After over a decade of selling garments to boutiques, warehouses and customers around the world, fashion designer April Spring and husband Alex Emmermann celebrated bringing her FOXERS clothing brand to a physical location in Dawson County.
The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on Dec. 8 to recognize the brand’s debut brick-and mortar store, located at 124 Storage Way Ste. 100.
The boutique, which opened in July, hosted its grand opening last Saturday, Dec. 4. Its shelves and racks offer an array of women’s and men’s loungewear and intimate wear, as well as other clothing and accessory items.
Spring described much of her and Emmermann’s business as wholesale, generating business through their website.
She said they’ve worked to curate clothing with a lodge or mountain cabin-type feel, like the cotton sweaters and large jackets that donned the mannequins.
She’s also added items like lightweight blouses and fun patterned belt buckles to cultivate a sense of luxury loungewear.
“They’re designed right here in this [warehouse] room,” Emmermann said about his wife’s pieces. “Everything’s done here, so you have a local fashion label here in town.”
He and Spring have run several successful businesses together throughout the past two decades. Spring founded FOXERS in 2007 and patented her initial products, which were women’s underwear that utilized the functionality of a male-style boxer band.
Emmermann helps run the digital elements of the business, like its website and e-commerce operations, while also working a full-time tech job.
Upon its premiere, FOXERS was almost immediately launched into what Spring called the “big-brand marker” as one of the top brands during 2008.
With the oncoming recession, both she and her husband had to start over, as she put it, by moving to Atlanta and beginning to revamp the brand.
In the following years, they focused on attending trade shows and highlighting the company’s fashions at events back home in Virginia.
Their business got a boost from celebrities repping their boxers on social media, and their sales gradually began to shift to more online traffic.
The company operates in North and South America and multiple countries in western Europe.
“I never ended, and I never did, even during COVID-19,” Spring said about encountering business challenges. “I just go, ‘Keep moving really slow, and you’re going to go back up.’”
They bought a home in Dawson County about five years ago and moved to the area full time this past March when they opened the warehouse portion of FOXERS.
Spring explained that they purchased the building for its back space but appreciated the storefront with a relatively finished space.
“We always wanted one anchor store to test the market, meet customers and hear feedback,” she said.
Now, FOXERS not only markets to people around the world, but some of those same customers or their spouses have come to visit the store’s physical location.
“I’ve had a whole family from Chile come here just to see FOXERS,” April said.
She added that in the future, the company plans to expand to full loungewear for men and women and grow their distribution network.
“We are very adamant that we are going to be the best community you’ve ever been a part of. You’ve already seen some of that,” said Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Mandy Powers.
As FOXERS has grown, Spring has treasured the support from close friends and associates, the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center and various other locals.
“Everything’s been right,” she said optimistically. “The community has been 100 percent behind us. I’ve never had this kind of support in a community in the past 13 years.”