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4Joy in the News!

4Joy in the News!- Greenwich Free Press

Here's a link and an except of a recent story in the Greenwich Free Press.

https://greenwichfreepress.com/news/business/the-joy-of-pickleball-stylish-4joy-paddles-reflect-greenwich-entrepreneurs-mission-214495/

Below is an abbreviated excerpt from the article.

The Joy of Pickleball: Stylish 4Joy Paddles Reflect Greenwich Entrepreneur’s Mission

Riverside resident and entrepreneur Stacey Cleary developed a new line of pickleball paddles. 4Joy was created to update pickleball gear for players who want a performance quality paddle and stylish designs to express themselves. The paddles are designed to start a conversation because they’re interesting and different and allow the player to identify and support a brand that is all woman-owned, has a serious mission, and a positive message. 4Joy Paddle Company was founded by teacher, creator, artist and pickleball enthusiast Stacey Cleary.

Cleary started the company during the summer of 2023, as a labor of love. Pickleball players are passionate about the sport because it’s first and foremost a fun and inclusive community building sport. “I love how when you get on a pickleball court it doesn’t matter your skill level or your age or your gender, pickleballers are accepting and willing to give their time to help you learn and improve,” she said. I saw (sic) dull, gray and black and generally boring unattractive paddles and I thought, “Pickleball is a fun, joyous sport, and the paddle should match that vibe!”

At the end of that summer Cleary got a very scary medical diagnosis. She had a brain tumor that had to be surgically removed. The tumor was thankfully benign but lodged in a tricky spot just behind her left eye. The surgery was a success but the recovery was long and difficult. Pickleball was out of the question for a long time.

When she was ready to start playing again she began searching for a new upgraded paddle but could not find anything that matched what she was looking for: a high quality advanced level paddle that would help her improve her game with high quality fun and interesting graphics. From there, she started designing on her computer different ideas that she thought would look good on a paddle. When she showed the designs to her friends and pickleball pals, they all encouraged her to turn this idea into a company. The project began in earnest over the summer of 2023 with a lot of research. Her first priority was to develop a high-tech performance level paddle that would fit most player’s needs in terms of size, shape and weight. She found a reliable manufacturer overseas that has been making pickleball paddles for over 10 years and makes paddles for some of the top brands. 

Cleary describes 4Joy as more than a pickleball company, and rather a company on a mission, with an early commitment to donate a portion of proceeds to charitable organizations. One of the most significant takeaways from experiencing the brain tumor for Cleary was an appreciation for the importance of health and since playing pickleball has such major positive health benefits, so she chose four health organizations for her focus.

They decided to start with four organizations, “We give 4Joy.” Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance in honor of her dear friend Diane Powis of Greenwich. Second, The American Cancer Society was selected because of Cleary’s experience with the brain tumor and being grateful every day that it wasn’t cancerous, giving to ACS for all those who are or have suffered with cancer was an absolute must. Third, The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund was selected because so many of her friends and family have been affected by that terrible disease, including her dear brother-in-law and her mother-in-law Maura Cleary who suffered for many years. The fourth organization selected was the Breast Cancer Research Foundation because there are so many women and men who suffer with the disease including Cleary’s maternal grandmother.

 The paddles are fully USAP certified for tournament use with the USAP stamp.

Since launching, Cleary said the paddles have been a huge hit with rave reviews and exceptional feedback. “People love how the paddles play, feel and look,” she said. 

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