Niko Valdes is an undefeated boxing champion and vlogger behind the family YouTube channel, The CAN Family, which documents life with his wife, Cristal, and daughter, Abella throughout their daily experiences, from moving into their dream home to baby swim lessons to finding out that they’re having a second child. Abella has been using Evereden since birth to help relieve her super sensitive skin exacerbated by Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), and we love having her as part of the Evereden family. We spoke to Niko about building community around social media, fatherhood lessons learned from boxing, and favorite vlogs of 2020.
Tell us about the CHAMILY, which is the community centered on your YouTube channel. What inspired you to document your family life?
Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed documenting my life and experiences. I think it was my mom’s memory books and home videos that really inspired me to do the same for Abella. It’s really amazing that one day, Abella will be able to watch herself grow up and have visuals of great memories we have shared as a family. Sharing it with the world has definitely made my fatherhood journey a lot more easy to maneuver, too. The CHAMILY is always there to support our family and provide advice. Our goal has always been to make every viewer feel like they are part of our family, to provide a place where you feel like you belong!
Abella has been using Evereden since she was just a baby, and we love watching her grow up, too. How did Evereden helped her with her skin?
Evereden has been the one brand we can fully trust with Abella’s sensitive skin. It has made a difference in her quality of life. Wherever we go, Evereden products are always on board with us! Abella’s favorite Evereden product is the Baby Lip Balm—it’s her favorite part of her nighttime routine and it’s the one product both Cristal and I love using, too! (Shhh… Just don’t tell Abella!)
We also love to use Baby Lip Balm! We’ve enjoyed watching your commentary on Cristal’s pregnancy cravings. Tell us about them.
Cristal’s cravings are “uniquely interesting.” I have tried some of her funky cravings. I like trying the sweet cravings she gets—I think the grossest ones are the spicy ones, as I am not much of a spicy person, so those are definitely my least favorite ones to try. Pregnancies are physically and emotionally hard on Cristal, so I think my funny commentary helps cheer her up when she is feeling down. Off camera, you can find me massaging her back and fixing up some pillows to make her feel comfortable.
Tell us about the day that Abella was born.
It was the most amazing and scary feeling in the world. It felt great to hold Abella in my arms and just stare at her in wonder. At the same time, Cristal and I were both scared because she was born with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), which is a condition where the body has an excess of immune system cells that build up. It was hard not being able to take Abella home, and even harder to find the perfect skincare routine for her sensitive skin since one of the effects is that the buildup of cells can cause increased skin irritation. That is one of the many reasons we are so grateful for Evereden. We have been able to completely stop the use of steroid creams on Abella since she was 18 months.
We’re so happy to hear that. How have you and Cristal split up the roles of parenting?
Since we don’t have family close, we have been able to figure out a routine that works for our family. During the weekdays, Cristal is the one who enjoys taking care of breakfast and packing lunch for Abella. We always drop off and pick up Abella together. After Montessori school, I like to take Abella to the park where she gets to play some more, while Cristal makes dinner. Abella loves baths with Cristal—we usually start bath time around 6:30 P.M. and she loves doing story time in bed with both Cristal and me. On a good night, Abella is asleep by 8:00 P.M. After Abella goes to sleep, Cristal and I go over our schedule for the next day. We try our best not to work on Sundays, and we have been trying a “No Phone Sunday,” just to be more present as a family.
Speaking of work, congratulations on recently signing with Golden Boy Promotions! How do you balance the CHAMILY with your boxing career?
Thank you! After Abella was born, the CHAMILY became my life—boxing is only a small part of my life. With all the recent boxing going on in the YouTube community, I always stay ready training, ready to fight. Austin McBroom, where are you at?
You are a relative latecomer to boxing—which makes your career even more impressive! What got you into boxing in the first place?
I got into boxing because I was getting bullied in school and I wanted to be able to defend myself. I fell in love with the sport and I can honestly say that I can never see myself not boxing. I don’t believe that it’s ever too late for anything. Through hard work and consistency, anything is possible.
As an undefeated boxer, you’re no stranger to victory. But parenthood is full of little setbacks and frustrations, many of which you've shared on your vlog. What has boxing taught you about life and fatherhood?
Boxing has taught me so many life lessons. Through boxing, I have learned that hard work beats talent, so anything is possible when you put in the work. Parenthood is very much like boxing—some days are very good and others are just an opportunity for growth. Being a dad is hard work, but very worth the reward in the end. It feels good to know I have a good team in my family corner. Abella is a great teacher and she makes me a better person.
What are lessons from boxing that you hope to impart onto your children?
Dedication and hard work. So far, Abella enjoys watching me hit the heavy bag. She has her own little boxing gloves she uses to punch the bag. I guess we will have to see!
How are you spending this holiday season with your family?
This year will be different—it will just be the four of us together, as opposed to being with the rest of our families. I am grateful for my family, the growth of our business in the social media industry, and most importantly, our health.
You really get to document all the beautiful moments in your family. Looking back on 2020, which vlog has been your favorite one?
My favorite vlog from 2020 is finding out that we are expecting our second baby on my birthday! I love being able to relive moments like this. That is what makes our job just that much more wonderful and worth all the hard work. (8:20 to 11:00 is the best part of the vlog.)
When looking back at 2020, what were some of the most memorable moments?
Buying our first home was one of the most memorable moments of 2020. Having my family drive across the country in the middle of the pandemic just to be here for my birthday is definitely on the top of my list. I think we can all agree that having to adjust to this way of life has been one of the most challenging parts of 2020. I look forward to what's in store for me and my family during 2021.