How Our Pickleball Startup Got Our Dream Advisor at Spikeball

How Our Pickleball Startup Got Our Dream Advisor at Spikeball

We’ve been fans of Spikeball ever since we saw Chris pitch on Shark Tank. Chances are, you've seen a Spikeball kit, probably on the beach. It's the yellow and black net usually surrounded by four players having a great time in an easy to pick up volleyball-esque game. Spikeball technically makes equipment for a game, but it's really started a movement around a booming new sport. Sound familiar?

The wild, insanely passionate Spikeball community was and is everything Hugh and I hope to build with Revolin. It follows then that community and a bit of chutzpah brought us together (though not in the usual way of e-mail introductions). 

Every summer Hugh’s family rents a cottage in the same little idyllic community on Lake Michigan. It served as a getaway from the pressures of real life for me and Hugh and for his family almost eighty years before that. But in the summer of 2021, a few months after launching Revolin, work was all we wanted to think about.

This also happened to be the year after Chris renamed his family’s cottage, earning a mention in the little association’s newsletter. A fact we learned from Ellen, Hugh’s eagle-eyed mom. We couldn’t believe our luck. Here was the founder of Spikeball, our business hero, just blocks away. The cottage registrar confirmed it.

Hugh and Sophie of Revolin Sports Pickleball looking nervous before talking to advisor

Hugh + I before we knocked on Chris's door, Summer 2021

The next day we hyped ourselves up on the walk over. Hearts pounding, practicing Revolin’s pitch under our breaths, Hugh and I climbed the steps to Chris’s cottage. As my foot hit the top step I looked through the glass door and made eye contact with a woman in a party dress who, just moments before, had been enjoying a large sit-down dinner party. I turned and RAN, wholly mortified. Hugh was already ahead of me.

In hindsight, I cringe a little bit at that moment. We were so nervous and unsure of ourselves. Chris had made it in our eyes.

Nevertheless, we went back the next morning. We didn’t meet Chris that day (he was gone for the summer), but his mother-in-law promised to pass along our information and did. We got in touch a few months later and Chris generously agreed to help us.

They say that incredible things happen at the edge of your comfort zone. It’s true. Revolin has grown the most in moments of discomfort. But what they don’t tell you is that people like Chris are the ones who push you to the places where real growth can occur.

Thank you Chris for not being too freaked out :) 

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1 comment

Ellen, Hugh's eagle-eyed mom

Ellen, Hugh's eagle-eyed mom

Love this post and the nod to our very special summer respite, where pickleball is thriving BTW! So happy you have been able to parlay that very fortunate coincidence into a business relationship. Good job, Hugh and Sophie, taking a chance! Keep seizing those opportunities.

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