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History – The Gballz Factory

History

I was having trouble learning to juggle 5 ballz with the balls available at the time, so in early 2000, I made my own ballz. Similar to a Thud ball, I made four-panel balls of PVC, Moleskin and of Ultraleather. Fellow jugglers liked what I was making and asked me to make a set of ballz for them. This word-of-mouth continued and by July 4, 2004, Gballz was officially founded. The desire to juggle five ballz was shelved, but eventually I got it! To my delight, Gballz have been a success from the day I put up the website. The Ultrasuede and Moleskin were originally listed for sale, the PVC ballz – Original Gballz - were never listed for sale and over 1,000 of them were gifts to friends, family, and friends of my daughter. After Fergie retired his famed 6 panel ball, the demand for them was still there. I answered the call and gave birth to the Elite Series in 2006. 

Ty Tojo, world-class juggler was searching for a near perfectly round beanbag. This inspired me to make what are now the 8-panel Elite Series (e8) ballz. Today, nearly 90% of all Gballz orders are for the e8 Series.

In July, 2011, Gballz orders were at an all time high. I had to stop taking orders on September 15, 2011 in order to fulfill my existing orders. July 13, 2012 was the day I quit my day job at Oakland University so that I am able to better meet the overwhelming demand.

In January 2013, my wife switched to a part-time job at the university to devote more time to Gballz. She finally joined The Gballz Factory full-time in 2014 and we’ve added to our staff.  Toward the end of 2014, our home was overtaken by Gballz so we decided to move south to Arkansas and build a much needed factory - separate from the home, which was completed October 2015.  Many of you have seen the building progress on Facebook. Jill and I, along with our cats, have faced many growing pains but are now living our dream making Gballz in our new space.

Thank you for your support!! 

Gregory Materna Poché

 

 

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