Ox Street is the fastest growing sneaker and streetwear online marketplace in Asia and has now set its sights on an official Australian debut!
Allow us to share with you our insightful conversation with Gijs, the energetic and inspiring founder behind Ox Street!
Before you founded the fastest growing streetwear marketplace in Asia back in 2019, you were known as a global travelling adventurer. Would you mind letting us know what some of these amazing activities are?
I had completed a few years working in finance, and figured out that my bosses weren’t that much smarter than I was, so I decided I wanted to become an entrepreneur. A friend of mine also challenged me because I had a lot of opinions, that I should put my money where my mouth was and start building companies myself. So I joined a German company called Rocket Internet, which is the backer of companies like Lazada and Zalora in Southeast Asia, The Iconic in Australia, and many others around the world.
They sent me to launch a jobs marketplace in Bangladesh, where I spent 5 months. Once it was set up, I moved to Myanmar, and ultimately managed a company across 5 countries in the region, growing it to over 100 employees.
This period of my life stands out as one of the most exciting in my life. I got the chance to travel a lot and learn from people who grew up in very different cultures. It was exactly the broadening of my horizon that I was looking for. One adventure that comes to mind is that while I was living in Yangon, Myanmar, I was part of a mixed group of locals and expats who were frustrated with the music in the local clubbing scene and started to organize parties. Music has always been a passion of mine, so one of my friends taught me how to DJ and over the course of the next 2 years I ended up helping create the first underground techno club in Yangon.
What inspired you to build Ox Street?
During my time at Rocket Internet, I came to believe that there were massive opportunities to build more internet businesses in the SEA region, in particular focusing on Gen Z. Ox Street was born when I was struggling to buy a particular pair of sneakers in Singapore. I saw a lot of problems with the experience, and having learned a few things about building online marketplaces during my time at Rocket Internet, I decided to build a new marketplace for sneakers and streetwear.
You are also well known for your genuine love of kicks and streetwear. Can you still remember the kicks/streetwear that set you off on this path?
One of my classmates showed up to school wearing a new pair of Nike Air Max. They were very on-trend in the mid-nineties in the Netherlands. It was the first time I saw shoes with the visible air bubble, and as a 10 year old boy, the concept of walking on air was just the best thing ever. So that’s how it all started.
A couple of years later, Puma had a brief period of extreme popularity in Europe. And through some friends I ended up being one of the early adopters of that trend. It was a good feeling to be early on a trend. So since my mid/early teenage years I have been interested in sneakers and have taken an interest in fashion in general.
What differentiates Ox Street from other selling online apps and platforms?
Our focus on customers. I feel that there is a lot of bad customer service in the sneakers and streetwear space. If you are a brand like Supreme, you can get away with that and even make it part of your identity, but as a marketplace you provide a service so you need to really raise the bar on service. We take authenticity to mean not only that all products transacted are authenticated, but also that our own approach to customers and the market in general is authentic. If you contact our support team, they will be a lot more open about what is actually going on behind the scenes compared to other platforms. Apart from that, we are usually faster and slightly cheaper on an all-in basis for buyers in the entire APAC region.
Any advice for future entrepreneurs that may want to follow your footsteps?
First of all, it’s too difficult to build a company if you don’t care about the product. Pick something you care about, and already know a lot about. That will keep you going through the inevitable low points in the journey. Secondly, I think it’s a very common mistake to kind of convince yourself a bit too easily that something is a good idea. Once you start, it’s hard to quit, so it’s really important to put in the work to validate your idea before launching.
Where do you see yourself and Ox Street in the next 10 years?
My dream is for Ox Street to become a true lifestyle app that people use almost on a daily basis. The foundation will still be a transactional platform. A marketplace combining supply in Used, BNDS, from individual sellers and from brands. But on top of that, it will be about self-expression and community. Right now you would come to Ox Street if you want to buy or sell sneakers, but I want Ox Street to be also fun when you’re broke, and more fun together with friends. As for myself, I dream of the privilege to lead Ox Street to become a global platform, and to impact people all over the world. Hopefully we will also be leading in making second-hand fashion more popular!
Get $20 SGD/$20 AUD OFF your first purchase when you sign-up. Ox Street also rewards us 20 OX CREDITS ($20AUD) for every successful referral we make. You can save up these OX CREDITS to purchase any item in their platform.
While you guys are here, check-out our Ox Street purchasing experience.