one-year-old screams for no reason in the super market or my two-year-old spills his orange juice on the floor in the restaurant, you won’t usually get evil looks. Not to mention the endless choice of play areas!   Finally, what plans do you have for Mamas Box in the future? Oh we have so many plans and so little time! We feel there are simply not enough services for new mamas and especially mamas-to-be, so we have a few amazing ideas to make this journey a little easier especially that so many of us don’t have immediate family around.   To find out more or to order your own Mamas Box, visit www.mamas-box.com    

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