Frankie + Natalie = Pickle Babes
How the @picklebabes came to be:
Natalie and I have been friends since 2018 where they met working together in the bridal industry. During our time working together we had the pleasure of helping brides find the dress of their dreams and they did many photoshoots together to promote special events and new collections. Eventually our friendship grew beyond the bridal salon and they began playing beach volleyball together as we both came from a volleyball background and sports were a huge part of what we both loved to do.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, I was searching for things to keep me occupied while staying at my parents house. I baked the banana bread, watched Tiger King along with the rest of the world, and eventually was introduced to pickleball by a family friend. The first time I really learned how to play I was absolutely hooked! I played everyday for the next four months without taking a single day off. Once things began to open up again I went back to San Diego and sure enough Natalie had also taken up pickleball! We began to play together with some friends. It was a great way to cultivate community and get some fresh air and exercise without it ever feeling like work.
It was all fun and games until eventually my inner competitor took over and I decided to really take the leap and start competing. I was fortunate to have some really incredible mentors that had been playing the game much longer and at a much higher level than I had. They helped me take my game to the level it needed to be to hold my own in competition. After entering a few, I knew that the same competitive nature lived inside Natalie and that she would absolutely love the rush of competing in tournament play like I was. I begged and pleaded with her to sign up for an event with me, and in December of 2021 she finally agreed and we began preparing for our first two tournaments that would take place in January 2022. Our hard work payed off and we got back to back golds that weekend, needless to say that left us feeling pretty good about our decision to compete together. We have gone on to medal in the vast majority that we have competed in for the year and we have come such a long way as players since the beginning of the year.
One thing that we both had an understanding of was the importance of social media, especially in a rapidly growing environment like the sport of pickleball. Showing people what you are doing, who you are, and what your goals are were things that we knew how to do and do well. When we started training to compete, we recognized that there was a severe lack of “influencer” type figures in the world of pickleball and really no one producing high quality social content in the space. With that, we went from Frankie and Natalie: two girls that like wearing cute clothes and playing pickleball tournaments together to Frankie and Natalie: The Picklebabes. I will be honest, we started our account with little to no expectations and the speed of growth was shocking. We felt that we had touched on a part of the community that was majorly missing at a great time in the growth of the sport. I still cannot believe where the pickleball landscape has grown in just one year and feel so fortunate that we get to grow along with it. The community that we have grown is an amazing group of pickleballers that are kind and encouraging and we are so grateful to them for supporting us as we continue to grow as players and in partnering with brands that we are passionate about!
We are so happy to partner with Volley and help to spread awareness of their brand with the pickleball community. Being athletes, being cognizant of what we are putting in our bodies is super important. We love the simplicity of the ingredients and that volley is bringing awareness to the amount of hidden ingredients that go into other drinks. Not to mention, the taste is SO yummy and we all love a little spiked seltzer on the courts from time to time ;)
Our tournament season is winding down a bit as the holidays are right around the corner! Frankie has her last two events for the year in the next few weeks. You can find her playing the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Takeya Showcase in Newport Beach November 18-20 and the RYVL Winter Open in San Clemente, CA on December 2. We can’t wait for the 2023 season to begin and we anticipate playing lots of events next year! Follow along with us on Instagram (@picklebabes) and TikTok (@picklebabespickleball) for lots of updates from us!
Here are some photos from our first two competitions together. We competed back to back days: one in Tustin, CA and one in Newport Beach, CA. Due to weather and other delays, they ended up both being 12 hour days for us!
Thank you Natalie and Frankie for being a huge part of bringing the Pickleball community together, and being the face for younger or more inexperienced athletes to look up to when joining one the fastest growing sport of all time! Follow their journey, as we know we will be!