black creatives

my B.O.B. - Kubitees

What a week? With the election and many other events you probably want to hear about someone and something positive. Got the perfect solution with our November #myBOBstory series continuing with Kubitees. This myBOB stories introduces you to Kubrat Salaam, owner and creator of Kubitees. Embracing our culture, our excellence, and the creative limits we’re willing to surpass, Kubrat gives consumers access to art and apparel that reflects who they are while also being a megaphone for artists and artisans globally.

You may have noticed Kubrat’s feature on our Instagram. If you’re interested in being featured in the #myBOBstory, reach out via email. This campaign brings awareness to Black businesses from the owner's perspective. At myblackbox co. it's important to know the vision and purpose behind a business. Through this blog, Black business owners share their background, trials and tribulations, and the moment it all came together with you!

Kubrat started her grind at a very early age, not knowing how it would blossom to the global marketplace it has become today. Definitely a glowing example of starting young with encouragement, empowerment, and education of Black children.


What made you feel your message and voice would be well-received in the clothing apparel industry?

When I first started Kubitees, I was very young and very unaware of the "real" aspects of running a business. Not only did I not have a message or a voice that I wanted people and companies to receive within the apparel industry, but I didn't even have a business plan or any long term goals. Luckily, this isn't the case now, and I can proudly say that Kubitees has come a long way from where it once was. Today, the message I want people/companies to take away from Kubitees is that it's striving to provide quality products that make powerful statements and start meaningful conversations. Moreover, I think the positive feedback and continuous support I receive for my products are the predominant components which make make me feel that my company's message is resonating with people in the apparel industry.

You mentioned how you started young as a Black entrepreneur in grade school, who were some of your influences and mentors at that age?

Growing up, a lot of my everyday life comprised of entrepreneurship. Both of my parents had side hustles and flourishing businesses back in Nigeria. My younger brother even had his own business where he made wallets out of duct tape and created tutorials on YouTube. With that being said, I believe that my family members were my main influences as well as my unwavering mentors/motivators. They showed me how to persevere, and they've supported me throughout my entire journey—still are today.

What advice would you give to other girls and women who are struggling to find their place in society?

Sometimes we simply aren't meant to fit in with the rest of the crowd. I really believe that this is because we're supposed to be the ones leading the crowd. People like us see the world differently; we move and think in different ways. I say embrace this! Happily ride your own wave. There's nothing wrong with it, and you'll soon realize how empowering it is to live life on your own terms.

Tell me more about your efforts with creating a space for artisans and artists worldwide? You've recently started a collaborative, THE YCVC—tell us more about your mission and vision there.

For the past few years I've had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing artists and artisans, many of whom are creating their masterpieces outside of the United States. My work with them is centered on providing Kubitees customers with unique and quality products while simultaneously exposing the creators behind the works to an increased means of obtaining self-sufficiency (so that they can continue creating)! In addition to my efforts to support independent artists and artisans worldwide, I've also launched the Kubitees initiative called the Young Creatives and Visionaries Collaborative (YCVC).

Through the YCVC, up and coming millennials (just like me) are given the opportunity to come together and create some magic with like-minded individuals. At the most recent YCVC, which took place this past August, we spent an entire day producing some photoshoots, video shoots, and flash fashion shows in Santa Monica, CA. By the end of the day, each participant involved was able to gain some exposure and experience in their respective fields, as well as lucrative networking opportunities and professional portfolio content. The outcomes were extremely worthwhile for everyone involved, and many of the people who participated are still reaping the benefits of the YCVC today.

Of all the kubitees apparel products, which is your most favorite and why?

My favorite apparel product has to be the "Power to my People" t-shirt because it's a statement that I resonate with on a deep level. Everyday there's always something new in the media that either negatively portrays our communities of color or negatively impacts our progress, and I think the only way out of this constant, detrimental cycle is by empowering/uplifting one another. Also, I really like how this shirt plays off the popular "All Power to the People" slogan by the Black Panther Party.

Is there anything particular we can expect from Kubitees during the 2018 holiday season?

I really want to give back to all of the customers and supporters I've acquired throughout the years, so this 2018 holiday season you should expect a lot of sales, giveaways, and some new Kubitees products! I actually have a new art collection dropping this month, so be on the lookout for that as well.

What advice would you give to someone like you, who has an idea, but is scared to take the first step to launch?

Think of everything in your life that you were scared to do, but ended up doing anyways. You overcame that initial fear--survived whatever it was that you thought you couldn't do. Try using those experiences as motivation, and be brave enough to take the first step required to launch your business. Regardless of what the outcomes are, at the very least you can say that you gave it a shot!


Kubrat’s story hopefully inspires you to make that move you’ve wanted to; try that idea you’ve been afraid to bring to life; or simply grow in your being to the next version of yourself. There is no time like the present, and no future is promised!

Hueful stories for you.

Inside the Box: August Special

This post was written by CoFounder, Brittinee Phillips.

This post was written by CoFounder, Brittinee Phillips.

new branding, who dis?

As you may have noticed blackbox has had a little more oomph in its visual images as of late. In June, we had the pleasure of working with Luxe Radar + Lotus Media Studio founder, Queneisha Harvey, and photographer Denise Grier, to bring our visual story to life. Our focus was to provide you with an understanding of what it's like to be a blackbox subscriber and how we bring the box together each month for you.

This special edition Inside the Box is your look into the creative process and planning for our new blackbox images. Our ongoing plan is to revamp the images each quarter/season to add a little more pop and zest to your visual experience of blackbox. Of course, we're always connecting with and curating from Black businesses to bring you unique, quality, and Black made products. The wonderful products included in our visual story came from businesses previously featured in our blackbox. Big shout out to Thrifty Upenyu, Akaimi the Artist, Southern Elegance Candle Co., HiRuna Island Soaps, and Coco Bubbly.

So how did we decide what would work best and express how we hope you feel and receive blackbox? Keep reading to find out more on our thought process and how your feedback helped!

smiles for days

from diy to upgrade:

When we started, most of our blackbox images came from DIY sessions between Jacque and me. While I have a background in photography, our limits as a small business meant making due with the equipment (our smartphones) and resources (make-shift backdrops and inexpensive craft materials) to create earlier shots of our monthly boxes. Visually we knew there was a better story we could share with you to bring blackbox to life - especially since our box content is a surprise every month. To ensure that happened authentically and true to our mission, I asked myself three questions - who, what, and why.

WHO ARE WE TO YOU?

Just another subscription box? Nope! Jacque and I created blackbox to introduce folks to other Black owned businesses who make equally unique and purposeful products as any other brand or business out there. Since we aren't bringing you standard sample size items, and all of what we curate comes from indie Black businesses, I felt it was important to showcase the personalized experience you can have with us as a subscriber. To do this, I knew we needed to work with a creative brand that shared the same aesthetic and similar mission as us: promoting and loving Black ingenuity, creativity, and uniqueness.

WHAT ARE WE EVEN SAYING?

Buy, buy, BUYYYY! Nope. That didn't feel authentic, and especially would make what blackbox is doing seem like a gimmick or quick way to make a buck [FYI: we're still growing and everything we earn we put right back into our business]. So what is our message with our visual story? Jacque and I realize that you all live different lives, but share some common threads - you're proud Black people or supporters of blackness, you want to be supportive of your community but don't always see the clear path to do so, and you want to feel special as well [who doesn't?! :) ]. With our box we envision you happy, overjoyed, surprised, intrigued, and excited when you open that month's box. That's part of our message.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

For Jacque and I, we know how much a dollar matters and how each of us have different priorities. Money doesn't grow on trees, and we all got bills to pay! But what if the dollar you spent was done so intentionally to fulfill a purpose? Such as, the purpose of supporting Black owned businesses and getting a unique, personalized experience of your own out of it. The discovery experience with blackbox comes full circle: 1. Purchase a one-time or monthly box with us, a Black owned business, 2. Receive curated products from other Black owned businesses in your box, 3. Like, love, and/or adore what you receive and continue your patronage with those Black makers and blackbox for future discovery opportunities. A win, win from our perspective 🖤!

upclose blackbox

A huge thank you goes out to all of our supporters and subscribers. We love you all. And for those new to blackbox - welcome, come on in and join the discovery experience. Our growth only means better experiences for each and every one of you. It also means a stronger platform for the amazing Black business owners we partner with.

By the way...have you subscribed to all of our boxes since March? Tell us what your favorite item(s) were thus far in the comments below. Reminder, the October box window is now open and you have until September 15 to secure your box here!

Your box full of hue.