JL is a family-owned business, run and staffed by athletes. For over 36 years, we have been designing, engineering, and manufacturing our technical training and racing clothing in California, and now have expanded to both California and El Salvador.
At our family-owned facilitiies we have complete control over the means of production, over the timing, and over our impact on the community and on the environment.
We source our materials as close to production as possible, use recycled fibers when available, and have solar panels on our roof! Our aim is to be close to fully solar by 2020. Our workers enjoy medical facilities on site, day care facilities, maternity leave benefits, and more. Our employees repay our commitment to them with consistent, quality work--you'll recognize it in every garment we make.
So who are we? Clearing the bar in the photo above is Laura Sweitzer (Mills), our Manager of Track & Field sales. Laura was a high school standout--her records in hurdles, long jump, high jump still stand at University HS in Irvine, Ca. In the summer of 1980 she competed for the US Jr. All Star Team in Taiwan, and won Jr. Nationals Heptathlon in 1981. On a track scholarship to UCI for the heptathlon, her javelin record still stands there, and while at OCC Laura set the record for shotput. She made NCAA's in javelin in 1985. Training under Olympic coach Dave Rodda, Laura competed for Coast Athletics Track Club. Her connection to track & field is nourished by her work at JL with today's athletes and coaches. Laura lives and plays with her husband and two daughters in Seattle.
The thrower (the one with the legs) above is Ken Mills (Mills), shown while competing for UCI in the early 80's. Laura's older brother Ken is ome of the founders of JL. Though he found his calling in the throwing events, Ken surprisingly (for his build) also excelled in both high jump and long jump. He set many records while at University High School; his record for the discus only fell in 2000, and his shot record held til 2004, broken by an athlete that Ken coached. In 1980 he competed for the US Junior National Team in Canada, and was recruited to UCI where he was a points leader for the team. The name Mills is still on the record at UCI for the Discus. Ken trained under Art Venegas with the top throwers of his generation. Faced with the dilemma of every top-class track athlete of the period, Ken made the decision to remain clean. Though this contributed to his early withdrawal from competition, it is part of what defines Ken and what he brings to his management style at JL. Dedication with honesty and hard work--no shortcuts.
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