Spotlight On…

Have you ever wondered what makes Fox Wardrobes such a great place to work?

We grab Fox Wardrobes’ founder Chief Fun Fox, Chris Volpe, just between measures and meditation to get all the Foxy facts on the man behind the myth.

Chris, can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up?

I grew up in Ocean Shores just outside of Byron Bay and then relocated back to Sydney in Year 10 with my two brothers as they were already living in Sydney at the time.

When you’re not living and breathing Fox Wardrobes, how do you like to spend your spare time?

I love to have a daily dip in the ocean usually at Shelly beach or down at Manly, it really sets me up for the challenges ahead. I also enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, yoga and meditation. I’m passionate about anything to do with health and wellbeing. I actually enjoy simplicity, just hanging out with my wife, Leah. We love to travel together and see the world. It’s all about experiences for me.

What is really important to you in life?

Love, family and my wife Leah. Learning and personal growth are also incredibly important to me, I spend a lot of time reading and absorbing because I thrive on taking on brand new information which helps me grow and learn.

Who would you say are the biggest influences in your life so far?

Other than my wife, I look to varied sources for motivational advice and counsel. Personalities such as Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Napolean Hill and Oprah inspire me to reach further and higher.

I hear you have a life philosophy around taking decisions?

Absolutely! You miss 100% of the shots you never take. The decisions we make are incredibly powerful in terms of moving us forwards – even if they don’t work out. Failing is far better than not trying at all and quite often what we might view as a hurdle is actually the path we need to take.

What’s the best book you have enjoyed recently?

I’ve just finished Joe Dispenza’s ‘Becoming Supernatural’. It’s an amazing book about what your mind can achieve through regular meditation – and the incredible science-backed benefits that will follow.

Not one for just lying back on the sun lounger and enjoying pure unadulterated fiction then?

Does Harry Potter count?

I was about to ask if there is anything personally you would like to improve on or learn – but it feels like this part of you never rests!

I love who I am right now, but I genuinely feel that expansion is possible for everyone. I have a continual thirst to evolve and improve myself.

What about doing something silly like jumping out of a plane, or cage-diving with sharks?

Actually, I do have a bucket list! India and Machu Picchu are definitely on my travel hit list. Other than that probably my most dangerous ambition is to learn to fly a helicopter.

If you were a coffee, what would you be?

Definitely a cappuccino. I continually froth over with joy and enthusiasm and I’ve always got something sweet to add as a topping!

Apparently Zorro, your Boston Terrier, has been complaining to the team that he spends more time in the office than you. Can you comment on this?

No comment!

Let’s talk Fox Wardrobes. Rumour has it, you’re actually an accountant. Explain.

I studied Business Administration at University and then went on to study accountancy. I was working with one of my brothers whilst running my own business called ‘Chillazy’ (comfortable outdoor seating). Meanwhile, my other brother wanted some help with his custom cabinetry business so we joined forces. A further opportunity arose when it became apparent customers were dissatisfied with the level of quality and product in the market, and Fox Wardrobes was born.

Where did the branding ‘Fox’ come from?

It’s the English translation of our family name, Volpe.

Clever! How do you see the Fox brand as offering anything different in this space?

With all of our work we have in-house installers as full time employees. They are purely focused on the client and making sure the job is done right. Our sales Foxes are also all in-house and really care about our clients needs – not just closing a deal. In terms of product difference, we use aluminum shelving wraps for stability and longevity, as well as metal drawer sides and only the best board from Polytec and other local suppliers. We also use skilled cabinetmakers that actually take the trouble to clean up after themselves. It’s a definite step up in quality and care.

How do you want your customers to feel after a Foxy experience?

We want to create raving fans. We want customers to feel joy and a sense of excitement after having their new wardrobes installed. We aim to deliver a seamless experience that goes beyond expectation, to continually surprise and delight our clients.

What words would your staff use to describe you?

Friendly, approachable, knowledgeable, passionate and focused. Those would be the polite ones anyway!

How would you describe the Fox company culture?

I see it as like family. It’s more than simply a job. Everyone feels comfortable, hard work is always rewarded and we enjoy just coming in to see each other. At Fox, we are all working towards something bigger than just a wardrobe. We have a vision and we all share it.

What would surprise people to know about working at Fox?

Probably that our installers are full time employees, they care as much as I do.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the personal growth I get from it. I’m passionate about business and about providing an excellent service with a team that can also learn and grow. I love the idea of training the next generation of business owners and cabinet-makers.

Do you have any visionary ideas around the future of wardrobe design?

Loads! I see 3D printed wardrobes in our future, conveyor belts to save on floor space, and augmented reality screens that image our outfit selection so that we don’t have to try the clothes on first. Just tap until the combination works. Imagine the time you could save by seeing upfront how each outfit would look, and not having to pull different clothes on and off!

Where do you see the Fox business in 5 years time?

I see us as a National business with Fox Wardrobes Dens in every state. I see Fox as having a really consistent product with super happy clients. I see team members running different parts of the business, personally fulfilled and challenged – and hopefully continuing to give back to the community in an expanded and ever growing way.

If you weren’t working at Fox, where would you be, who would you be with and what would you be doing?

That’s a tough one. I think I would be meditating on a beach in the Maldives with my wife!

If you were left stranded on a desert island for the rest of your days and you could only take one thing with you, what would it be?

Definitely Leah, my wife.

 

 

 


fox wardrobes and cabinetry team member

Spotlight On…

Ever wanted to find out how Foxy Fitters really spend their time? We get up close and personal with Senior Installer Dan Mckie (Big Fox) to find out exactly what goes on behind closed wardrobe doors…

Dan, we’re keen to find out a bit more about the man that fits Fox Wardrobes. Tell me a little bit about yourself growing up.

I grew up here on the Northern Beaches in Cromer and actually went to Primary School with Vic and Chris (Volpe)! We moved to Warriewood, then I left school at 16 to do my cabinet-making apprenticeship.

How did you end up at Fox Wardrobes?

I did a stint in Landscape Gardening but then decided to go back to the cabinet-making business. At that time Vic (Volpe) was installing some kitchen cabinets for me and happened to need someone – I liked the idea of a local job with people I knew, so here I am today working solely with Chris for Fox Wardrobes.

How do you like to spend your spare time?

I used to surf a lot before I broke my ankle in a motorbike accident down on the farm. Now I enjoy clay target shooting in Duffy’s Forest, or going fishing. A friend of mine has a farm down South (just west of Goulburn); I love to take the family there, just spending time outdoors in the fresh air.

What is important to you in life?

My family. No question. By that I mean my immediate family – my wife and my two beautiful girls, Ruby (4) and Georgie (2) – and of course my parents who live nearby. I see them every week, as well as my two sisters. We catch up about every fortnight.

Who would you say are the biggest influencers in your life?

Mum and Dad.

Customers and colleagues all speak very highly of you – what do you see as your personal strengths?

I don’t really see that I have any! I just get in there and get the job done. I move straight on to the next job and I don’t waste time. I aim to leave the house how I found it, as that’s the last impression the customer will have of Fox. I’m on time, I leave it clean and I do the job right from the start.

It’s clearly a winning combination. Do you enjoy meeting new people?

I would say that I’m probably quite shy! At the beginning I didn’t enjoy that side of the business, and always focused on the job. But now, as I’m meeting more and more people, I’ve come to enjoy that aspect more.

If you could listen to one music track while you were working, what would it be?

I love talkback radio more than music, though Johnny Cash would be right up there as well. I’m a 2GB and Triple M man.

Do you have a life philosophy?

Time with family, that’s my absolute priority. Swimming at the beach with my kids at the weekend is what makes it all worthwhile.

Is there anything personally you would like to change, improve on or learn? I’m thinking Salsa lessons, yoga or spear fishing…?

Definitely not Salsa! My personal goal is to get my ankle fixed up so I can run again.

What’s your favourite movie?

Ace Ventura every time.

Let’s talk wardrobes. What’s the Fox culture like – could you describe it for us?

It’s fun and fast. I would say we work fast, but we have fun along the way. We’re a good team.

What makes the Fox team work so well in your opinion?

We see each other every morning in the factory before we go out to the jobs, and we all feel like we’re part of something. It’s a great company to work for because the staff feel valued. We have weekly meetings where we all have a voice to contribute our opinions, and we all get heard.

What would surprise people to know about working at Fox?

People think we can just chuck it in – it’s only a wardrobe, right? What they don’t realise is that we need to be able to do it quickly, efficiently and accurately. Most importantly it requires correct measuring at the very start. It might look easy but it’s not.

Just between us, could you quietly just shove it in?

Yes, of course! But it wouldn’t be done right and to the level of quality that Fox delivers.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

I like the variation of going from house to house, meeting new people and meeting the brief.

What’s your best day?

When everything works well and to measurement. That’s my best day.

How often does that happen?

Today! My job was detailed to take 1.5 hours, but I got it done in 22 minutes.

What do you personally enjoy the most about fitting wardrobes?

I love it when I go in a room and there’s nothing there – except maybe an old Ikea rack – and then on the completion you see the customer satisfaction and delight. It’s awesome. Making customers happy and actually seeing the difference you can make to someone’s life is such a good feeling.

What’s the hardest type of installation for you?

Swing doors. It’s quite a time consuming process and a bit like fitting a cupboard without a back holding the position.

Does your heart sink when you see awkward spaces?

Yep! But only in such a scenario where the job is completed how the customer has asked, but I can see it doesn’t really work.  Although if the client is happy, that’s all that matters!

To your mind, what makes Fox stand out in the marketplace?

I think it’s our customer service, and that we have such a great team. The next job doesn’t start until this one is resolved. Problems will always happen, but at Fox it’s how you deal with them that matters. We’re all on the same page with that.

If you weren’t working at Fox, where would you be and what would you be doing?

I’d definitely move down to a farm in the country. I love working with timber outdoors.

If you were left stranded on a desert island for the rest of your days, and you could only take one thing with you, what would it be?

My dog.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Ideally living in Narrabeen out on the lake, with maybe a couple more kids if my wife gets her way. Although I do have two sisters, so maybe not….