Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in sports and outdoor goods but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Heidi Block, Founder of Play-PKL, located in Summit, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Play-PKL, a pickleball brand designed specifically for recreational athletes. We offer great content and high-quality, unique equipment, apparel, and accessories. Our customers are everyone who plays pickleball or wants to learn, but we are particularly focused on recreational players ages 40+.

Tell us about yourself

I spent most of my career in consumer product marketing with a focus on innovation and brand building, but I'm also a lifelong tennis player. When I first started playing pickleball a few years ago, I was disappointed in the content and brands for the market, so I thought I would launch a company to fill the void. I love pickleball now as much as tennis, and my business enables me to spread that passion to others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'm pretty proud of the fact that I am launching a line of pickleball apparel even though I've never worked in the industry and had no connections in it. It's been an incredible journey to learn about apparel development and manufacturing and to create a collection from scratch which is being manufactured in the U.S.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things is predicting the future because this has never been done before. How do I know if people will like my designs and buy my products, and what can I do to increase that likelihood. I'm investing my own money so far, so I have a lot at stake.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. I truly believe that the difference between a successful new business and a failed one is never giving up. If it's a pretty good idea and you just keep believing, you will eventually get there.
  2. If you are launching a business, be sure that it is differentiated from competitors and be able to articulate why.
  3. Don't be afraid to ask for help from everyone you know! No one knows everything, and most people love to support a new business if asked.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.