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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.