In the grand scope of things, 4 years is nothing. 4 years is about 6% of the average human lifespan. Most college students have a hard time graduating in 4 years. Most would be hard pressed to pay their car off in 4 years. So why is 4 so important to us? Well, today we turn 4.
This is significant for a few reasons. First, we live in an environment where only about 55% of small business make it to their 4th birthday. Second, we've never had any competitive advantage, no proprietary technology, no big name endorsers. Just a lot of hard, hard work. What's pretty funny is that, 4 years ago, if we were smart we probably wouldn't even have started Boxstar. If we would have looked at the competition, the big names we'd have to compete against, it would have been a no brainer. David and Goliath stories are cool but realistically Goliath is going to win the vast majority of the time.
We were pretty naive though. We didn't look at what was happening in the industry and we didn't care about the competition. We just wanted to make really cool workout clothes that meant something to us. And so, on August 9th of 2013, Boxstar Apparel was born.
Stage 1 - The Launch
We launched our very first tee - our logo tee, shortly thereafter, plus a handful of other designs. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Apparently what was cool to us wasn't necessarily that cool to everyone else. We expected people to flock to our site to scoop up these awesome tees, but it never happened. That first year was pretty rough.
But thanks to the support from our friends and family, we endured. Slightly discouraged, but still very hungry, we knew we had to make our presence known.
Stage 2 - The Hustle
In 2014, we started hitting the pavement. The early booth was pretty rudimentary, but it got the job done. We had a fold up table and a few clothes racks and started hustling. After the first few competitions we sold at, we were able to upgrade. We added shorts to our lineup, as well as more tees and tanks, and then we were able to add a tent. We were becoming more and more legitimate.
By 2015 we were feeling pretty excited about the future. We got an upgrade in the tech department, launching a beautiful new website, plus we were on the road nearly three weekends per month. The combination of our new online presence plus the weekend grind started to generate some buzz. People were noticing.
Stage 3 - Welcome to the Big Show
As 2016 rolled around, we had a ton of momentum. We were well known in the Midwest, specifically Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. But we knew it was time for more. It was time to bring our brand to a bigger stage. Our first significant event was the 2016 Central Regional in Columbus Ohio. To say we were nervous was an understatement. We had no idea what to expect. We were relatively unknown in Ohio so how would these new faces take us? Turns out they couldn't get enough.
The success we saw at Regionals indicated that we were ready for bigger and better things. Up next: Granite Games. We were still the new kids on the block, but we weren't quite as nervous this go around. After another successful event, we were ready for even bigger. And then 2 months later, out of nowhere, Dave Castro announced that the CrossFit Games were moving to Madison, Wisconsin, right in our back yard. Whatever it took, we'd be there.
Stage 4 - Did that Really Happen?
It was now 2017, and we were extremely excited about the upcoming year. Our core of athletes, specifically Dylan Martin, Streat Hoerner, Jessica Schwarts and Andrew Hiller, had all qualified for regionals the year before, and had only gotten better. When they all qualified again we knew it was going to be a great year.
We packed our truck and headed to Nashville with the team for the 2017 Central Regional. Facing substantial competition - double from the year prior - we were pleased with the results. Plus, we were in Nashville, so the whole weekend was a party. But that's not all. Our very own Streat Hoerner managed a second place finish, clinching his spot and being our very first CrossFit Games athlete. True to our past, we never had the luxury of working with a CrossFit Games athlete. Our first one, like us, started at the bottom and earned his way to the top.
Stage 5 - The Future
And so here we are, reminiscing over the past 4 years and how far we've come. But, in true Greater Than Yesterday spirit, we won't be looking back for long. We're too excited with the future and all the big things we have in store for you guys.
Thanks for taking a look back with us. The next stop for us - St. Cloud MN for the 2017 Granite Games. If you are going to be attending, keep your eyes out for us. You won't have to look hard though, you'll be able to spot us pretty easily ;)