An Interview With a Spin

Introducing With A Spin’s Ramadan/Eid Holiday Cookie Cutter Gift Set and discount code for altMuslimah readers

What is it that you’ve set out to do with With A Spin? What inspired the idea?

I’ve always enjoyed adding my personal spin to the culture I was brought up in with the one I spent most of my adult life.  The goal of With A Spin is to make connection between Islamic, South Asian, and Western culture. I started With A Spin as a blog, as a creative outlet and an expression of many things I enjoy in life: family, creativity, food.

After the birth of my daughter, my lifestyle changed substantially. I decided to stop my 100% globetrotting role as a Management Consultant and switch over to non-client facing roles, which gave me the liberty to perform my job responsibilities from the home office. Majority of my weekdays still consisted of back-to-back meetings starting at 7:30AM, and some interaction in between meetings with the nanny who was caring for my infant daughter. Then, at end of the day, I would take care of her dinner, bath, and the bedtime rituals.

At that time, my husband was traveling all the time, and I knew I couldn’t sustain this routine very long. I needed to find a creative outlet to do something after putting my daughter to sleep. So, I delved into the cyber world, documenting what I love about family and life and hoping to connect with others through our stories and passion in the journey.

At that time, I had no idea I would one day be designing and launching new product lines.

You have several different lines of products – the Harmony line, the Peace line — tell us about those: What is the story behind the names? What types of products are featured in each?

Globally, racial, ethnic and religious violence are at a rise. As a citizen of this world, as a mother, wife, daughter, and a sister, I am tired of this viciousness. I don’t know if any of our former generations had to experience as much bad news as we face today, daily. For our next generation, I dream of a world with tolerance, unity, and love. With the Harmony line of products I want to promote the message that all the different religions, races, and ethnicities of the world are needed to enrich human experience and world civilization.

Others’ perceptions of Islam have largely been shaped by negative images of extremism in the media. My daughter is my inspiration for the Peace line of products. As much as it is important for me to teach her about tolerance and unity, it is equally important for the minority Muslim kids in the West to make no apology for being a Muslim. My attempt with the Peace line is to fill the vacuum of quality products to help modern Muslim families celebrate our Islamic heritage, traditions, and celebrations. With the Peace line, I hope families are able to bond, create a lifetime of happy memories and also instill in our next generation a love for our deen and the true meaning of Islam.

My kids absolutely loved working with your mosque cookie cutters. It was exciting for them to see something familiar, and to feel the Ramadan spirit in something as simple but as fun as a cookie cutter. It also enables them to make fun Ramadan treats for their Muslim friends. What are your thoughts on the role your products play in the lives of kids, especially those growing up as Muslim minorities in the West?

I am so glad to hear that your kids enjoyed using the cookie cutters. My hope for With A Spin products is to enable celebration and bring the family together. I hope the different lines of products will inspire others, especially parents, to slow down a little to celebrate and enjoy the daily life and promote a message of multiculturism, harmony, and peace.

Even when they are part of a minority religious group, it is still extremely important for Muslim kids to create fond memories around the Islamic holidays and a sense of belonging about the Islamic celebrations and daily life. The Peace line products help make Islamic celebrations special and memorable. With the cookie cutters from the Peace line, there is no reason to limit making treats for only Muslim friends. Kids can use them to make treats for friends at school or neighbors and talk to them about Ramadan and Eid, or go to the local fire or police department to thank them for their service. Make the weekend mornings fun and educational by making fun shape pancakes or popsicles using the cutters. Throughout the year, create arts, crafts and food using the fun shapes.

Beyond Ramadan and Eid, the cookie cutters can also be very suitable as a gift for a housewarming, bridal shower, or bismillah, or to raise fund for charities.

How has the Muslim community responded to your efforts?

It has only been four weeks since the launch of the first product of the Peace line. I must admit, I am very pleased with the response I have received in this short period of time. In these four weeks, I was able to connect with other Muslim-owned businesses to make the product available locally in the UK, Canada, and Dubai. As the product line grows, I hope to connect the community in the US with those outside US.

Tell us about the With A Spin team – or is it a one-woman effort?

So far it’s been a one-woman-team with some occasional help from my 3 year old! However, I am super excited to welcome my summer intern on June 29th.

I should also mention my designer who was able to beautifully transform my concept into reality with the package designs.

Where is With A Spin headed? Any new designs, or plans to move into new markets?

I am targeting September for the launch of the Harmony line. The target market is not just Muslim family, but also religiously blended families, families that want to include multicultural experiences in their lives and the lives of their children.

As the number of With A Spin branded product lines expands, I plan on introducing the products to the global market and not limit them to the US.

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Because you are a special altMuslimah reader, please enjoy a discount when you purchase the Peace line cookie cutter set. Click here to recieve a special discount code. To purchase and for up-to-date promotions, please visit our shop.

http://www.withaspin.com

Copyright © With A Spin

This interview with Lail Hossain of With A Spin was conducted by Asma Uddin, Founder and Editor in Chief of altM.

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