Find your passion. Start your business ~ SplashGear’s Story.
Late 2014, I had the pleasure of meeting with the founder of Splashgear, Sister Shereen Sabet. Below a written conversation I had with her about who she is and how she got into the business of bathing / scuba muslim tailored suites! SplashGear bathing suites aren’t the typical suites you find in the marketplace today. It’s because of her love for scuba diving & for Allah she pushed herself into coming up with a Muslim compliant product! She basically solved her own problem. So below is a raw interview of her journey in building a business that she is so passionate about!
What is your origin? I am Egyptian.
What country did you grow up most of your life? I was born in Egypt, but when I was a 1 year old, my parents moved to England so that my father could pursue his PhD in electronic engineering. We lived in England for approximately eight years, and my sister was born there, until we moved to the USA in 1980. I was 9 years old when we moved to the USA, and I’ve been in California ever since. I joke that I am sadly only nine years short of being a ‘California native’. <;-)
What is your educational background? I grew up in a secular home, my parents were not religious until I was in high school. That’s when my dad became more religious. I went to school in California—K-12, college, graduate school, and postdoctoral positions. I earned my Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California Irvine (UCI), then my Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). I then did postdoctoral work at UCI in a marine virology lab and then won a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to carry out my own research at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) on hypersaline viruses, which are viruses that live in extremely salty environments. In short, I am a scientist, a biologist to be more specific. I was a biology professor at a local private liberal arts college and I am now currently doing research at CSULB, as well as running Splashgear.
So what is your background story? I met my husband in college and we got married immediately after I graduated, but I did not become religious myself until several years later when his grandparents passed away. I had read or heard that, oftentimes, one becomes religious when one faces mortality, and I actually had what I believe to be a spiritual experience that directly resulted in my becoming religious, which started my learning about Islam and practicing it.
Did you always wear hijab? No, I was not always a hijabi because I did not grow up in a religious household. Even after I began practicing my Islam, it would take a few years before I did begin wearing the hijab. I was definitely wearing shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits in public. So, becoming a hijabi was quite a challenging experience for me, both spiritually and logistically.
Ok so, how did you come to wearing your hijab? I had definitely been thinking about it more when I was first practicing my Islam. I did not really want to become a hijabi, but while I was studying my deen, I would definitely think about it. I used to feel sorry for the hijabi students on campus, as they would really stand out from the crowd. I found myself thinking about it more and more and debating whether I should submit to the dress code or not. One day (in July 2001), I stepped out of the shower and saw myself in the mirror. I decided right then and there that I did not want any other man to see me, and I just made the snap decision, ‘cold turkey’, so to speak, to not leave home without wearing the hijab. I have to admit that this was a rash decision for me, but I apparently felt strongly enough that I made that pledge. The only problem was that I did not have any hijabs at home, so I had to wear something just to get to the local fabric store to buy some fabric to make a headscarf out of it. That’s how I became a hijabi and I have been one ever since.
“The funny thing is that, after I understood the benefits of being a hijabi, I began to feel sorry for all the non-Muslim non-hijabis around me, just as I had (erroneously) felt sorry for the hijabi women previously.”
Splashgear is a great product. I myself have looked for products like these especially since I have boys and they love that their mom can join them swimming at the beach not to mention it is super fun! Another plus is with my sensitive skin this material protects me very well! Swim season is coming up please check out her products here: http://www.splashgearusa.com/
I really like the Hawaiian Bottoms! Light, airy and not sticky! Check it out! Click here
Morale of the story? Keep on trekking. Find your passion while walking on the straight path that Allah has designated to us.