José Boix Jaen was born in Elche in January 1942 into a family of modest means who couldn’t afford to give him the chance to complete his schooling. This was during the post civil war period when Spain was going through particularly hard times.
At the age of seven he began cleaning rings in a local jewelers and distributing newspapers. He also repaired bicycles and motorbikes in an Official Service center with his friend Andrés Martínez Pérez. His “Uncle Arnedo,” Jaén Joaquin Irles was a great influence on the young José Boix. He taught him things that would change not only his life but also that of his entire family. The uncle later moved from Elche to La Rioja to start a footwear business (Calzados Jaén).
There Uncle Arnedo took on the young “Pepito Boix”, (Pepito is short for Jose) for a year, giving him the job of carrying out mechanical maintenance work throughout the factory. During this period Pepito specialized in working with lathes in the maintenance shop of the company. He also started learning to read and write with the help of a tutor provided by his uncle. He learned the entrepreneurial spirit, developed a sense of responsibility and became aware of the sacrifice entailed in running a business. Although he was not there for long, his stay made a strong impression on him in later years. He often speaks with admiration about this exciting early stage of his life.
On his return from La Rioja he continued to work steadily in various jobs that were always linked to the metallurgical sector, as this was his true passion. Interestingly his mother never liked this because she said that it was a job where you always wear dirty clothes. For a few months he worked in a repair shop machinery for footwear company called IMU. He worked with José Antonio Sánchez Flores in machinery repair for 3 or 4 years, and then around 1957-58 with Enrique Ferrández, repairing agricultural machinery (tractors, tools, …). Unfortunately, a few years later he lost contact with both of them, but he felt that working with these people was a great experience as they were the true masters of their profession.
In 1963 at the age of 21, while serving his military service in Ceuta, he set up a company called Luis López Amorós with a partner. Later it became known as “IMELOB, SL (Mechanical Industries Lopez and Boix, SL).” At first they did locksmith work and repairs to imported machines for the shoe manufacturers in the area. A major setback here was that these particular machines couldn`t be serviced in Spain. He decided something should be done to remedy this unsatisfactory situation and his idea of making a machine for the footwear industry finally saw light in 1970. The first machines to be manufactured were called LB-1 and LB-2 (LB = Lopez and Boix) and both involved producing footwear.
Three years later, he and his partner went separate ways. Pepito bought his share of the business and kept the workshop. Many of the workers who started with this business still continued working with Jose Boix until reaching retirement. Today, many of the children of these original workers still work with the Boix family.
This new way of manufacturing cardboard machines came about from the needs of a good friend and client of Pepito. This person in question bought a German machine to make shoe boxes only to find it didn’t work well with Spanish cardboard, mainly because of the latter`s poor quality. He asked what could be done to the machine so that the cardboard could be inserted more easily, and after making some changes succeeded in getting it to work. Gines Coll, who was then owner of the firm, commissioned this work to Pepito. Eventually it developed into a machine for forming shoe boxes. After more than 45 years in operation the company is now a field leader and one of the most highly regarded in the world.
The “Boix” brand was founded in 1973 by D. José Boix, under the name of “José Boix Jaén”. Simple beginnings for a family business that’s ultimately expanded into a company with a strong international export vision.
Production, raw materials, labor and capital have been the key factors in opening up any business ever since the first industrial revolution. José Boix began his personal entry into this harshly competitive world with a modest 15,000 pesetas, the equivalent to 90 €, which he requested from his father as a neighbour he’d previously hoped would lend him the money let him down at the last moment. This small amount was just enough to buy second hand equipment though it fell far short of the sum needed to buy totally new stock.
Throughout his working life José Boix has been thoroughly professional in everything he has done. His aim was always to achieve the highest quality results and his unerring business instinct ensured that he never took a wrong step or made a bad decision. Anyone who’s worked with him will confirm that.
At 69 he decided to retire, leaving the business to be divided among his three sons. During his working life he has written 72 books on patents and utility models mode, and has planted more than 50,000 trees. Today at the age of 78 he lives far away from the city where he was born surrounded by countryside and animals – two of his great loves. Naturally his grandchildren also rate high among his great passions and he spends as much time with them as he can.
Don José Boix (or Pepito, as many of his friends and family still call him) may not have had any formal studies or language qualifications, but he does have a lengthy professional experience, which covers 62 years of working, learning and struggling in the “University of Life”.
There`s one particular person who has been a key figure and influence in Pepito`s highly successful career and that’s his beloved wife Ms. Maria Luisa Sebastián Andreu, who was not only able to understand and follow her husband’s business throughout her whole life, but also supported and contributed to it.
José and his wife were in fact both ardent advocates of the tireless philosophy of three “Ts”: “Trabajo, trabajo, trabajo” in Spanish (which means “work, work and work“.)