If you haven’t yet heard of pickleball, you will soon. Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America. This sport with a funny name is enjoyed by grandparents, NBA players, children in PE, and the Hollywood elite alike. Katy Luxem, founder of Big Dill Pickleball Co., was drawn to the fun culture of pickleball and launched her own pickleball paddle and gear company based in Draper, Utah. She rediscovered pickleball during the pandemic, and has been serving up fun ever since.
Big Dill Pickleball Co. aims to be the go-to pickleball brand for beginner and intermediate players. Offering fresh designs, her paddles, sets, balls, and accessories make it so the only thing her customers need to find is an open court. Luxem chose the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business to help take her business to the next level.
“My favorite aspect of the sport is how inclusive and addictive it is. I can play with my kids, parents, and friends,” Luxem said. “But when I shopped for pickleball paddles, everything looked like the side of an RV. This didn’t speak to the fun, accessible nature of the sport. I knew I could do better.”
As a seasoned e-commerce consultant and former Amazon employee, Luxem knew she could make something more unique, exciting and pickle-themed. Big Dill Pickleball Co. has sold thousands of units on the company Amazon store, where customers rate the brand highly for quality and distinctiveness. Big Dill Pickleball Co. also sells on their website and Walmart.com. Her product range centers around two USA Pickleball-approved paddles. The Original is made of carbon fiber and the Infinity is made of fiberglass. These are also sold in two-pack sets, which are popular with new pickleball players.
Big Dill Pickleball Co. has sponsored local tournaments, donated to Utah schools, and also regularly donates to charities. “Pickleball is the ultimate participatory sport,” said Luxem. “I am always excited about getting more people to play.”
Find this article and a lot more in the 2023 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.