Paul gives us his solution to solving a very uncomfortable problem for men and women.
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Rod: Welcome everyone. Rod from sports adventure here. Today I continue our fantastic interview series, where I interview inspirational people from around the world to share their expert insights on men’s health, fitness, and mountain biking. My guest today is best described as an inventor and has launched a new product to solve a very uncomfortable problem that effects many men and women today. I would like to welcome Paul Marshall.
Well there Paul, how are you mate?
Rod: Terrific. Terrific. Mate, thanks very much for your time today it is great to have a chat. I know we have been talking about a few things and particularly your product before the interview, so going to get rolling and so you can share what you have come up with.
Paul: Great. Let’s do it.
Rod: Terrific. Mate, can you give us a bit of background about yourself?
Paul: So I will start from now and go backwards. Currently, I am a computer programmer by day. I have got a small electric bike business that I run on the side on top the underwear. I do handy man work. I do demolishing work in the mornings. Yeah, so my role at the laboratory where I work is basically problem solving which is pretty much what I have been doing forever. I have finished a science degree chemistry biology environmental science, diploma in microbiology, and I think I would have had 25-30 jobs my whole life.
Rod: Fantastic mate. You are busy man and I know we have been tick talking few times a day of this interview you have got a number of things on the go so yeah you are flat out.
Paul: Yeah. Yes, certainly yeah.
Rod: Good one. Good one. Mate, a few years ago you were facing a few comfort problems, if I can say that yourself. Can you tell us a little bit more about some of the things that you had going on and obviously and how that lead into what your invention is that we will talk more about today?
Paul: Yeah so I have been a very active person in my whole life. I have been a tradesman since I was 18 in an out of concreting and carpentry. And on top of that I play soccer. I used to play soccer 4 nights a week sometimes 4 hours a night but indoor, and the chafing was absolutely unacceptable.
Being a concreter and the chafing would sometimes start by 9:30-10:00 o’clock on a decent summer morning and it was costing me. It was costing me time, it was costing me efficiency, it would slide me down and it was incredibly uncomfortable. I would have spent 10 years, I would say try to find a reasonable pair of underwear that hold my junk in the right spot that fix chaffing and nothing existed.
I then try to ask Phil to make me a pair. I had no idea about what I sort of wanted, but couldn’t do it on your nothing about fabric or manufacturing nothing at all. But one day I was on a construction side a mirror open me up and severed two tendons on my right arm and it was a greatest gift that I ever got given because for the first time in my whole life so I was forced to stayed at home. So after the first two days of watching family guy, I thought what am I going to do for the next 6 weeks so I thoughts “I am going to try and make this pair of underwear.” You know I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So to start with I needed a model. Now, I wasn’t going to be asking any kind of model for me. So I went to Google, typed in male model and the first one that appeared in front me was actually Michelangelo’s David. And I just thought perfect. What better representation of the male anatomy and the philology than David. So I print him up and I drew on him I want this and want that, and then from there I went down my room just got pieces of paper and started sticking it on me and I thought okay I will cut this and cut that. And I cannot tell you how many versions I went through which will put together with the sewing machine I got from hard garbage that I got working that I learned how to use on YouTube. Yeah so hell it would have been months of R&D and back and forth. And yeah, then eventually I sort of got to a point where I thought “You know this is kind of working”. And the promise I made myself, when I first started it, was if I can build something to just fixes the problem for me, I will be happy and anything after that was a bonus. And that’s I have kept that ethos ever since because when you start getting into or bring a product to market, it is torture. Everything about it is torture. That’s a five hour interview just in its own and most of its horrible. Yeah and I think the key to doing it is probably what your intention is and what sort of personality you have got. But yeah anyway that’s so I chaffed.
Rod: Very very badly but you have done the hard yards you have invented something that… and you have kindly sent me a couple of samples of your product which I am wearing as we speak. And to be honest like all blokes we have tried a whole range of different types of underwear and without no jokes these are very very comfortable boxers, they really really are. They probably are little different shaped and a little bit different looking then what we used to seeing on all the ads and all the promos and that type of thing. But I have got to agree with you they do work. They fit in all the right places and mate they don’t roll it up on your legs, they don’t do things they are not suppose to do they just stay put. And I have been very impressed mate, so take my hat off to you. Well done.
Paul: Thank you. I appreciate that. You nailed a major component there. Being the person I am and being a scientist I can only approach things in a scientific fellow, manner or fashion so aesthetics was never a feature that was going to be considered in solving problem. It was a last thing on the list and some of the versions that came out during the development process were not pretty. So what you are starring out is I would day 10 percent of the R&D consist of making it as pretty as I could, but that’s it. Yeah, I was not going to sacrifice functionality for aesthetics.
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Rod: Yeah, fantastic mate. So how was the production and the product evolve from where you were at? Obviously, you are doing a little cut and paste with first paper and then fabric in your own house and things have grown a little bit from there. You have spoken to me about previously.
Paul: Yeah, so initially I started with fabric from Spotlight. I started with a 100% cotton jersey weave, it is what it is called. And it was okay but it turns much like most underwear manufactured in today’s age being major of cotton or it is called cotton elastane, they don’t last. I have got a fantastic video on my website where it shows the differences between the fabric that I use – which is bamboo – and cotton. And long story short, cotton fiber separate under friction whereas bamboo being a continuous fiber through the duration of length of the fiber is a lot harder to break. That to give some kind of idea of time frame and value there, I am on 6 years no holes in my underwear now. 6 years no holes. Not even I ever imagined that and I have got clients who have got the full collection. They have got the full 14 days worth of underwear to accommodate any situation in their life. And I won’t see them again until I get fat you know or lose weight, one or the two. That’s bad for business but it makes me feel fantastic, because there is nothing greater than not only just providing an awesome product but providing one that’s actually value for money.
You know in that time one of the guys I haven’t seen him 4 or 5 years now… yeah how many pairs of underwear would have he bought in that time? So answering your question. Yeah starting with cotton, and then I got put on to someone who say bamboo and I was like “How in the hell can you wear bamboo?” The my first vision was “Wouldn’t it be really sticky and spiny and you have a little bit shads of bamboo in your leg?” I had no understanding of it and it is one of the problems I have got as well is it unless you have experienced bamboo people’s initial interpretation of it if they haven’t had it before is I am not wearing a bloody tree like that. So yes but I gave it a shot. I just thought why not give a try. And oh my God I never look back.
So as far as the manufacturing goes, oh my God there are so many facets to this story but I have had people asked me to make them overseas and I said no. I said prefer to make them here. There is a plethora of reasons for that. First of all, I love looking after fellow Australians and I love keeping money in Australia. The fabric currently comes from China and it killed me to send such a large portion of this product money will go overseas never to come back again expect maybe the case of real estate. But that’s it. So I love make it here.
Now there is another huge benefit to that when you get stuff made overseas if it arrives poor quality or which is… because it’s been made my humans it doesn’t matter which country it is in, they are going to screw up at least 10% at the least of them. Now when you have got a 10% of a product made obviously what are you going to do? You can’t go to the process of posting it, repairing it etc, you may just throw them away. Whereas in my case it is just awesome. I take that 10% straight back. 20 minutes from where we are currently are right now, as I could you please repair these and it is just fantastic. I have Australian conversations like I am having now as oppose to the non-Australian attempts that I have like in China’s case. And yeah because I am also currently the product mass that I am dealing with is not large enough… let me say large enough client they don’t pay enough attention to someone like me. So yeah which brings me to my next venture as far as that goes and that is I am working on a video at the moment to do crowdfunding to actually have the fabric made here. I have got manufactures who are agreed to do it. He was previously manufacturing for Ford and Holden and I just cannot wait to release that. That would be a product where the fabric and the garment is made here in Melbourne. That’s it. I love it.
Rod: Fantastic. Mate, that’s really exciting. It really is and there is a I know we have spoken before there is a long long journey you have been through to get to this point to producing a really high quality product as you said Australia made and heading down the path of Australia made fabric as well. And mate what an effort. What a great effort.
Paul: Thank you. There is a lots of other stories or a lot of other plans are coming up. I didn’t want to say them for this round because they are no way near close enough and I have already suffered a lot of my ideas having been taken a few times but yeah when they come up Rod you are going to have another conversation.
Rod: Terrific. Mate, we will save those for another day there is no worries at all. That’s good.
Rod: Mate, the underwear market as we know there are been major major players nationally and internationally, the benefits of your products over your competitors and your product name, I will put it out there is Boxon. And can you talk a bit about the specifics of your product compare to the other that we are used to if you like?
Paul: Yeah, so you have already harnessed on or you have harnessed on all of the feature so far. First of all, the fabric is fantastic. But more than that it is the design. No one has the design. Actually, I am working another project at the moment that shown that the underwear design hasn’t change and in some case since the early 1600’s. There is a pictures of painting and sculptures of guys wearing little sacs that are not different of what we are wearing now. You know and that’s all these manufactures do. If you actually were to able to step back and eliminate the color associated with these garments, the Calvin Klein design is identical to the target design. No different. The only difference is elastic band and that’s it and other than that is okay.
Rod: And the price tag.
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Paul. And the price. So I stay with that price tag is purely the name nothing more and I know that because I have tried everything. And I think the most evil underwear I ever had was silk. Did you ever wear those silk underwear?
Rod: Mate, I have attempted to wear those boxers and they are horrendous, mate. They are not for me.
Paul: If someone say to me which would you prefer solitary confinement in a dark room or satin underwear, I will take the solitary solitary confinement.
Rod: Yes. Fair comment.
Paul: If it would have asked me 20 years ago try them and I still remember him very very well. Anyway, so difference is yeah the cut, the quality, more than anything the cut and yeah these guys can’t make in Australia. They can’t. You couldn’t like for example or Bond’s or what any of those people they really could make Australia now because they are too big, they couldn’t supply. Much like me and this is the other thing that makes me unique, I couldn’t supply Kmart or Target the only way I could is if when it is nationally because the hassles and the time frame associated with doing that sort of production.
The other huge benefit of me is it just me. I have no over heads, it i just me and website. So there is no stores, no employee, no shop fronts, no bricks and mortar. If there was, then this would be a $175 pair of underwear.
Rod: Yeah you are sure.
Paul: I think that’s basic. Now that’s basically to answer to the question and on top of that most of them don’t have long legs. The only ones that came out during my R&D stage where I was giving an ad to all different size groups and people and different walks of life to get all the feedback which took 5 years I would say. Yeah the “Tradie” appeared on the market. Now their garment once again if you have a look at it, it just a basically a pair of boxers with a slightly longer leg. They have took exact the same design.
Rod: No, you are spot on. That’s exactly right, mate. I think you have covered it all there. mate, can you give us some real life feedback from people that have used Boxon products in the the past and ow it improved their lives? You have mentioned a great complaint that the product doesn’t ware out, it doesn’t get holes for 5 or 6 years. What a fantastic complaint to have. But yeah some examples from people that are using your gear?
Paul: Yeah, so what have my biggest challenges and it is a really big challenge is getting someone to change their underwear. It is an enormous feat because people have their methodologies, their routines, you know I get those, or in the case of most married relationships underwear just appears in the cupboard.
Rod: True. Exactly right.
Paul: So they are some my challenges. The best feedback I had not a long ago was I was at a construction site, there was 5 of us on there and the every single people was wearing my underwear. There was a sprinkle fitter, the boss of the company, me, and the two other employees wearing my underwear. Why? Because of the comfort, because of where we were working that day, it was hot because I don’t chaf.
I have got some awesome feedback both on the website but also on Facebook. Some of the Facebook feedback I get is just fantastic. One of which was actually Ian Curley, he is the chef who used to have Conviction Kitchen I don’t know if you remember that? So friend of my managed to put me on to him and he thank gosh said, “Yeah I give it a crack.” And yeah he was hooked, came back brought a set, and then very kindly gave me a video because he believed in the product that much.
Rod: Awesome. Well done. It can’t beat that, mate. That’s a great feedback. Terrific.
Paul: Actually, as of today not today actually about an hour ago Warwick Capper has actually just a video on Twitter which I will be feeding tomorrow on Facebook.
Rod: Awesome. Awesome. Well done. Good on. And he is a real guy. Good on you mate. Terrific. Terrific.
Mate, if you had a secret to give about Boxon, obviously we have gone through a whole swag of the features and benefits, something underline there that not many people would know about, you can share with out listeners.
Paul: I will probably say it was having the problem and doing whatever it took to fix it. So as I sort of stated that ever since the design hasn’t change. They are playing with patterns on fabrics. Mine was built by the person who had the problem, yeah? And I guess that’s probably the biggest secret and that’s the thing which other people won’t be out to do, you know? And if you knew what was involved in getting that design to that point, it was a lot. At the end of the day, it was just a couple of material when you look at it from an observational point of view. But yeah so that was it. I would say that’s a secret. It is that I am solving a problem and I solved it.
Rod: Terrific. Mate that’s fantastic. You have touched on a couple of things there that you have got a few other things in mind for Boxon in a future, few things you want to keep in your hat for the moment, anything else you can share with us just a bit of a hint for us to look at for in future?
Paul: Definitely the crowdfunding. Absolutely. I really wanted to have that done by now because I want to have to available for Christmas. Here is a cool thing that not many people actually know. The Meyer catalog is usually worked out 12 months in advance. Now the reason for that is because a bunch of people sitting in a room much like I am sitting in now, they discuss where it is they would like to be in next year in Christmas, they workout the design and the patterns having gone to the fashion show what’s call fashion week etc. and seal that, pick their favorites, it then takes at least 6 months for the manufacturing to supply all the stores just around Australia let’s take in Meyers case. Usually a fancy catalog coming out, you are thinking “Oh yeah this is last month,” no it is not.
So with respect to a little bit of background of that yeah for me to do a run the moment I decide right I am going to do run, it is approximately 3 months. So yeah I have got to negotiate with China currently to add the fabric which is at least 8 weeks, manufacturing itself for my size runs takes at least 3 to 4 weeks, then you got elastic, labels and then the biggest thing which no one actually really understands in quality control. So each one of those pairs of underwear is inspected, each seam is inspected because it costs a hell of a lot less to get it right from the start then send back to somewhere to Northern Territory already like some did the other day but that obviously didn’t come back. But yeah, to go all the way there and then come back you know becomes completely cost negative. So yeah so quality control.
So getting back to your question. Looking forward to crowdfunding hopefully. And then I must say look like I have got 5 or 6 other major designs that I have got rumbling around to my skull all of which I can’t wait to start none of which I am starting until this Boxon underwear is self perpetuating basically because there is no point. I can’t start on them until this system is streamlined. I would love to sit here and tell you about those, but there is no chance of hell I could afford to because if I just use some simple words explaining where I am going to go with those then it is enough for anyone to take and run with which by the way is a whole other subject matter. Yeah the inventing side of things that’s… yeah. It is almost another video on its own.
Rod: Fantastic. Mate, we will keep those under your hat and we save those for another chat down the line when they evolved a bit.
Paul: Sounds great.
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Rod: Terrific. Mate, where can people find more information about Boxon and get in touch with yourself. You mentioned you got a website. I have been on there, that’s quite informative and a great little website there.
Paul: Yeah, so it is www.boxon.com.au. I have also got Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and that will be the best place. The $35 a pair for a single pair, if you buy 5 that drop down to I think it is around $28, I think it is less $26. I forget. It is on the website. That’s why the website for. And then 3 pairs are $30. And I have got men’s and women’s as well. The women range is quite beautiful. The clients who have taken the risk and worn them have become addicts. They fall in love with it.
There was one another thing on the website just reminding me of and that’s a Brett Hillier. He was a runner who ran from Melbourne to the border of Western Australia and he wouldn’t have done it without my underwear. There is no way. If you have followed my links, you will follow back to him. So I think it was about 3000 kilometee or above some ridiculous number of thousands kilometers. Every single day he did a marathon and there is no he would have done without the underwear. So that was a true accolade, I really love that. And those same underwear still don’t have holes.
Rod: Mate, that’s unbelievable. That is a great story. And obviously running a lot of sports, you are getting a lot of rubbing with your fabric obviously your body and that sort of distance, that’s mind blowing to start with but to think that he has done it in the Boxon underwear, he has had a great result, no problems, no chaffing, come out the other end and he is seeing your praises that’s fantastic. Well done.
Paul: Yeah, and I am really proud of that one. That was a great accolade. Thank you Rod.
Rod: Terrific. Good on you mate. We might wrap it up there. Mate, it’s been absolutely pleasure talking to you this afternoon and thank you for time to walk us through your underwear range. You mentioned a couple of points there, your website, Facebook, and Twitter, and crowdfunding pages, I will through some links in the blog and so people can follow up on those if they wish to. And mate I think we will pencil something in down the line and we will have another chat with other bits of pieces if growing in your mind. Yeah, I am quite intrigued.
Paul: Guess what? You are going to be the first person. The moment when it is ready, you are in.
Rod: Fantastic. Good stuff. Look forward to it.
Paul: It’s been an absolute… thanks very much for this.
Rod: No a problem at all, mate. You have a good night, I will talk you soon.
Paul: All right. Done.
Rod: Cheers. Thanks, Paul. All right, mate.
To hear more great interviews from experts around the world on good nutrition, exercise, and men’s health head over to www.sportsadventure.com.au or jump on to iTunes or Stitcher subscribe to the podcast and leave a review. Thanks for tuning in to the show.
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So keep in touch and see you out on the trails. Crank up your life.
About The Author
Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia… helping middle aged men improve their lives with exercise, good nutrition and good health and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.