Juggling transforms people's lives.
It brings in new challenges. It sparks new friendships. It teaches us not to give up after a failed first try.
And so has juggling transformed lives of the people behind Jugglequip. Jugglequip was founded in 2012 by an enthusiastic juggler – Tomáš Zahradník – whose goal was to promote juggling in the Czech Republic not only by starting a juggling brand, but also organizing juggling events. Soon after that, he invited another Czech juggler to join him on his journey.
That was me, Vašek Peca. I was as young as 16 then, but having juggled since 9, I already had quite a lot of experience juggling, going to juggling conventions and even competing in the World Juggling Federation Championships.
What made me join Jugglequip was a simple idea. I had tried many different juggling balls but I was never fully satisfied with any of them.
The problem was that all stitched juggling balls that were then available were wearing out too quickly. A set of beanbags lasted me only 4 months, but also, as the beanbags were getting softer over time, I had to keep on adjusting to the changing softness.
I dug into the mechanics of juggling beanbags and found out that their short life time was a complex issue. The outer material, the panel layout, the stitching and the filling – all influenced the durability.
There was no other option than replacing all the building blocks, one by one. And that was the long path between 2012 and 2018, on which hundreds of prototypes were made and tested. In the process, we sold some of the intermediate versions online and at EJCs.
In 2019, we finally had the product to be proud of. At European Juggling Convention in Newark, we released the first generation of Infinities, the juggling beanbags which were named after their almost infinite durability.
Infinities had an immense success – most of the size-color combinations were sold out before the EJC ended. Some notable jugglers like Sean Gandini congratulated us on the product that looked and felt like a revolution in juggling beanbags design.
Still, this was just the beginning. We knew we had an excellent product but everything about the business was very amateurish and fragile.
The next step was to have our own factory, so that we can oversee the production and offer customizability. But for that to work, we had to do everything on a larger scale.
Believing in the potential of Infinities, I went all-in. I took the lead, started a limited company, rented an office and found two amazing people to join me in Jugglequip.
The first one is Lída, our production expert who stitches all the balls (and now also sends the orders!). And the second one is Zuzka, our social media manager who makes our brand more engaging and fun.
Finally, in November 2021, we launched Infinities 2nd Gen, made in the Czech Republic. They are rounder than the 1st Gen thanks to the improved shape of the panel, and also more durable thanks to a stronger thread.
However, the biggest news is that the 2nd generation is customizable. In fact, we offer the most advanced customization on the market: you can define 6 parameters of the ball including size, weight and fullness, which can be adjusted independent of each other.
As you can tell, Jugglequip is not just a company selling juggling equipment. It is more of a pet project that has outgrown its owners, but it is still very playful and curious inside, like a child. And we would like to keep it like that – since juggling is what we love.
Hugs & catches,