Fox My Box: Customising Lifestyle Like Never Before
Think customisation and the first few things that come to your mind are clothes, sneakers and accessories. With the increasing influence of the "custom" culture from the West, our personal style and outlook has started reflecting a more personal rather than pre-curated and commercial aesthetic, produced by fast-fashion labels. With wardrobes, décor and every other aspect of life being ruled by the desire of being exclusive, why leave out one of the many dire necessities - consumer electronics and lifestyle products - from the personalisation game?
Incepted in 2014 by founder Ankush Khera, Fox My Box is the first and only company in India that customises consumer electronics and transforms mundane items of utility into stylised personal belongings. What came to life in 2014 has been in intense incubation since 2007, when Ankush came across the company Colorware in the United States.
Colorware was the first venture he came across that custom painted devices like gaming consoles, phones and laptops. Having instantly fallen in love with the concept, Ankush decided to bring this niche to the Indian market, and started working towards actualising his newfound dream project.
The idea of custom painted gadgets might sound like an easy feat, considering it's just paint on a shiny surface, but it is another ballgame in itself. Talking to us about the initial days of planning and understanding the craft, business and everything in between, Ankush walked us through the 7 year long journey that led him to founding Fox My Box.
Reflecting his curious, creative and educative self through his brand language, Fox My Box derives inspiration for its name from one of Ankush’s favourite shows, Pimp My Ride - an American series where a custom shop transforms old, used cars into masterpieces. While discussing the various aspects and ideas for the company, Ankush's cousin suggested the name Fox My Box, and thus struck the eureka moment!
When looking at the brief history of 'painting', its initial use was to protect the surface from environmental degradation be it planes, metal objects, plastics, etc. With increasing commercialization, the process soon got associated with a visual appeal in order to initiate sales and profits, thus serving two purposes at the same time. The industry is equipped with various methodologies that work well with the nature of different surfaces, be it liquid painting, powder coating, anodizing, plasma vapor deposition and many more. Ankush spent those preparatory 7 years understanding the multifaceted painting industry and its multiple technicalities, thus formulating various ways of their commercial application in his desired product line.
With time, there have been various technological advancements in the surface ornamentation line, as well. From various paint jobs to 2D and 3D printing, the quest to make objects look fancier has had new facets added to it. The inquisitive nature of Ankush pushed him towards understanding the process of printing, metallurgy and the chemical studies of metal alloys, thus adding more depth to his knowledge and skill set at the same time.
After studying a course on Advertising and Public Relations from Institute of Mass Communication in Delhi, Ankush charted out a plan of action and founded Fox My Box as a proprietary, which soon converted into a private limited firm, in 2014. He recalls that the response in the initial days was rather lukewarm, given that not a lot of people were educated about the concept, nor did the masses feel the need for it.
In order to turn up the heat and make more of what they had to offer, the company tapped the markets that weren’t very exposed to the public, and gave them a personal spin; the markets being that of refurbishing and second hand goods. Stressing on the bleak condition of electronics that are up for resale, the founder believed that harnessing the real reparability quotient of these items with a creative approach could start generating action, along with the educative ability that comes with the exhaustive process of advertising, and so it did.
None of the products that left the FMB headquarters were ever in stock colours. Customers had the choice to choose from 81 distinct colours for their gadgets, while also having the chance to make various permutation-combinations of two or more colours.
Talking to us about his vision when it comes to Fox My Box, Ankush says that he aims at making consumer electronics as good as pieces that are kept in art museums as subjects for visual wonderment.
While talking about the creative process the brand follows in ideating and creating each and every custom piece, be it headphones, laptops, tablets, phones, kitchen appliances or anything else one can think of, Ankush places special importance on the concept of self-reflection and channelizing it through a creative outlook.
Reflecting on the initial days, Ankush mentions that clients then had an extremely basic or zero understanding of what they wanted. With time, the company started educating the clients about the unending scope of creativity that can be unleashed through a customized treatment, through their website and the social media channels.
Filling us in with his views about the prevalent customisation culture in India, Ankush mentions that the process has been nothing but an illusion of choice in the initial times, and not the purest form of customization. The customer needs to realize that he/she has the power to create when he chooses to customize.
While all his projects hold a special place in his heart, the most exciting gig yet according to the mastermind has been an exclusive gaming cabinet, designed for a Kolkata based boutique PC studio called X Rig. The latest instalment of the superhero franchise Avengers had released around the same time, and Ankush decided to go the Tesseract way for this particular project. He brought to life a mind boggling unit that was initially black, but as the PC in it started, released heat and turned transparent, exposing turquoise blue accents of glow in the dark designs underneath!
Explaining his vision when it comes to collaborations, Ankush tells us that he is majorly community driven. The abundance of creative talent in all possible forms is something he adores and would like to provide an extremely unique canvas for the same someday. The size of the art community is exponentially small, as compared to the consumer electronic community, and the company aims at bringing them together in the near future.
It is this community driven approach that also shapes up the founder’s perception of the prevalent culture.
Taking customization beyond the generic product lines, Fox My Box has been adding fun and flavor and personality to the mundane of appliances and gadgets, giving modern homes a new whiff of life. While this process amps up homes and lives, it also unleashes a newer form of creativity that is multifold, and the company seems to be taking it to newer levels of success with each exciting release. Head over to the brand’s Instagram and take a look at their work!