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Who’s LA – Behind the Scene Profile of LAs Shapers: Valerie Ding Opens the Doors to CruBox Boxing Studio in West Hollywood

Boxing is not only good for your body, it is an empowering exercise that will boost your self confidence. It has become this years’ workout trend, so we are excited to have a new Boxing Studio in West Hollywood, where they can be hard to find. Rooted in traditional boxing techniques, Crubox is an energetic keep-you-on-your toes interval class choreographed to the beat of the music. Beginning with cardio and a refresher on the basics, you’re on and off the bag for a 50-minute full-body workout. Founder of Crubox, Valerie Ding, explains to us how she went from building a successful workout empire starting with CruCycle to opening her own Boxing Studio with her sister Bebe.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I grew up spending my time between Singapore and Los Angeles. I lived in L.A. up until three years ago and moved back to Singapore to open CruCycle. I love how the very different cultures and experience have shaped my life. Being open to change and knowing how to adapt to certain environments are the most important traits that have helped me evolve. I come from a family-business background, and have worked in real estate, investments and now fitness. I enjoy creating experiences that I think other people will enjoy. It is important to me for these experiences to be very detail-oriented – branding wise, merchandise wise, interior and design wise. You will be able to see this all at Crubox!

Entrepreneurship has taught me that achieving anything is possible. With the right amount of work put into it, nothing is impossible. Life is short, be confident and passionate about what you do and how you want to spend your time spreading the word to others. Work hard, hope for the best and things will somehow fall into place. One of my philosophies is to have no regrets about the decisions you make. Treat everything as though it were an experience, because you learn through every single one of your experiences. This applies to every aspect of life. Work, love, play. Just do it. You only live once. I can’t say that this is without its stresses, but at the end of the day if you learned something and made some friends along the way…. you’re good. It was worth the experience.

2. What made you go from opening a successful Cycle Studio (CruCycle) to opening a Boxing Studio?

Boxing was a huge trend, especially for girls, when I first came up with the idea. It’s empowering for females to become stronger and fitter because of the high-intensity workout. Boxing was the second phase of growth for our brand Cru- which means “growth” in French. We wanted to expand further into something that could help people grow together as well. As the boxing trend was growing, we wanted to create our own program to give people a different taste of what it was all about. We created a music driven, high intensity program that got people up and excited about sweating to the beat in the dark.

Boxing has always been portrayed as a male sport and we wanted to make it so everyone felt comfortable to enjoy together. This included cute merchandise that catered towards everyone and a studio that promoted Instagram photographs. One of our brand’s philosophy is to promote togetherness and community which is why we chose to create a boxing group class.

3. What is the dynamic between yourself and your sister Bebe, who is also your business partner?

Bebe’s my younger sister and our parents have always raised us to be very family centric. We both have our strengths, but we are very different. We still argue and don’t always see eye-to-eye, but to know that the end goal is always the same keeps us in check. We have led an extremely privileged life in terms of having a loving and supportive family. Our parents always taught us to be focused on what we want to achieve. We were also taught never to be too excessive in any one thing. Focus was always key. The most important thing that has led to the success in building our businesses is our supportive family- I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Without that, nothing would be achievable.

3. What made you decide to open your first boxing Studio in West Hollywood?

Between living in L.A. and Singapore, I loved to frequent West Hollywood for its shops and its vibe. I would get excited to go to the area to shop, get a coffee, whatever it may have been. Melrose place has been up and coming for a long time but I feel that now more than ever it’s become a trendy neighborhood equipped with coffee shops, juice bars, athletic stores and neighborhood boutique gyms. Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Cycle House, Rise Nation, Playlist Yoga, and Alfred’s Coffee are all in the area. In choosing our location, I felt the clientele of these stores would be the same demographic Crubox would attract. I used to be in real estate and I believe it when they say the right brands elevate the neighborhoods they’re in. Being able to create this studio in one of the neighborhoods and cities I love most is quite a dream!

4. Can you tell us What Crubox is About?

Crubox is about bringing together “boxers” of all levels and creating a fun environment to relieve stress, have fun and gain more knowledge and enhance your skills in boxing at the same time. We focus on having a community spirit and all ages are welcome. We hope to create a fun space that people would love and enjoy and always want to come back to friendly faces. We take a lot of pride in that every aspect of CruBox from program design to branding has all been done in-house. We also take pride in the authenticity of the creative aspect at CruBox. On top of that, all of the merchandise is a result of what has inspired me over the years. CruBox in its entirety was just a bunch of sketches and doodles that I had drawn on scratch paper that has fully come to life, which i still have if anyone wants to see… ha.

5. Can you explain the meaning of the Wolf Logo?

The brand Cru is based on growth. “Cru” is French for growth. The logo and mascot is all based off of a wolf. Wolves travel in packs and do everything for their wolf packs. They grow, nurture and exist for the well-being of the pack. Our brand: “We thrive and exist for the pursuit of organic growth, not as an individual but alongside our pack”. We promote building strength together with your peers and a strong community that moves and grows like a wolf pack. Leave no man behind and taking care of one another is a big trait that we believe in for our brand.

6. What sets CruBox Apart from other Boxing Studios?

That it really has been created on our own. Authenticity is key. Our program- which was created from scratch by us and a professional boxing coach trainer. It took a year to create and perfect. Friends were coming over to my house every day to test out different versions. We had four bags set up in my backyard and we worked on this program every single day for eight months. Where everything is authentically to the beat of the music. We have developed a program that encompasses a whole body working and that stays true to authentic boxing technicalities. Some of our trainers are in the midst of competing in amateur boxing. It’s not a requirement that they “fight”, but they have personally made the decision to get a little taste of what they are teaching in class.

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