JL is a family-owned business, run and staffed by athletes. For over 25 years, we have been designing, engineering, and manufacturing our technical training and racing clothing in California--even before it was cool to be 100% American made!
At our factory we have complete control over the means of production, over the timing, and over our impact on the community and on the environment. We source our materials as close to production as possible, use recycled fibers when available, and have solar panels on our roof! All our workers enjoy fully paid health and dental insurance, retirement and profit sharing benefits. Our employees repay our commitment to them with consistent, quality work--you'll recognize it in every garment we make!
So who are we? My name is Joline Esparza. I started JL in the early eighties while training and competing for the US World Team. It was my great honor to represent the US; I raced to a Silver Medal in the Open Women's Eight, Lucerne, '82. I designed and made trou and tights that worked for me, my rowing companions, and my husband, a track and field athlete. In the years since then, Ken and I have developed JL Design Enterprises, Inc., a full-service sports apparel company specializing in customized uniforms for training and racing. You can see our tough standards at work, when you go to our Secret Testing Lab, where we put our designs and fabrics through the ringer.
The one with the legs to the right is Ken Mills, shown preparing to throw the discus. In 1980 he competed for the US Junior National Team in Canada, and was recruited to UCI where he was a points leader for the team. The name Mills is still on the record at UCI for the Discus. Ken trained under Olympic coach Art Venegas with the top throwers of his generation. Faced with the dilemma of every top-class track athlete of the period, Ken made the decision to remain clean. Though this contributed to his early withdrawal from competition, it is part of what defines Ken and what he brings to his management style at JL. Dedication with honesty and hard work--no shortcuts.
Here are the faces to go with the voice (or email) at the other end of the line!