Local resident serves up line of pickleball attire
Local resident Muffy Walker is combining fitness and fashion with her new line of pickleball skirts called Pickle Me Pink. While Walker has founded a for-profit business and several nonprofits, including the International Bipolar Foundation, this is her first shot at an apparel line.
A longtime tennis player, Walker has become a pickleball convert. She is not alone: Pickleball is considered the fastest growing sport in America and the USA Pickleball Association has found that the sport has seen a 650 percent increase in members since 2013, and as of 2020 had 4.2 million players in the U.S.
The sport is like a mix of tennis, badminton and ping pong, played on a smaller court with solid wood paddles and a ball similar to a wiffle ball. As typically four pickleball courts can fit on one tennis court, many local clubs like the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club, Lomas Santa Fe Country Club and Bobby Riggs Tennis Club in Encinitas have made pickleball court conversions. A new park in Pacific Highlands Ranch, set to open in 2023, was designed to include public pickleball courts.
To go along with her growing addiction to the sport, Walker wanted something more unique and eye-catching to wear as she played.
Growing up on the east coast, she played tennis at a club where the required uniform was all white, not even a stripe of color was allowed. Walker has always preferred a little more pizazz than basic whites—“I have to be seen when I walk on the court,” she said playfully. “I like a lot of color.”
She took her ideas to a couture designer she had worked with previously in La Jolla who created four patterns and sample skirts for her. She then worked with Solana Beach resident Jim Alan to produce the skirts in a factory he owns in Tijuana.
Walker was thrilled with the results—skirt styles include bright colors, wild florals and animal prints with details like piping, layers of mesh and ruffles. One sure to stand out on the court is a gold snakeskin print skirt with red shorts underneath.
“I love it, it fits perfectly and the quality feel of the skirt is amazing,” wrote customer Sally M in a recent review.
Everything Pickle Me Pink offers is extremely bright and colorful—“If you’re looking for a navy skirt you’re not going to find it in my line,” said Walker, who lived in Rancho Santa Fe for 23 years and now lives in Del Mar.
For Walker, it has been the most enjoyable to shop for fun and funky fabrics—she now has eight skirt styles and a spare bedroom stacked with bolts of fabrics.
More than just the perfect skirt for a cross-court dink, Walker said the skirts are also great for golf and tennis. She also hopes to expand her activewear line to include tops and leggings.
The skirts are available online for now and Walker expects them to be sold at the Bobby Riggs Tennis Club and she hopes the line can be carried at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club pro shop.
The skirts will also be on sale at the Del Mar Farmers Market on Saturday, April 3, 1-4 p.m. (Located on the lower parking lot at 1050 Camino Del Mar, City of Del Mar Civic Center.)
To learn more, visit picklemepinkclothes.com, @picklemepinkskirts.
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