It has been said that there are two types of people in the world, entrepreneurs and everyone else. Entrepreneurs are folks who create things and usually live on their own terms. They are a special group of people who have a passion for solving a certain problem and creating something that fixes it. Jon Cantrell, a 38-year old Murrieta transplant who grew up in Costa Mesa until age 11, knows a thing or two about this way of life.
Cantrell was an action sports team manager for a well-known clothing company, and he said that lifestyle gave him a taste of being on his own.
“I got to work when I wanted, but ultimately it fell on me if the time wasn’t spent wisely,” he said.
When the company veered away from action sports, Cantrell quickly transitioned back to his roots of basketball, a sport he played his whole life. He started running a travel program and hosting tournaments with one of his old coaches he had from growing up. While working hard for someone else and becoming the face of the brand, Cantrell learned quickly through tough life lessons that he was once again doing all of the work and not seeing the personal benefits to get him to the next level. With that, he ventured out on his own and started the Take Pride Men’s League.
“It took some time and many sleepless nights, but I knew my ideas would come to life and eventually be something very good for the community,” he said. “Take Pride came from a place of motivation and passion. ‘Take’ made a statement, it was a strong word and at the end of the day, mine. I wanted a two-word brand name, something bold, respectable, relatable and honorable so ‘Pride’ popped in my head. With my other passions, using elite, all-stars or anything related was out the door. I did not want to limit myself to just one avenue so ‘Take Pride’ came to life and I haven’t looked back since creating it four years ago.”
But this story isn’t about basketball, it’s about his new venture into golf apparel and accessories. Golf became a passion for Cantrell about seven years ago.
“It was an outlet,” Cantrell said. “Something new to learn and got me out with buddies on some beautiful courses. After spending hours, days, months and now years on the game, I saw an opportunity to bring some comfort to the game, in the form of apparel. I started with polo shirts, something I picked up from making my coaches look presentable in basketball.
The unique look of the polo shirts for Take Pride Golf Supply were a great start, but when it came to bringing a “Change” to the game, his next idea came to him through his own hands, the Take Pride Golf Glove, aka The Change.
“I respect the game of golf and love the traditionalism that comes with it,” he said. “I did not want to change anything about the feel, fit or overall construction of the glove. My ‘ah ha’ moment was my concept of a removable Velcro patch that could be your color pop, instead of a bright and loud colored glove that would ultimately fall apart quickly due to the treating process that goes into Cabretta leather. The patch serves as a color piece to go with your outfit, if that’s your thing, and it’s a ball marker. It bridges the gap to another passion of mine which is working with brands and helping them grow. The ‘Change’ glove allows companies from all industries to put their logo on a golf glove, get it onto the course without all the crazy minimums and not accrue the high costs that come with it.”
Cantrell wants his brand to be relatable and motivational, he said.
“I want people to feel a sense of pride when wearing our apparel, after all, the slogan is look good, feel good, play good,” Cantrell said.
He said his men’s league will always will be his baby and passion.
“The transition from one company to the next was very easy, and I can’t thank the players in the league enough for staying true and loyal to my brand,” he said. “I also owe a lot of thanks to my parents for always being there when needed, pushing me to follow my dreams and passions as well as my girlfriend Sarah, who has been a big motivator for me, and my brother Destin, who knows what it is like to go for gold as a professional freestyle MX rider.”
Destin Cantrell helped Jon Cantrell grow the brand and continues to share the passion alongside him. His designer, creative director and good friend, Mitch Bailey, also helps bring the ideas to life and create the story board of Take Pride Golf Supply. Cantrell also mentioned John Broussard, athletic direct of Murrieta Mesa High School.
“He has been a huge advocate. I am so thankful for his positivity, drive, motivation, opportunities and friendship,” Cantrell said.
Also, on the list of thanks are his sponsors and affiliates, which include KBS golf shafts, UST Mamiya Golf Shafts, Callaway Golf, Golf Pride Grips, Amp Caddy, Leus, Stogies N Bogies and Trust Me Vodka.
As for getting his product out there more, he said the online presence has been a huge focus and once the current state of the issues surrounding the coronavirus changes, he will continue to push and educate more on a face to face basis.
“I am focused on getting more and more people on board with the ‘Change’ glove as we have new features coming soon. My goal for now is to create more of a buzz here in the community first. I would love to get the gloves on any up and coming players, see how they feel about it and make it a driving force. I want nothing more than to support the men, women and kids of this amazing community,” Cantrell said.
JP Raineri can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.