WARRINGTON Wolves’ Joe Philbin, who started out with Culcheth Eagles, kept himself busy during lockdown by getting to “Gripz” with a new business venture launching a new clothing brand with his good friend Jack Hodgkiss.
Working alongside local online web developers Morgan Branding, the new business got off to a flying start as they sold out of 200 pairs of special compression socks in just 48 hours.
Philbin, aged 25 and with more than 100 first-team games under his belt for the Wolves, is already planning for his future after teaming up with Jack to launch Gripz, a fresh clothing brand. Having already enjoyed success in rugby league, representing Great Britain and Ireland, Philbin now wants to see Gripz thrive in the sporting world.
Commenting on the business venture Philbin said: “I’ve been thinking of this for years. I’ve always followed a few brands and I’ve always fancied giving something like this a go.
“Lockdown gave me the opportunity to act on it because previously I was always doing rugby. I got together with my good mate Jack Hodgkiss and we spent a good few months putting things in place.
“We have been friends for a long time. We’ve both had similar ideas with what we wanted to do. He’s already got a successful construction company and I was looking to start this so we got talking to each other, shared ideas and we decided to use his expertise in the business world and my expertise in the sporting world, so we’ve put them ideas together and hopefully it is a good recipe for success.”
The first item of clothing launched is a compression sock, which has been specifically designed to give an extra boost to performance – and they are looking to launch an activewear range as well.
Philbin added: “Our first product, the Gripz sock, can be worn for playing any sport, or for walking or going to the gym.
“Boots are getting a lot lighter these days and your feet can move around your boot quite a bit so the compression sock will give that extra boost.
“They have got silicone grips on the bottom of the sock and it gives you that extra 1% in the change of your direction and extra power. The grips we have got go up the back of the sock so they help prevent blisters.
Philbin and Hodgkiss are determined to turn Gripz into a huge success – and they also want to give back to their local community in the process.
Philbin continued: “We want to build a solid brand. We want to do it properly and we want to make this a brand that people want to wear.
“We want to let the business grow organically and we’ve set a target that we want to be sponsoring the clubs that we both played for at amateur level within six to 12 months.
“Jack played for Culcheth Football Club and so did I. I played rugby for Culcheth Eagles and Latchford Giants so we want to be sponsoring those teams down the line and give back to the clubs that gave so much to us.
One of our main goals is to give back to the community so hopefully it all works out well.”
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