April Spring On Making Boxers Mainstream

April Spring On Making Boxers

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April Spring had a light bulb moment after noticing many women’s thongs peeking above their jeans. Spring, who has a background in finance, thought “if we only had the boxer band like men’s boxers.” Within 24 hours purchased men’s boxers, cut the top bands off and stitched them onto women’s underwear. Today, she has two US patents for the idea.

“My thought was that men have always had the protection of the wider, comfortable cotton-gathered boxer band that gives coverage, and it’s made of outerwear fabric.

-April Spring

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www.foxers.com

Foxers have become a staple in people’s wardrobes thanks to their comfort and function factors.

Foxers took off on its own, thanks to the quality of the product and the power of publicity. Wherever Spring went, she found an opportunity to advance. When her friend, a designer for department stores, came to visit her in while she was traveling in Malaysia, she took him to tour the clothing factories. At the same time, she made connections for herself and ended up using them for Foxers. When she was visiting her friends in Chicago, she found a representative at who ended up placing Foxers in 74 stores within 90 days. While at the U.S. Patent and Trademark  office, a patent attorney was passing by and casually mentioned that her designs could be patented. She got her design patented in a year.

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www.foxers.com

When it comes to the product, itself, Foxers have become a staple in people’s wardrobes thanks to their comfort and function factors. Foxers started with 3 panties and now the brand has over 900 SKUS and 21 styles, with new looks coming out every month. Such new looks have inspirations that come to Spring in dreams, or when she’s driving on the highway. All looks are of the same luxurious quality.

As for the success that doesn’t just fall into place, Spring’s business acumen more than makes up for that. “As an entrepreneur, you’re always thinking about ‘what’s ahead of this, so that I can be there and be ready?’” But she sees herself as more than just an entrepreneur; she also sees herself as a designer, which comes with extra responsibilities. For example, Spring believes that “[research and development] has to be the designer’s thing for her whole life.” Because of this, she knows that her time is both valuable and limited. In Spring’s case, for example, while she does pay for advertising, she relies more on publicity. “It’s funny – when you have paid advertising, you usually don’t get much from it,” she said. “It’s the free publicity [that works].” However, publicity does come with its unforeseen consequences. “As soon as you get all this publicity, you just start getting tons of people wanting to take your time, and you lose track – really – of what you’re supposed to be doing.”

That being said, Spring knows how to spend her time – and finances – strategically. When she had first launched, she had tackled the smaller markets in the southern and midwestern regions, but the west coast and the northeastern region were entirely different markets. In order to get her product into those mainstream channels, she knew she had to take some publicity risks and hire PR; “I knew that celebrities sold apparel.” Gifting, her not-so-secret weapon, was the catalyst that really got her noticed. She “did gift bags for the artists who didn’t win at [that] year’s Grammys.”  At the Jingle Ball (remember, this is back when it was a thing), she was such a hit that PR firms starting contacting her instead of the other way around. She was on the The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch eight times, with one of those times being on the same day she was on the Valentine’s Day episode of the TODAY show.

Spring was constantly thinking about how to grow her business in the best way in that moment in time, and she acted accordingly. She still does – now she’s on the social media train, which is working out really, really well for her. But you’ll need to listen to know how well.

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www.foxers.com

What impressed me the most about Spring, aside from her plan to have people learn to sew in Foxers’ factory in Atlanta, was her influence over me. Without once mentioning that she wanted to be featured on SWAAY or the EEV podcast, she had me practically begging to feature her. Not only that, but Spring could have name-dropped Beyoncé or any of her other celebrity customers in her email to me.* She didn’t. The only name she dropped was mine. It. Worked. Like. A. Charm. Kids, they don’t make them like these anymore.

Shannon Matloob

Shannon is a contributor at SWAAY. She has a degree in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University with a passion identifying and researching other women on the path to greatness.

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