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Utah woman's pickleball business is a 'big dill'

Posted at 8:16 AM, Jun 07, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns are not only playing pickleball, but they’re turning the fast-growing sport into a money-making business.

Katy Luxem, founder & CEO of Big Dill Pickleball Co., is one of them. She started her small business in 2020 as more people discovered pickleball during the pandemic.

“I actually came up with the idea because I couldn’t find a paddle that I liked. Everything was really generic and boring and didn’t really speak to the fun, accessible nature of pickleball,” Luxem explained.

The 38-year-old grew up playing the sport in school during physical education. Luxem is from Washington State, where the game reportedly began in the 1960s. It combines elements of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis. Moreover, it’s played on a court smaller than one you’d find in the game of tennis.

Luxem operates her business from home with a small team of people. Most of her products are sold online.

“It’s really cool to see our product in the wild,” she said. “We’ve grown like 100 percent, year over year, every year we’ve been in operation."

While her business has grown, Luxem says being a newer business owner hasn’t been easy. She faces fierce competition from other companies that are also jumping into the Pickleball craze.

However, Luxem believes her business stands out from the pack since it targets the beginner and recreational player more than most.

Luxem’s ultimate goal is to continue expanding her product line beyond pickleball paddles and offer more accessories that have her trademark, smiling pickle, on them.