Author: Lieke van Otten

The founding of RIBBON – from idea to starting up a hockey grip brand

Lieke here! You are listening to a self-confessed ‘hockey-gear freak’. After a way too long lockdown due to the COVID pandemic, I was finally allowed to hockey again. Searching in the garage, I found my hockey stick covered with a thick layer of dust. My freaky sport gear mind told me I needed to prepare my stick to shine again. What’s a better way to pimp your stick than putting a new hockey grip on it?! I faced a problem… I could not find a hockey grip that met my high standards. That’s when I took the plunge and decided to develop a new hockey grip myself.

But where am I going to start? I began questioning the needs of hockey players. I asked advise from my teammate at H.O.D. Valkenswaard, youth players of HC Oranje-Rood Eindhoven and a lot of motivated kids to who I give hockey training at the MB Hockeyschool. They were all excited about my idea to innovate a new hockey grip and gave me a lot of specifications they thought a hockey grip would definitely need: be waterproof, have a non-slip surface, be long enough to grip down the stick, dampen vibration and of course look stylish as hell. Quite a task for me to make a grip that meets alle these requirements.

But, for me there is no mountain to high! I started thinking, developing, making samples, try out sample grips, get feedback from hockey players, learn, improve, make new samples, test samples again, implement feedback, I have been going through this innovation cycle over and over and could finally put all the pieces together in order to deliver the best hockey grip solution for all hockey players: RIBBON Sportgrip! The RIBBON hockey grips are ready to go around your hockey stick! Or not?? Find out more about it in the next blog post

RIBBON Sportgrip is ready to go around your stick, or not?!

Proud me climbed the first mountain, and found a solution for my dusty hockey stick. From now on I’m always going to grip my hockey stick with a fresh RIBBON Sportgrip : ) Oh no… there it is already, the second mountain I have to walk, or rather RUN up. What about all the other things that come into play when starting a brand. Let’s start with designing a logo. Because a brand without a logo is like a playing hockey without a hockey ball, that doesn’t work at all.

The creative mind of Angelique, a very close friend, produced numerous amazing logo ideas. Take a minute to look at all these sketches and try to pick one design you like the most, I guarantee this is a daunting task… keep in mind the RIBBON logo must be colorful and it becomes a bit easier to choose. Nevertheless it was a hell of a job to make that final decision between all those potential RIBBON logo’s. Luckily Angelique was by my side and gave me good advices. This resulted in the design of the definitive, and very tasty RIBBON logo you see everywhere these days. I cannot put into words how thrilled I am every time I see that characteristic ‘R’. Somehow I have that strange nervous tick to brand every item around me with a RIBBON sticker, so yes I am thrilled a lot during the day : )

Oké, I could continue talking for hours and days about this nice beautiful good looking RIBBON logo, but enough about that. I already ran up a bit higher on the second mountain and the next step is creating a website. I told you I am a crazy sport freak, but the IT world is totally new for me… obviously, I didn’t get a whiff of that sock. When facing the second mountain I came across a really steep slope, called: ‘creating a website’. I didn’t have any choice, I had to face this heavy and steep climb and it took me a lot of time… want to know why? Stay tuned, I will tell everything about the obstacles I faced when building a website without any IT knowledge in the next blogpost!

Lieke

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