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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Interview with Owner of "Foxy Athletics"

Introducing Jermaine Hester of Foxy Athletics…Determined and driven to succeed! He believes every woman deserves to be a foxy lady.

My first interview with an owner of a business is with Jermaine Hester, Jr. He is founder and CEO of Foxy Athletics, a quality women's athletic apparel brand. His business was created to give all women quality and comfort at reasonable prices. Foxy Athletics supports YOU literally! Whether you are a Yogi, gym rat, or simply just running errands, you will be comfortable in Foxy gear! The brand carries leggings, tank tops, shorts, sports bras, sweat pants, accessories, and anything you could think of for being active. They are slowly releasing new products. His business launched on August 10. 2015. He believes every woman deserves to be a foxy lady. Read more about Foxy Athletics in my interview with Jermaine.
By the way, he loves Starbucks. He has daily ritual there: he drinks white chocolate mocha and eats BBQ chips. Everyday.

Maria-How did your business start?

Jermaine- I was in the gym one day, and I noticed a girl with her cell phone stuffed in her bra. She bent over to do an exercise, and her phone dropped out and cracked her screen. I went over to her and asked "Why don't you buy leggings with a pocket in them?" She looked at me and said "Find me a pair and I will." Two days later, I saw another girl in the gym, she was on a treadmill with headphones on and phone was sitting in a cup holder. A guy walked up behind her and tap her on the back and was kinda dodging her, so she couldn't see him. She turned around really fast, and it jerked her phone out from the cup holder onto the floor. Her screen cracked too... I went up to her and ask her the same thing. "Well if you can find me some, let me know." So I was like, I will let you know. It's a simple Google search. I finished my workout and went home and googled yoga pants with pockets. I looked up various brands. Nike only had two pairs with cell phone pockets (both over $100). Under Armour only had leggings with a key pocket which won't hold a cell phone. LuluLemon is mecca of women's athletic apparel, and they only had one pair with cell phone pocket, and they were $120. I was thinking I would never pay that much for a pair of pants. A few days later, I went to one of the girls that I had talked to and told her what I had found. She looked at me and said, "you must be out of your mind if you think I would pay that much for a pair of leggings". I'm a business man, and a light bulb went off, so I went home and did some research. I found a manufacturer. I told myself that if I was going to do this that I would offer some of the highest quality on the market, but at reasonable prices. I stayed up multiple nights in a row researching the industry and reading articles and stuff. After I got my first sample I decided to ask for a couple opinions. So I did a fabric test and asked a couple girls to close their eyes and choose which fabric they would rather be active in... 18 out of the 18 women chose our stuff not even knowing what it was. At that point I knew I was on to something!

Maria- How's the feedback so far?

Jermaine- It's amazing! I'm getting emails and Facebook messages from women saying they can't believe how we're able to sell our leggings at the prices we're selling them at. They're thinking they would have to spend $100 or more. My company sells them for much cheaper than that. And it’s not just a purchase with us... it’s an experience that our customers are in love with so far.

Maria- Why do you want to make it an experience versus just a purchase, and how do you make it an experience?

Jermaine- People appreciate it, and people appreciate you going out of your way to make it an experience. We make sure our customer service is on point. We talk to our customers like humans and not like robots! Our page looks professional, and we respond within minutes. We want everyone to know that we care and that they are not just a number.   
We're the Chick-fil-A and Starbucks of the athletic apparel world .When you walk into those businesses, you see quality everywhere. We're all about quality from the box our items are shipped in to the personalized, hand written thank you card. Each thank you note is written by me. It's all about the personal touch which goes a long way.  

Maria-What's your work ethic like?

Jermaine-  LOL... My work ethic? I will outwork anyone... point blank. My grandfather taught me that. He didn't know it... but by me trying to impress him and get him to tell me good job for once... I worked my ass off. When I worked at my grandfather's business I was the first person there most mornings (my grandfather would beat me sometimes), the last one to leave, and the only employee he had that would show up for work at 4a.m. on Saturdays and work on Sundays when needed. I was trying to prove something to him. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. What matters is how you choose to use your 24 hours. My work ethic is about action. Action is what gets stuff done, and it doesn't matter what you say. An idea is nothing without ACTION.  

Maria- How did you come with the logo of your business? 

Jermaine- The logo itself was an accident. My friend Corbin, who owns The Trophy Hut (screen printing and trophy company), helped me with my logo. We were at his business one day, and I told him my idea. I mention to him that I saw a picture of a girl on Instagram doing a one hand handstand and her legs were in the shape of a Y. For some reason, I really loved that picture. I told him that this was going to be my logo. He made a silhouette of that picture and we couldn't get that to work so we started from scratch with a regular silhouette and we tweaked it a little. I told him to type a "Y" on the program and put it next to the silhouette to see if it resembled an actual "Y". He did so... and then actually dragged the Y over the silhouette and clicked a button and it cut the girl out of the picture, and we both said at the same time, "there is the logo".

Maria- How did you come up with your business name?

Jermaine- It started off with the logo first. I had several ideas for business names, and I had written down Foxy. I checked to see if the domain name was available and it was. I liked it because it's cute and people can relate to it. It's recognizable and familiar.     

Maria- What else do you want people to know about your business?

Jermaine - I think we have pretty much covered most of everything. We are just here to provide value. Give women high quality athletic apparel at reasonable prices. 

Maria- What do people think of your leggings?

Jermaine- Everyone is in love with them. I ask our customers and they send me their feedback. The fit is everything... and everyone is loving the fit! It has been amazing to hear everyone say how in love they are with our gear. They are impressed that a startup company can do the things we are doing.

Maria- Any hobbies? Any books you can recommend?

Jermaine- I'm not a reader.... I recommend the book "Holes" haha no but really... that is the only book I read in all of my years in school. 
I guess you could say my hobby is that I'm a car enthusiast. I love to drive, and I love cars. I love to watch Formula One, MotoGP and Motocross. 

Maria- Where do you see your company going?

Jermaine- I want to see Foxy Athletics in every woman's closet on the planet. I want to change the industry standard for pricing quality apparel. 

Maria- What's your ultimate goal?

Jermaine- My ultimate goal is to give women what they want, and put a smile on their face.

About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


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