PCA PRESS RELEASE
Worcestershire keeper on his foray into the world of fashion.
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Monday 4 November marks the beginning of the PCA’s Futures Week, formerly known as Transition Week. Over the next seven days, the Association will be raising awareness of how professional cricketers can build for the future and make a success of transitioning into their second careers.
At the relatively young age of 27, Worcestershire’s Ben Cox may yet have many years left in the professional game. Nevertheless, he has taken steps towards building a second career by launching his own sports clothing brand, Hexxee, in September 2019.
The company, in Cox’s own words, aims to “bring the best garments to active living by revolutionising the way (customers) look and move.” The company started out by producing socks, but has since branched out to offer t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and more.
“Last summer I saw everyone wearing these Trusox,” Cox says, “but I just thought they were so expensive.
“My aim was to make a product that is both better and more readily available to the general public and really it’s just grown from there.”
The most striking aspect of Hexxee socks is their funky aesthetic: ‘Pineapple’, ‘Iced Doughnut’ and ‘Candy Floss’ are just three of the designs that are currently available for purchase from the official website.
“I do a lot of CrossFit so that’s my main market. I want to produce functional socks with funky designs. I’m very keen on bright colours and focussing on certain themes.”
In creating Hexxee, Cox has clearly been influenced by his sporting background, but he has also looked up to his father for inspiration in the longer term.
“My dad inspired me to do this. He’s a retired businessman and I want to emulate the success that he had. No matter what I do in life, I just want to be successful, whether it be professional cricket now or with whatever I’m doing when I leave the game.
“I’m really hoping to have multiple income streams by that time. This really feels like I’m adding the first string to my bow.”
In business with his best friend from school, Jon Hollway, the duo have experienced some challenges in setting up Hexxee. In particular, dealing with suppliers around the world has taken some getting used to.
“My business partner owned a sock company already so I’m dovetailing this business alongside his. The set-up costs were extremely low because we already had the printing press and the machinery to print on socks.
“It can be very hard at times. But it’s better to be friends because you can have the blunt conversations without hurting each other’s feelings.
“We’ve had our fair share of errors, particularly dealing with suppliers. The biggest difficulty we’ve experienced so far has been getting the grip on the bottom of the socks right.”
After almost 14 months of tweaking, Cox finally found a product he was happy to release to the general public, and he hopes to create a business that will last long into the future.
“One of the biggest rules in business is to not sell something that you wouldn’t buy yourself. I want to make a product that’s worthwhile and, hopefully, if someone tries it then they’ll keep on buying. I don’t just want to be a one-hit wonder.”
If you’re a PCA member and are looking to build a second career, find out more about our Personal Development and Welfare Programme or contact your designated Personal Development Manager (PDM).
Keep up-to-date with the week’s activities by following the #PCAFuturesWeek hashtag on all of the PCA’s social media accounts.