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It started as a necessary means of self-defense. Now it’s become the force behind an established 7-figure e-commerce business. Ben Amanna, the founder of BOXRAW, always had a passion for all things boxing; but he never anticipated it becoming his end business.

It wasn’t until he saw a gap in the market for athletic clothing for boxing. Fortunately, his expertise in the area allowed him to explore the business of e-commerce, and build his own brand dedicated to designing apparel, equipment, and accessories for men and women of all lifestyles.

But Ben’s journey to success didn’t come without its obstacles. Before starting the company, Ben received negative feedback, including from his own co-founders at the time. Plus, he had to overcome a previously failed partnership, handle supplier trials, and balance his day job, all while going up against some of the most competitive sports apparel giants.

But Ben didn’t let any of these challenges bring him down; in fact, he used them as a positive to prove him forward to refine the company, and learn from his mistakes — here’s how he did it:

Business and Boxing: Merging Two Passions to Achieve One Goal

At a young age, Ben faced endless bullying from his peers. When he began taking boxing lessons at 12, Ben was finally able to stand up to his persecutors and put an end to the taunting. But suddenly, the sport had become more than just a tool for self-defense; it was a safe haven. 

In Ben’s eyes, people came and went, but boxing always had his back. From that point, his passion for boxing only continued to grow. At age 15, he got a job working at the gym, which allowed him to grow closer to the sport and others who enjoyed it. Then, after graduating high school, he began a boxing club at his university and even landed first place in the boxing national championships. 

Come post-college-graduation, Ben wanted to find a way to further his interests in the field of boxing, working with several charities, promotional events, and other white collar meetings.

As he recalls the spark behind starting BOXRAW, Ben tells Shopify, I happened to be training for a fight one day, off the back of another business has failed. I remember running down the street in this Adidas tracksuit and wanting people to know that I was training for a fight. I was really proud of the fact that I was a boxer.”

He continues, “In the weeks after that, I remember starting to look around and recognizing that there wasn’t really a brand that represented boxing and how I knew it to be.” The only current athletic brands that offered boxing apparel were more geared toward the fight night” equipment. But for Ben, it was more about the journey to get to that point.”

So, Ben decided to merge his two big passions of boxing and business and created BOXRAW. 

Pushing Through the Negative Feedback

Unfortunately, not everyone was keen on Ben’s business idea. He continues to Shopify, “I started to recognize that boxing was on this upwards trajectory. The actual people in the gym, even friends, just laughed it off initially. They couldn’t see it, but in my head it was, there needs to be something that represents who we are and what we do.”

Ben didn’t let the naysayers get to him. Coming off the heels of a previously failed business idea, Ben was set on pushing through the negativity to make his new idea a success.

It was that ego of not wanting to be seen to have just failed and stopped that kept me going in this instance. Past that point, it was about the recognition and understanding of the journey of other brands. Seeing where boxing had taken them.”

Though he was virtually fighting an upstream battle, Ben continued to develop his business regardless of others’ opinions, and in some ways, actually used it as motivation to prove them wrong. Even today, he looks back and takes notice of each goal reached, each target met, and each time the brand has elevated to a new level of growth.

Distinguishing the Brand In a Competitive Market

With big-name brands like Nike, Adidas, and Lululemon to compete with, Ben knew he’d have to put in the work to make his boxing brand stand out from the crowd. But instead of being intimidated by these athletic giants, Ben used them as a guide. “They understood their audience. They served their community, and they then grew their community,” he explains.

With BOXRAW, Ben obtained an educated understanding of his audience, what their needs were, and how to provide them through his products. Then, as a member of the boxing community, Ben was able to expand his relationships, talk to people in the sport — from boxers to coaches — and understand each perspective of the boxing business.

This experience also helped Ben with the production aspect — seeing what the athletes were training in, and analyzing what products were functional versus what were impractical. From hoodies to leggings, to compression shorts, he looked into why boxers were training in certain items of clothing more than others.

Through a lot of trial and error, Ben finally landed on a design for his products and launched his business in 2017. Since then, Ben credits most of the growth of the business to social media, which has enabled him to establish BOXRAW as a lifestyle brand more than just another apparel company.

Serving as a Pioneer Within the Industry

Between strategizing creative marketing tactics, hiring a well-balanced team of visionaries, and securing online influencer partnerships, BOXRAW has steadily grown its following over the past five years.

Though he’s experienced the ups and downs of starting a company, Ben’s passion for business and boxing has helped him push through the obstacles. Using each experience — whether good or bad — as a lesson has helped the company keep moving forward as a pioneer of the boxing lifestyle.

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