Joline Esparza of JL Racing
In rowing and in business reputation counts for a lot. Coming back from a bad experience is even more challenging. The JL Racing business has had a torrid year and is fighting back to the forefront of the rowing apparel market as founder Joline Esparza explains, it has not all been plain sailing.
Timestamps to the show:
1:00 Introduction and background in rowing
3:00 The JL Rowing business- finding technical fabrics that FIT the athletes’ body
7:00 The Turtleshell jacket. It allows us to row without distraction
10:30 Making clothes with different torso and shorts sizes means garments are sized for rowers
12:50 Campaigning at the Crew Classic 2017 against the US Rowing sponsor who excluded all other clothing companies from their regattas.
17:00 I had to take the issue to my friends. “Be Outraged. Ask me why.”
21:45 The resolution included people taking US Rowing to task on other issues as well. The Board was shaken up and long term changes came about as a result.
28:15 A new Partnership – Kellen Brink and Jonathan Maloney of Wild Oar also had a family business. The opportunity to grow the potential in El Salvador with a 2000 person manufacturing facility.
33:00 The business aligns with out social and family values and pays the best local wages with benefits like a clinic and English classes
35:00 Then problems arose. We started with 72 different unisuit designs and we had to digitise ever pattern and size variation.
40:00 The online ordering system had to change as well.
44:00 Water use in garment dying is huge. Sublimation saves so much water and we need to convince people it’s better
46:00 This year we switched to biodegradable and recyclable plastic bags
48:00 Cancer is why Joline hasn’t been out at regattas this year… but she will be at HOCR
51:00 Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter in rowers is a new focus of research
55:30 Resolutions and Solutions. We have more quality control and order processing capacity. The design team is 15 people, colour matching is a challenge and analytics now feed good information to management. 94% of orders now ship in under 4 weeks.
1:01 What next? Joline’s role has changed and her focus is on community aspect of rowing and supporting each other.
1:02 Share, learn and be healthy via the Pocock Foundation with disadvantaged youth. ErgEd for kids and Scholarships.
1:08 Plug for the US Rowing convention. The speakers are amazing including Steven O’Connor from Fulham Reach Rowing Club in London UK
1:10 Bryan Todd from GLRF has created the Rowers Pledge https://www.glrf.info/glrfcentral/pledgemovement.html You need everyone to sign. Teaching your daughters why you are not safe. Let’s make it obvious that rowing clubs are safe spaces.