When I first met with Joline and Ken from JL Racing, it was Spring of 2009. I remember from our first meeting, Joline said we want you to design some of your own garments. Being a designer, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Joline kept talking about this blank canvas, which did intimidate me a little in the beginning. Especially because this is clothing, fabrics, 3D stuff, where my realm is 2D, web page graphics, business cards, logos, brochures. I started with some simple stuff, doing the standard custom template tools that they offer on their site. That was the beginning of learning how things come together. It also started teaching me about the fabrics, how it stretches and moves, and then when you use certain fonts, how they display from far, and how far should you wrap around the back before your arms start cutting of the design. It seems simple, but their is a definite visual area that we see on our clothes, and where to place key elements of the design. As the year went on, I got to put together a few items, each one showing a period I was facing. At the end of the 2010, Joline encouraged me once again, to really design something unique. I had an idea from a silkscreen I created a while back. And with the introduction of a new fabric from JL called Thermoroubaix, the black and white gear emerged. Now a name for this gear?! In July I went to visit my family in South Africa and there was talk of 'shweshwe'. It was a term used my the indigenous Xhosa people for the sound of the long skirts made by the women who came from Europe. The term is now applied to unique African-looking patterns, and so I thought this was rather fitting.
I got the opportunity to talk about the gear, and my racing in New Zealand and Paleo nutrition arranged at the Seattle JL Team Store. And now the gear is available on line, and you are order it from this link! Ursula JL Team Store JL Newsletter