An Interview with Anna Makanda Founder of Boxx
Hi Anna, thank you so much for being involved in the Girl Gang Chat. Please introduce yourself to the Girl Gang:
Hi girls, my name is Anna Makanda and I am the Founder of Boxx and mama to Maya (4) and Leo (1).
How did Boxx first start?
I first came up with the idea for Boxx when I was on maternity leave with my first child. As a new mum I wasn’t able to get to a studio for a class so I looked to online workouts. I had always loved boxing classes but couldn’t find any online so I decided to create one.
Have you always had an interest in fitness and boxing?
No. At school I did EVERYTHING I could to get out of PE (something which I now regret). However, my mum took me to a local community kickboxing class when I was about 11 and I was hooked. During my late teens/early 20s I dipped in and out of the gym because I never enjoyed it. The only thing I really enjoyed and stuck to was a class that involved some form of boxing/kickboxing.
You have just opened your first studio, exciting! What can we expect from the classes?
Thank you! Our studio classes mirror our app in that there is boxing, strength and yoga. It is a small studio (14 ppl max) so everyone in the class is really looked after by the trainer. The classes are all lowly lit (including the yoga which is candle lit) with banging beats so once you step into the studio you can forget what is going on outside and really lose yourself. We are just about to introduce virtual lunchtime classes so our customers will be able to come to the studio and do a virtual class with our instructors with all the equipment they need. AND we have also just gone a little off piste and added Cut Loose (a dance class to the schedule) and this was just because I wanted a class where you could come get sweaty but also have a bit of giggle too!
Are the classes suitable for someone who has never boxed or worked out before?
YES! All our classes are for any level. Because the class sizes are small the trainers can really modify to suit all needs. Plus all boxing classes start with a technique based warm up.
How do you cope juggling being a mum and having your own business?
Ha! Some days I cope better than others. It is great in that it allows me to work around them, however business wise that comes with big challenges and means that I work pretty much all hours I am not with them (ie. They are at school, nursery or sleeping). So currently all work, no play and not much sleep but that is something I am putting as a priority this year to manage my time better and hopefully grow the team too.
How important has the support of other women/mums been for you?
So, I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t had the support of my mum, sister and friends (to be fair the men in my life too – dad and husband) constantly cheering me on the days when the juggling gets a bit too much. So it is so important to me. I would say inspiration from seeing (online and offline) other women, particularly mums, running their own businesses is probably one of my biggest inspirations. Running your own business is a challenging road but throw kids into the mix too and it is next level challenging. So I love to watch the journeys of other mums, the successes because I’m like ‘you go mama’ as I know what it has taken to achieve that but also hearing about the harder times as I kind of feel like ‘I hear you mama, we got this’ like a silent community cheering each other on.
What does Boxx have instore for the future?
Wow, I’m not sure where to start as I have so many places I would love to take Boxx. But for now, let’s just say we are going to focus on our mission of making people move more by creating workouts (online and offline) that are a little addictive in a space that is inclusive and accessible for all.
Finally, what is your me time moment?
A workout. Sat on the sofa with a coffee and magazine or baking at home (in an empty house) with some soulful vibes on.