Women Will Have Your Back…On and Off the Pickleball Courts
At the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships we had the opportunity to spend time with some of the most amazing women who are blazing new trails in the business of pickleball!
Even before we arrived in Dallas, someone we have admired from afar, Elise Ivy, co-founder of Rokne Pickleball, posted a pic of herself wearing our Pickleball Statement visor, and tagged us. When we got to Dallas and finally had the chance to meet Elise, she laughingly told us that she had forgotten to pack her Rokne visor. She said that she loved our visors so much that she wanted to promote them for us! How generous of her!
After we had already booked our flights we learned that Elise Ivy and Laura Gainor, Founder of Vossberg Gainor & Pickleball in the Sun, were both presenting at the Pickleball Business Forum at Nationals. Unfortunately, JoJo and I were flying in from Michigan at the time of their presentation. I messaged Laura our regrets and wished her well, and she generously offered to meet-up with us in Dallas. She found us on day-one, and it was so exciting to learn about all of the projects she is spear-heading to help advance the sport and image of pickleball; all while being a dedicated mom to two very busy, talented kids! What an inspiration!
Nicole Smith, Director of Tournament Retail Operations and Wholesale for Pickleball Central, is one of our favorite people. She has been a friend and mentor of ours for the past two years, and we have learned so much from her. She is cool and calm under intense deadlines and pressure. When we arrived at our kiosk in the Pickleball Central Store she had a counter-full of customers and she still took the time to welcome us and show us around, introducing us to the amazing Pickleball Central team. We finally had the chance to meet Christina McAdam, Senior Category Manager for Pickleball Central. We have been face-timing Christina all year long so it was really fun to finally meet her in person! The entire team of women at Pickleball Central—Nicole, Christina, Marci, Olivia, Kim, Kelly, Nat and Claire—was so hard-working, upbeat, and supportive of us—while they killed it in sales all week long.
One of our good friends from Holland, Michigan, Sophie Vanden Bosch, co-founder of Revolin Sports was there with her husband Hugh. They were selling and demonstrating their sustainable, high-performance paddles the entire week of Nationals in the Pickleball Central Store and on the courts. Sophie knew that I was a fan of the show The Golden Bachelor, so in the middle of a sale one day she ran inside to find me and said, “Come out here! The Golden Bachelor is outside playing pickleball!” Of course I dropped everything—and grabbed a couple of our Dinker and Banger caps—so I could shout out to him, “Hey Gerry, are you a Dinker or a Banger?” In case you need to know…Gerry said, “I’m a Dinker!” After I gave him a Dinker cap he promised us that he would email us a pic of him wearing it after the season of The Golden Bachelor wraps up. If he does, we will be sure to post it on FaceBook, Instagram, and LinkedIn! We also had a chance to chat with Gerry and take a pic. He is as nice in person as he seems on TV, and he is a really good pickler!
On day two, we were fortunate to meet our new bestie, Nancy Tedeschi, who is the founder of the first exclusive pickleball apparel brand in the world, Pickleball Bella. Her bright skirts, and matching tops, hats and bags are works of art! Her kiosk was right next to ours and she couldn’t have been more warm, funny, supportive and informative. She generously shared all of her keys to success with us…genuinely wanting to help our business to continue to grow. We asked her at least 100 questions, and she answered them all…she is one smart cookie! We are happy to announce that we are planning to collaborate with Nancy at Pickleball Bella very soon on an important charitable venture for breast cancer, a cause that is very important to me. More to come on this topic!
I have to mention that on Day 5 of the tournament Sophie Vanden Bosch, who had been incredibly busy all week long, took the time to model a few pieces of our apparel, paired with some Pickleball Bella items. She is stunning and she made the cutest reel for us! If you haven’t seen it check it out on our Instagram. She also gave us lots of pointers for creating effective reels. She is so talented—she created a reel in 10 minutes, which would have taken us hours!
Being at Nationals was amazing…the Pickleball Central Store was phenomenal! Our customers were so fun and excited about our new products. The facility was impressive and watching the pros was thrilling, but the absolute best part about it all was the support and love we felt from so many business women we admire, who truly are trailblazers. They are doing everything in their power to take the business of pickleball to new heights, while helping others succeed with them along the way.
To all of these women we want you to know that we admire you for so many reasons…your vision, perseverance, hard work, positivity and authenticity; but what inspires us the most is your generosity. From you we have learned that you never know when you’re going to need a helping hand from another woman… who is there at the exact moment you need them. Because of you, JoJo and I will be the first to reach out and offer our support to other women…on and off the courts.