Maybe it’s the pockets. Maybe it’s the flashy jerseys we keep noticing at summer tourneys. Perhaps it’s just their approach. Everyone wants a way to stand out in the crowd and LacrosseWear delivers. Because of that they’ve become a true leader in the uni department. Players love ’em, thus teams from all over the globe have flocked to LacrosseWear to place custom orders.
The man behind LacrosseWear is Bo Lamon. Originally starting the company from his apartment in 2001, Bo has built LacrosseWear from the ground up into a profitable 35-employee operation. Headquarted in Florida, LacrosseWear unis can be found at lacrosse tournaments across the US. Evan Lacrosse All Stars’ club team, The Woozles, wore LacrosseWear shorts and jerseys at in Tahoe this past summer (Mr. Gaudet wrote a great review of them in August).
We sat down with Bo and asked him a few questions about the woes and rewards of running a lacrosse company. Below is our conversation. (Quick disclaimer: LacrosseWear is currently an advertising partner with LaxAllStars.com)
LAS: How did LacrosseWear get started? What’s the story behind it?
BO LAMON: Out of college I worked in corporate aviation as a safety audit coordinator. We worked with big clients – basically anyone who would charter a private jet – and the people I worked with had great business sense. I moved over to the sales side and enjoyed it, but I eventually realized I wanted to get back into lacrosse.
Before starting LacrosseWear, I worked at a similar company in Maryland for about a year. I decided I didn’t really like it and I wanted to start my own thing, so I left. I moved back to South New Jersey. It was just me and an assistant working out of my apartment. I had a couple credit cards and a little cash. We eventually decided to start the Bump & Grind lax tourney and we sold stuff there.
What is your lacrosse background?
I grew up in Glastonbury, CT and played my high school ball there. I went on to play at New England College and graduated in ’96. I was an attackman and middie. (Ed’s note: He also broke the school scoring record there) Afterward I moved to South Jersey and coached at Moorestown High School. We won the state title in 2001 and around that time is when I started LacrosseWear. I stayed in NJ for another year and then made the move to Florida. I coached at St. Andrews down here and won 4 state championships, so that was very rewarding – my son was born on the same day as the first one. And I also play for the Fort Lauderdale Flamingos.
When starting out, what were a couple of the main goals you had for LacrosseWear?
My main goals were 1) I wanted to make uniforms that I wanted to play in. They needed to be made for the player. That’s really where the pockets innovation came in. And 2) I wanted to get the company recognized on a national level – that’s something we’re still working towards.
It seems as though LacrosseWear has had a pretty big impact on the lacrosse community in Florida. What has the company done to get involved?
We try to get involved locally as much as possible. Lots of guys from our office coach in the area. We allow them to leave early for practices and stuff. As coaches I think we all find it gratifying to see kids go off to play in college. We also run a summer and winter indoor league here and every one of our stores has its own league. The stores are called LaxZone and they’re in Philly, Charlotte, Miami and Coconut Creek (our headquarters).
How would you like to see the game of lacrosse grow in the future? Is it prime-time ESPN worthy?
I think it would be great to see the pro level get the same attention and following as the NHL and NBA, and I think it is definitely ESPN-worthy. Eventually the sport can have that appeal, but lacrosse is not a sport everyone can walk up to and play. The game really needs to grow at the grassroots level first.
What’s the most rewarding part of running LacrosseWear?
At this point I think the most rewarding thing is, when I’m out and about, seeing kids wearing the gear. I was at the airport the other day and a kid had on our shorts. My wife and I were in Orlando at Universal Studios and a couple of kids were sitting next to us and they were all decked out. It was a good feeling to see that.
As an entrepreneur, is there any advice you would give to younger lacrosse players who are toying with the idea of starting their own lacrosse-related company?
Don’t do it! (laughs) If you’re playing right now just enjoy the sport. If you have really do have a unique idea and you’re passionate about it, then plan on putting your hours in. Running a business, especially in the lacrosse world, you need to stay passionate and keep your eyes on the prize constantly.
Favorite LacrosseWear product?
Right now my favorite product has got to be the sublimated hoodies. We recently put them into production and have gotten tons of positive feedback. We also have the custom designed and fully sublimated jerseys, and we’ve got some good response on doing pants. Then of course, there’s always the shorts with pockets!
Coolest jerseys LacrosseWear has ever produced?
That’s a tough one – every time I walk back into the production area I see something new that hasn’t been done before. Credit goes to the sales guys – they really do a good job with the designs. I think if I really have to pick one I’d say the Jammin Salmon jerseys we did. Those were great. Oh, and of course the Woozles.