#SWAAYthenarrative

April Spring On Making Boxers Mainstream

People

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

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.

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.

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.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.