ROSEVILLE – Two women are serving up a dose of style and solving an age old problem for women tennis players.
Women have been playing tennis since the late 19th century. While the sport's fashion has evolved over the years, it took more than a century for a major fashion fix - pants with hidden pockets for tennis balls.
"I noticed women on neighboring courts having no place to put the tennis ball," Denise Antoniadis said. "Many of them were stuffing them in their shirt or under a sweater."
Antoniadis had the idea two years ago, and then partnered with Lisa Podlipnik.
"I think I personally went into it a little bit naïve, not knowing what I was getting into," Podlipnik admitted.
What they lacked in fashion experience, they made up with their passion. Both are tenacious tennis players who are passionate about the game and passionate about solving the sport's fashion faux pas. That's why they named their company Bpassionit.
"I was so excited by the prospect of clothing and creating a line women can wear and answering the problems we had on tennis courts," Podlipnik said.
The concept was figure flattering pants that function well on the court. Their first pair launched just months after they teamed up and they quickly gained fans.
"I was always sticking the ball up on the side of my hip or in my shirt and it would fall out," Kathy Robello said. "I'd miss a ball. I didn't play as well. When I started using their design, it left my hands free to play the game."
Bpassionit even sponsors a junior tennis player from the area.
They've expanded their line to include about two dozen pieces, both tops and bottoms.
"Our whole goal is wear it on and off the court," Antoniadis explained.
While the company is growing, the hardest part is getting stores to carry them. Local shops were the first to get on board. After a lot of perseverance and passion, Bpassionit is now sold in about 50 shops across the country. They hope to double that by the end of the year.