Welcome to the Club. That’s the warm greeting on the website for PQL Club, a newly released luxury pickleball clothing brand. It sums up beautifully the mission—to provide a style destination for the many, many players out there who crave the collective community and want to look chic doing what they love. “PQL Club is about being unifying, not exclusive,” says founder Sabina Nathanson. “It’s about being playful and yet chic but not stuffy, being enthusiastic and not overbearing. That’s who we are.” Currently, the line features a wrap skirt, tanks, jacket, and accessories—all of which are made to move in.
After Nathanson discovered the sport during the pandemic, it felt natural to her to start a business around it. “I became obsessed with pickleball,” she says. “I think that’s what happens the second somebody plays.” At the time, she was focusing on raising her three young children (they all play too, as does her husband, David), but her background in brand integration and marketing kept her ever alert to entrepreneurial opportunities.
Pickleball presented a problem she was eager to fix. “I was playing with friends, and we really wanted to look good and feel good on the court,” she says. “Despite my best efforts to find something reflective of my personal style, everything I found was really targeted at tennis players. If anything was specific to pickleball, it just wasn’t for me—so many shirts make a joke about the kitchen or the pickle.” Ta-da! The idea for PQL Club, a collection of elevated sportswear, was born.
WE REALLY WANTED TO LOOK GOOD AND FEEL GOOD ON THE COURT,” SAYS NATHANSON. TA-DA! THE IDEA FOR PQL CLUB, A COLLECTION OF ELEVATED SPORTSWEAR, WAS BORN.
“The game is just so playful,” says Nathanson. “It was really unifying because we all felt like we were pretty good at it, whether we were or not. You can play against people at all different levels and have a really fun time. As we put our brand together, we wanted to unify pickleball players with their collective obsession for the sport.”
Philanthropy has always been important to Nathanson, who serves on the boards of the Brentwood School and the nonprofit Baby2Baby. In honor of PQL Club’s inaugural collection, she partnered with a nonprofit called Phase One, which held a pickleball tournament in Los Angeles in October to raise money for clinical cancer research. “I wanted giving back to be a big part of what we do,” she says.
Up next: Nathanson plans to release more PQL Club women’s colors and designs and, eventually, men’s clothing. “I’m not going to wear a T-shirt with a big pickle on it—that’s not who I am,” she says. “But I feel really comfortable on the pickleball court, like I’m supposed to be there, so I want the clothes I make to reflect that.”