Lori Bosch - April 22, 2022
It Takes a Village
It’s our six month anniversary at jojo+lo Pickleball Wear ~ With Flair! Time flies when you’re busy having fun playing pickleball almost every morning and running a new business the rest of the day! We had no idea that jojo+lo would take off so quickly! We also didn’t realize how much work it takes to launch a business! There is a line in the Luke Bryan/Jordan Davis song, “Buy Dirt” that says, “do what you love but call it work”, which is exactly how Jojo and I feel every day, blessed to do what we love with the people that we love. So, this blog is all about thanking our family and friends for all of their unwavering and generous support the past six months. We won’t name names, but we hope you will recognize yourselves in the many acts of kindness we want to acknowledge. It has deeply touched our hearts how you have offered encouragement and help in so many ways. If it wasn’t for all of you, jojo+lo would not exist. It truly does take a village to start a new business!
One of our favorite and most generous pickleball friends offered to host our launch party for forty of our closest pickleball friends on October 29th in their brand new home. We completely took over their home and refrigerators for a few days, and they didn’t even care that we served red wine! Our friends and “ambassadors” who joined us at our launch party have been faithfully wearing our graphic tees, tanks, visors and hats while enthusiastically handing out business cards whenever they receive compliments. Word of mouth is incredibly important to launching a business, and our early strong sales can be credited to our ambassadors. The night before our launch party, Jojo and I were freaking out because our first batch of hundreds of screen-printed shirts was delayed due to supply chain issues. Fortunately, my rock—my husband Ron, volunteered to drive 3 hours round-trip to pick them up. We finally had our merchandise at 8:00pm but we still had to sort and tag hundreds of shirts, hats, etc. before the party the next day. Thankfully, a team of our most fun and reliable friends showed up and they worked side by side with us late into the night. These amazing friends still come by to help us on “production days” to crank-out new shirts when it’s crunch-time prior to flash sales, tournaments, etc. We also rely on a handful of close friends who are in our “flash focus group” who provide their honest feedback on our new designs. A special shout-out to a talented group of writer friends who make us look good by editing our blogs and other copy prior to publication.
Girls just wanna have fun!! JA, PJ, Paula, Colleen, Jojo, Lo, Becky, Patti, Shellster and Megan.
The support from friends on social media has been incredible too. We’ve made friends with social media influencers while at tournaments who post the most amazing pics wearing jojo+lo. We are astounded that a few of our famous friends who are top professional pickleball players have offered valuable advice about what players want to wear, what influencers want, and have even modeled our apparel and posted numerous pics of themselves wearing jojo+lo! Close friends are traveling with jojo+lo apparel, photographing themselves with exotic backdrops and providing us with dynamic new images for our posts. Some of our pickleball friends happen to look like supermodels and will even join us on location for photo shoots. We are incredibly grateful to all of our friends who consistently like our posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and share our posts with their friends, helping us to exponentially expand our outreach.
Rise & Shine! Unfortunately, Jojo and Lo weren't on location for this shoot.
Our goal is to produce our merchandise locally to support our community…screen-printing, embroidery, and other print, signage, etc. These vendors have been outstanding to work with, meeting our deadlines and sharing reliable connections. Our business owner and entrepreneurial friends have reached out to us offering their valuable skills to help with a variety of tasks including, tricks for effective social media posting, photography connections, accounting support, third party distribution advice, and search engine optimization. They have willingly shared a wealth of knowledge and business acumen. All of these friends have told us that they just want to help because they want to see us succeed. We never expected this response from the business world and are so humbled and overwhelmed by their generous acts of kindness.
Our first shirts hot off the press!
The Professional Pickleball Association has embraced jojo+lo by inviting us on their national tour and displaying our logo, banners, and putting us front and center at tournaments. Other tournament friends like the phenomenal staff of Pickleball Central have spent invaluable time with us. They believe in jojo+lo and have provided encouragement, advice and have even offered feedback on our apparel and accessory designs. It is also incredulous to us when the most recognizable professional pickleball players in the country stop by our pop-up shop just to say hi and take photos with us while wearing our apparel, and then post pics! It truly is the friendliest sport in the world. Many other local and national tournaments are run by the kindest tournament directors who have become our friends. We love our local pickleball club, the Michigan Athletic Club whose staff believes in us and welcomes jojo+lo at their clinics and tournaments.
Jojo, Tyson, and Lo at the 2022 Arizona Grand Slam.
In our village, we are very fortunate to have life-long friends who have offered to host jojo+lo private sales for their friends in their homes. We have close friends who will travel with us to tournaments, and pitch-in with schlepping our merchandise and even help with selling our merchandise when Jojo + I are competing in the tournament. We have family and friends who don’t even play pickleball who are buying our apparel just because they love our designs and want to support us! And speaking of family, Jojo’s husband Peter has built us amazing portable display racks, and has allowed us to completely take over his lower-level sports den with our inventory. Peter and my husband Ron help us so much by traveling with us to tournaments and holding down our homesteads when we have a deadline or are on the road. Special thanks to Ron for always believing in me. Jojo’s parents have been very supportive by helping to watch their granddaughter Ella while we are at tournaments. Jojo’s mom is also our biggest fan on social media and comments on everything jojo+lo. We also have to thank 10 year old Ella for brightening our work space and for always being ready to help us organize our inventory and put stickers on merchandise. Finally, I would like to thank Jojo for all of her hard work, late evenings, creativity, ingenuity, organizational abilities, and especially technical skills—which I totally lack! But mostly for making every workday at jojo+lo full of fun, laughter, and amazing lunches! Lol!
Ella up way past her bedtime brightening our workspace. 💛
Our heartfelt thanks to all of our customers, followers and blog-readers for your support of jojo+lo Pickleball Wear ~ With Flair! Next stop is the PPA Atlanta Open, May 18-22. If you haven’t already, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.