Jill LaCorte`s Cortiglia Tennis Bags Make Headlines
The business world is one different from any other, and starting your own company can be a risky venture. It can be rewarding, scary, fun and frustrating all at once.
I am always curious what inspires those to begin a company; a new idea, the money, a hobby even? While reading about successful business women, I was lucky enough to come across an inspirational woman that began a business out of necessity. Her love of fashion and tennis gave way to Cortiglia tennis bags, which have made headlines in both the tennis and fashion world.
This is her story.
Before ever picking up a tennis racquet, Jill LaCorte loved fashion. Her style consisted of classic, sophisticated and clean chic.
After the birth of her second son, Jill La Corte started to play tennis as a way to get back in shape, but it turned into more than just a workout… she found that she was addicted and fortunately, had a natural talent as a tennis competitor.
Just three weeks after her third son, Jill was playing in her first tournament and now only a few years later she is a force to be reckoned with on the courts as a competitive league player and even a sectional finalist in 2005.
Jill loved the game but noticed that there was something missing; a stylish, functional tennis bag.
“Carrying her racquets and gear in the standard-fare, over-sized, nylon or vinyl, logo-emblazoned tennis bags went against every aesthetic fiber in her body,” according to the Cortiglia website.
Jill attempted to use cute totes as tennis bags but they just weren’t cut out for a tennis player. She knew that if she wanted a fashion-forward tennis bag that was also practical and functional, she was going to have to make one herself; it was then that Cortiglia, LLC was born.
Necessity breeds innovation. That is just what I needed to hear from a woman who has done what I only dream about.
Jill went on to tell me that while furthering her education at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, she got to work designing tennis bags from home. She spent months looking for the highest quality materials and craftsmanship in the world.
I know every business has its ups and downs, so I asked Jill about the difficulties she had while starting up Cortiglia.
“We definitely had challenges. Creative thinking was usually the a
nswer for most of our problems. The difficulties we had in the beginning became very important lessons, which truly help us appreciate and not take for granted where we are now.” And where they are now is truly something to be applauded.
Because of the time she invested and the quality of her tennis bags, Jill LaCorte`s tennis bags have become a fashion sensation throughout the tennis world and have gained popularity among some of the greatest stars; some tennis players and some celebrities including Oprah!
Jill commented on the fact that tennis is such a great demographic, which is perhaps why her bags have been featured in such a diverse array of magazines: Life and Style Magazine, The Royal Box, Tennis Magazine, Vogue.com, LA Splash magazine, Vitality Magazine and more. Cortiglia also made it to Oprah`s famous “O List” in O Magazine… (You know if Oprah likes it it`s got to be good!)
Jill also said that she was approached by the United Hemispheres magazine and Cortiglia tennis bags will be featured in their upcoming July issue!
It seems as though Jill LaCorte`s goal was to cater to fashion-forward female tennis players much like herself. Her work has paid off and is recognized throughout both the tennis and fashion industry. Her philosophy is that you should look as good as you feel on and off the court and Cortiglia tennis bags perfectly reflect the company motto, “Look great. Feel great. Play great.”
I understand the notion that when you look good, you feel good and you will be a better performer. When I go to the gym, for instance, I put make-up on even though I know I`m going to sweat it all off…it`s a boost of confidence that helps my performance.
Jill`s story inspired me much like I`m sure it will inspire other women. Combining a hobby and a passion seems to be the best recipe for a successful business, which is just what Jill La Corte did with Cortiglia tennis bags.
Courtney Sloan is a copywriter and a college student studying mass media. Being a copywriter, Courtney has made it her mission to find interesting stories on sports, fashion and more and share them with the community.