BOXRAT is a mission-based apparel company that was established by Al Navata earlier this year. Al was looking for opportunities to incorporate his love of design to various aspects of his life, and it all came together when he was in the middle of putting together some fundraisers for his local box.
He was blown away by the generosity of his fellow CrossFitters, as they came together for a common cause.
At the same time, his son was on a travel soccer team that had three refugee kids that were playing on scholarships provided by a local organization.
Al was inspired that there were people who cared enough to provide some financial support for these kids that had next to nothing.
After bouncing the idea around with his wife and a few friends about selling shirts to help raise money for more kids, he was encouraged to pull the trigger and make it real, thus resulting in Boxrat Gear.
Now, a few months in, the process is pretty simple. On the first of every month, BoxRatGear.com releases a new shirt design and makes it available for fifteen days.
At midnight on the 15th of each month, sales close and the orders get printed. Once the printing is complete, the shirts ship so that they arrive before the end of the month.
After they pay their bills, BOXRAT uses a portion of the revenue to provide athletic scholarships to underprivileged youth in the Chicago area.
The shirts are tri-blend (50% polyester / 25% combed ring spun cotton / 25% rayon jersey), super comfortable and perfect for any WOD. BOXRAT also sells hats and tanks for both men and women.
Al designs all the shirts. We connected through website and got the chance to discuss his process. He told me, “My inspiration comes from people, places, and experiences.
Each shirt design starts with a concept that drives a message.
Whether it’s inspiring, motivational, or an event, it will always have a purpose and meaning behind it.
It also helps to have a wife who is in the modeling and fashion industry who advises me on what styles and color combinations are in fashion.
I also draw inspiration from what other mainstream sports and fitness leaders are doing and see what new innovations they are working on.”
As mentioned, the BOXRAT mission is to create opportunities for our youth through sport and fitness.
Participating in sports and fitness helps young kids create opportunities for themselves and also build valuable life skills that helps them overcome the many challenges in life and stay out of the negative influences that come along the way.
To date, BOXRAT has announced that their first donation will be going to Victory Sports Camps in Wheaton, IL, which is a ministry based organization that has been involved in the refugee community in the area for many years.
They will be hosting a week long soccer camp this summer for underprivileged kids and their donation will be helping them fund this camp.
With the help of the fitness community, Al and his team hope to grow and expand to help out as many kids as they can.