It all started when I saw my boyfriend’s parents create a makeshift pickleball court in their New York City apartment during quarantine. Watching their love of the game (over zoom and then in person), made me realize that this sport—and the people who play—are special. When I started playing, I realized that it was a game that even I could play and get good at. Even I! Someone who was more likely to get “Most Valuable Attitude” over “Most Valuable Player”!

When I went to buy my own gear, everything I found was either stylistically dated, looked pretty cheap, or was suuuper expensive. I wanted a paddle that played really well and could win, but also one that looked like the game felt to me—vibrant and joyful. (And was stylish too!)

But it wasn’t just cool designs and performance I was seeking. I was looking for a brand that spoke to the things that I love most about pickleball: The way anyone can learn. The way it can be played anywhere. The way it brings people of all generations, abilities, and backgrounds together. How many sports can you play with your grandparents—and they roast you on the court?

I created Nettie to bring premium products into the market with great designs and meaningful stories. I worked to embed a retro, colorful, nostalgic personality into everything we’re doing. I sought to create something in the spirit of those long summer days in 1965 when Bill Bell, Joel Pritchard, and Barney McCallum created pickleball for their kids with old sports equipment lying around. Equal parts creativity + quirk + competitiveness.

I started Nettie to bring products and experiences into the world that spark connection, joy, and meaningful relationships. After two years of isolation, technology dependence, and societal divisiveness in the world, we need more ways to get outside and just play with each other.

I hope pickleball—and Nettie—can do that for you!

-Catherine, Founder & CEO