Monday, April 13, 2009

A Creative Life: Shubis

By Designing Mom Cat

My good friend Jihwon started a line of chic, eco-friendly shoebags called Shubis that I absolutely love and I was so happy she was willing to share a little bit about them and her life with her two adorable daughters, Sophia and Julia.

How did Shubis begin?

As young girls, my sister Soomean and I spent countless hours immersed in crafty and creative projects, and so it was a very natural progression to start a company together that continued these endeavors. My sister and I started Shubi with the passion to bring fashionable shoe bags to the mainstream. My sister, who lives in NYC, always carried an extra pair of shoes for commuting to and from work. She, like most city girls, would tote her shoes in flimsy, beat-up, plastic grocery bags because she could not find suitable shoe bags for travel. I had the same problem during my travels, and after a frustrating and fruitless search for fashionable shoe bags, we decided to create our own--and the Shubi was born.
Tell us a little about the "baby" shubis and why you created them.
The Lil' Shubi is a shoe bag that is perfect for toting your child's shoes anywhere. I created them because all too often, toddlers kick off their shoes, and parents end up tucking their dirty shoes in their diaper bag or purse. The Lil' Shubi protects your child's shoes and at the same time, keeps your diaper bag or purse clean. Parents are not only using the Lil' Shubi to tote shoes but also finding the Lil' Shubi helpful for storing toys or other small baby products that often get burried in their diaper bag.

What have been the rewards and the challenges that came with starting this business?

My sister and I have so many ideas to expand the Shubi line, but our biggest challenge is not being able to devote as much time as we would like to expand the business. The biggest reward is bringing a creative idea to fruition. Throughout the years, my sister and I have had many conversations discussing various ideas/inventions, but Shubi is the first business idea that we have brought to reality.

What are you tips on balancing work/mom/play?

Like many working mothers, I always feel as if there are never enough hours in the day. So, I try to be realistic about what I can and cannot get done. Then, I prioritize what is most important in my life and make time in my schedule to incorporate those things.
What creative activities/projects do you do with your girls?

Julia is too young (only 6 months) for creative activities, but Sophia, who is nearly 3 years of age loves creative activities. One annual tradition that we started last Christmas is decorating a gingerbread house. Sophia had so much fun picking the colors of the house and deciding how to arrange the various decoratives, not to mention eating the candy during the process. We also read lots of books, and recently, sophia began creating and reciting her own stories from picture books. It's been very entertaining hearing stories from her perspective. Her latest endeavor has been making up her own whimsical lyrics to common nursery rhymes and singing them to us.

How do you plan on incorporating creativity into your girls' lives?

Creativity is an attribute that everyone possesses. So, I hope to nurture their creativity by fostering a positive environment that allows them to be spontaneous, to explore, and to discover. When the girls get a little older, I would like to start art classes because they not only stimulate their creativity but also develop skills that extend beyond color, texture, and design.

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