Our First Year Anniversary
Last year when Jojo and I were getting ready to launch our pickleball apparel and accessory business, we wanted with all of our hearts for our brand name to be “Jolo” Pickleball Wear ~ with Flair. We were so disappointed when we learned from our attorney that there would be a trademark conflict with Jennifer Lopez’s brand J.Lo if we pursued the name “Jolo”. We decided we were not going to attempt to battle J.Lo in a courtroom…but if J.Lo plays pickleball we’re pretty sure we would take her down on the courts!
I was in the car with my husband heading to Northern Michigan when I learned that we couldn’t use “JoLo”. I began frantically jotting down alternative ideas for names for our business onto a small index card I found in the glovebox.
We needed a new name quickly so that Jojo could re-design our logo before adding it to the back of our shirts, website, business cards, etc. before our website launch and Launch Party which was set for October 29, 2021. Forty of our closest pickleball friends were saving this date to attend our Launch Party, and we promised to give them a tee to wear to thank them for helping us spread the word about our new biz. The pressure was on, and we would still need to get approval from our attorney regarding the new name. After going around and around for days, we settled on jojo+lo Pickleball Wear ~ With Flair! We love it so much more than JoLo now! So, thank you Jennifer Lopez!
Prior to our launch and before we were even a legit LLC we did a photo shoot in my back yard. I wore a Roger Federer cap and Jojo wore a Vineyard Vines cap because we didn’t have any of our jojo+lo hats produced yet. Fortunately, Jojo is also really good at photoshop and was later able to switch-out the RF and VV logos with our logo.
Jojo and Lo headshots on a budget
Photo credit goes to my husband Ron who endured a two hour photo session with me, Jojo and my iPhone. I’m sure he never expected to take 300 photos or for Jojo to grab the phone and delete almost every photo immediately after he took them. Jojo and I often quibble over who is higher maintenance, but when it comes to photos she wins! In addition to photography, Ron also holds the title of Transportation Specialist, Dog-Sitter, Uber Eats Deliverer, and our “Whatever We Need Immediately” guy.
We are blessed with great husbands who support us 100% and they’re our biggest cheerleaders. Jojo’s husband Peter is our carpenter/handyman who disappears into his workshop and then reappears 15 minutes later with whatever we need…displays for bag hook-ups, tee shirt ladders for our pop-up shop, and giant wooden beer mug handles and margarita stems for oversized margarita glasses we needed to play Pickle Pong. Pickle Pong is a game we created to have fun with our customers during downtime at tournaments. Players stand about 10 feet from giant beer mugs or margarita glasses and use their pickleball paddles to try to sink a ball. The champion wins one of our tees. Peter also models our tees, helps us set-up and take-down at tournaments, and he is an expert at loading our car with all of our merchandise before we hit the road for a tournament.
Our bevs of choice for Pickle Pong = beer + margs
We want to acknowledge a few others who have been so helpful this year. Jodi’s ten-year-old daughter Ella is our breath of fresh air every day. Just as we are getting weary around 3:00 pm she arrives home from school dancing into the kitchen in her school uniform or tennis dress, singing or chatting excitedly about her day at school. Jodi’s mom Linda has been resourceful in so many ways…folding our shirts, helping with our shop at tournaments, and sharing new ideas to help our business. Jojo’s ragdoll cat, Juneau and my little Malshi, Hampton have been our therapy cat and pup. At the end of every day, they are waiting for us to snuggle and play. We are also grateful to our dear friend Paula, who is our first jojo+lo employee heading-up our shirt production. She’s sweet, funny, tireless, efficient, and enthusiastic. She has saved our A’s working late during crunch-time, and she has also made us better pickleball players because she’s continually coordinating our group of friends to play.
This crew played for hardware at the PPA-Baird Wealth Management Open in
In one year, we have accomplished so much! We created 6 different collections and 25 different designs for over 160 products. We have set-up our pop-up shop at 12 major tournaments throughout Michigan, and in Phoenix, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Atlantic City. We have loved getting to know our 1,100+ loyal and enthusiastic customers who have purchased over 2,350 units of our products. There are now jojo+lo kiosks in Pickleball Central’s shops on the East and West coast at major professional tournaments. We are so grateful to Pickleball Central for believing in us since day one! We also want to thank our retailers….the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, the Amway Grand Plaza Essentials Gift shop and The Amway Grand Plaza Spa and Fitness Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kristine Grace Custom Apparel in Venice, Florida, and Mercer Bucks Pickleball Club in Ewing, New Jersey. We have forty treasured pickleball friends who are our tireless Ambassadors who helped launch our business and who are still telling all of their pickleball friends about jojo+lo. We have a team of 10 Affiliates, including two professional pickleball players who are representing our brand, posting amazing pics in our apparel, and helping to sell our merch. It has also been so exciting that recently we were able to provide our tees and hats as costumes for actor and playwright, Jeff Daniels’ hilarious new play Pickleball!
Cast of Pickleball sporting jojo+lo Pickleball Wear ~ With Flair
We are grateful we’ve been able to give back to causes that we love: Alzheimer’s Association, Breast Cancer Research, Patriarch Park Pickleball Association, Emily Duits Scholarship Fund, The Todd Martin Youth League, and the Purple Rose Community Theatre.
We believe laughter is our key to success. It has gotten us through long cross-country drives and some challenging moments. Our very first pop-up shop customer asked to buy a blank tee in our shop that was just a sample shirt for customers to try on for size at the Arizona Grand Slam. We are a graphic tee business! Jojo was ready to have a going out of business sale that day. We still laugh about the irony of it.
Jojo and I had no clue that our fun little idea to create some cute matching tanks to wear as partners in a tournament would catch-on so quickly and turn into this thriving business. We literally went from stir-crazy Covid lockdowns to 100 mph! We are blown away and so grateful to all of you who have supported us along the way. Our whim of an idea has turned into a brand…a brand that we adore. We just keep pinching ourselves and celebrating our EEK moments as we look forward to year two.
If you haven’t already, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also, we have new hoodies, tees, and caps available online which make great holiday gifts…or enjoy easy gift-giving for all of your favorite pickleball peeps with our new jojo+lo gift cards!