Connie Christofi is the powerhouse behind the slick new boxing gear company, One Shot. Connie's love of boxing was sparked when she moved to London 4 years ago and quickly became the passion driving her entrepreneurial spirit. We sat down with her to discuss boxing, inspiration, and tips for getting into boxing.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to starting your own boxing equipment company?
I’ve dabbled in the fitness industry ever since I was in high school, but the one thing I never got into was cardio. When I moved to London 4 years ago I decided to take boxing classes as cardio; more for the fitness aspect as opposed to martial arts however this made me want to learn more about the boxing scene. That’s when I began experimenting with MMA and ended up obsessing over Kick Boxing.
When I reached the point of commitment where I wanted to buy my own gloves and boxing gear I was shocked by the selection I found. The higher quality gloves within an average price range were all very limited design-wise and the better looking gloves felt like they would damage rather than protect your hands in a fight. Speaking to many different trainers at the time I realised I wasn’t the only one who had made that observation.
Two years down the line when I was interning at Mov Management (one of the most creative firms I’ve had the pleasure of working in), the entrepreneurial side which had always been in me just sparked an itch to build my own brand. I was chatting with the Director, Stephanos who never fails to pick my brain when this gap in the market came back in my trail of thoughts. Thanks to the incredible people I had around me I knew I had the support I needed to get started. That’s when I decided to get serious, knuckle down and make my vision a reality.
You’re a boxer yourself - what do you love about the sport? What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting boxing?
As all sports, boxing for me is definitely a stress reliever. However aggressive and tense it may sound to someone who hasn’t boxed before, it’s exactly the opposite. You have to calm your body down in order to carry out correct form and begin to train; whether that’s pad work, sparing or even just drills on a bag. Once you do focus and start letting out that aggression, the adrenaline gets you in the zone and get’s you a good workout with an almost “effortless feeling”. You definitely feel knocked out when you’re done but during training it’s almost as if your brain switches off and forgets to tell you how physically exhausted you are.
I would advise someone who’s considering starting boxing the following:
1. Who you train with is extremely important so make sure you find a coach that’s right for you. I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many wonderful coaches all across the UK so find one of those awesome people and get started.
2. Don’t expect miracles, things take time. Give yourself at least 3 sessions to find your form, coordination and get in the zone.
3. ALWAYS wrap your hands! Knuckles and joints may be small parts of your body but oh are they mighty. Protect yourselves, no one likes injuries!
4. Buy One Shot Gloves to get cool points in the gym ;)
Do you have any mentors or people you look up to?
The person I look up to the most (however cheesy as this sounds) is my dad. If I had to dedicate a song to him it would be Drake's 'Started from the bottom'. He came from nothing, and worked his way to the top providing not only for himself but his relatives, friends and even strangers who he sympathised with. Over the years he has never failed to inspire me through his dedication, work ethic and endless aspiration to change people’s lives. Whether that was by employing them, helping them financially or building a whole hospital to improve everyone’s health care system, he always makes an impact. My motivation is driven by the desire to make him proud.
What are your goals for the next 5 years?
Over the next 5 years I plan to travel, grow and continue learning as I go along. I used to be a big planner but I’ve come to terms with the fact that life can be unpredictable and so in reality a bigger (potential) picture and short term goals are how I need to function at this stage of my life.
The only thing I know for sure is that wherever I go One Shot will come with me! So, the company’s goal is to develop into the fashion forward brand which we’ve already laid the foundations for while adding unique features on our products which we’ve already started researching and developing so all the fighters already out there or people about to enter the boxing scene: stay tuned.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
The first piece of advice I would give to my younger self (which is something I luckily realised quite early), is that you’re never too young to start. You may be under experienced but the best way to learn if you have the opportunity is on the job. Sometimes you only get one shot; make sure you take it!
Do you have a mantra? If so, what is it?
My mantra has always been: I’ll sleep when I’m dead.