Ferreira Tennis Serves a Growing Market
When No. 1-ranked doubles player Ellis Ferreira left the pro tennis circuit a few years ago, he needed to build another career — something that would be viable and at the same time, keep him close to the tennis world. The result was the founding of a line of children’s clothing, and it’s putting Ferreira Tennis on the map as he expands his new venture.
Ferreira Tennis opened for business in August 2005 with a full range of children’s clothing in girls’ sizes 4-16 and boys’ sizes 8-20. Ferreira himself calls the line “versatile fashion-forward apparel for a performance world.” A smart selection of women’s apparel is also available.
Just 13 months later, this past September, Ferreira expanded his business, buying out Little Miss Tennis/TV Sports. (Marilyn Kosten, president and designer of the Little Miss tennis line, will stay on board during the transition.)
Ferreira has pulled in a talented team of both family and industry veterans to design and produce clothing for his target market. His wife, Ashley, and her sister, Paige Macloskie, designed the apparel, along with merchandiser Elizabeth “Bissie” Clover. Marketing specialist Patricia Jensen (tennis mom to former French Open doubles champs Luke and Murphy), Vice President of Promotions Lark Baxter O’Neil, and national sales advisor Stuart Hudson complete the team.
The girls’ apparel lines are named for Ferreira’s two daughters, Sullivan, age 6, and Camden, age 9. Both lines reflect versatile, washable, moisture-wicking mix-and-match designs that span the seasons and go from the tennis court, to school, and beyond. A range of pastels and bright colors, and details such as embroidery, flowers, dragonflies, pleats, and ruffles, add variety to the lines. “We want to provide outfits that look sharp, that kids can play in, and that are easily washable,” says Ashley Ferreira.
For the boys’ line, called “Will,” Ferreira wanted it to be “cool, edgy, yet traditional,” he says. It reflects the same attention to detail and trends — from the Hawaiian surf-beachy look to the more preppy-but-cool on-court, off-court look, with shorts and polo shirts in grays, blues, blacks, and plaids. Tennis shoes that compliment the children’s apparel lines are also in the works.
After two seasons, the Ferreira brand of children’s tenniswear is in more than 100 retail outlets across the country. And consumers, says Ferreira, are responding well to the lines. With the acquisition of Little Miss Tennis/TV Sports, Ferreira says he hopes to expand the line of women’s clothing and incorporate more innovative adult tennis fashion as part of the mix.
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.