PEPIN'S SOCCER | BIG DREAMS, SMALL STEPS
Updated: Feb 12, 2022
A story of Pepin's Soccer, a Mexican soccer company with rich history and bright future.
If you play soccer in the US and haven't worn Pepin's Soccer, I want you to give us a chance.
If you have ever worn a Pepin's Soccer jersey, we want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for supporting a smallish company from Mexico and thank you for trusting us with making your soccer kits.
HISTORY: La Piedad, Michoacan
Pepin's Soccer started in the 70s in Mexico after a local team wanted futbol uniforms and the machines the Ibarra family owned at the time were capable of doing so. After the first customers were pleased, more teams wanted uniforms and Pablo(CEO) decided they should brand the kits. Pablo decided with the name of "Pepin" as their brand name. Although I've known him for 4 years now, I still don't know if there's more meaning behind "Pepin", but if there is, I'll figure it out eventually.
Soon after, Pepin's Soccer got to the point where they were making the apparel for Mexico's first division teams such as Tigres, Atlas, Cobras, and Tigres to name a few. The future looked bright until the big brands and sponsors came to Mexico and took over the team's sponsorships, kicking Pepin's Soccer out of the professional leagues.
Pepin's Soccer was seeing success in the amateur leagues and continued making apparel for amateur teams and schools in Mexico. Through word of mouth, new customers kept coming to Pepin for their soccer needs, and Pepin kept investing in their factory. Years passed and in 2016, Pablo bought a plane ticket and landed in Illinois. Pablo came here with the intent to grow Pepin's Soccer, and with Illinois having a big soccer community, Pablo saw the potential for growth.
MEXICO TO ILLINOIS
Pablo partnered with a small soccer shop and made custom kits for teams without branding since he was still doing the paperwork to sell as Pepin's Soccer here in the US. After completing the paperwork, Pablo went to soccer fields and started posting on Facebook pages offering his services. People saw that Pepin's Soccer offered what they wanted, which was lower prices and faster delivery at the same quality as big brands.
Pepin's Soccer was able to offer all of this to the soccer community because they are a factory, not a retailer. The uniforms go straight from the factory to the teams without a middle man.
In 2017, I (Rodrigo) come into the scene. I met Pablo after trying to start my own brand using his factory. I made one Chicago inspired jersey before he told me he wouldn't be able to handle the extra work since he was still developing Pepin's Soccer. It was my childhood dream to work for a soccer kit company so I didn't skip a beat and asked Pablo if I could work for him. After our meeting, he decided to take me under his wing. I didn't know much about graphic design or business at the time, but started learning along the way. Pepin's Soccer was growing in Illinois in the best way possible, word of mouth. I sped up the process by getting new customers and eventually tried getting customers in other states. Through trial and error, I learned how to contact coaches in other states to get them to order uniforms, and slowly started gaining customers across the country.
Pepin's Soccer had a website before and it sucked. The website didn't do much in helping us turn potential customers into actual customers. Somebody took our old domain and we lost access to the website which was a blessing in disguise. We are working on a new website now, and we hope to share it with the public within the next 3 weeks.
There's only 2 people in the US working for Pepin's Soccer in the US and I know why people, who we appreciate very much, keep coming back to us for their apparel. First of all, there's the obvious such as lower prices and faster delivery due to the fact that they're ordering straight from the factory. Then there's the main reason they come back with us, and that is that they're not purchasing from a company but from friends. Pablo has become friends or good acquaintances with many people he's met through Pepin's Soccer. I have also become friends with many people who I made logos for and if not friends, I actually enjoy talking to them. We all share the common interest of soccer, and then there's always something else that I find interesting about everybody who buys uniforms with us.
Keep coming back to this blog to see how we take over the US in 2022.