The following submission is by Jeri Bates, one of the founding employees of Code Four Athletics.
My career in business has always been involved in some type of clothing manufacturing. However, working for some of the larger companies, I never had the opportunity to meet the final consumer. There were too many phases in the process, and so the connection of true personal involvement was unapparent. They were jobs, interesting as they were, but something was lacking.
My involvement in recreational soccer started with a Washington-based company launched in 1999 called Code Four Athletics. This company was a brain-child of former Brittania executive, Frank Carter, as a forum to bring affordable yet stylish soccer clothing to aspiring youth soccer players.
Right from the offset, this company was in constant motion. As a fledgling company amongst the giants of sports, it was a matter of survival to keep the hustle. But the most important credo given to us by our founder was “We are in business to have fun. If we have fun, the money will come. Don’t make making money the primary focus.” And, so fun we have had.
Our journey in promoting our company, Code Four Athletics, has taken us all over the U.S. Whether we are standing on the sidelines of local pitches, participating in various fund-raising venues, or joining in countless community parades, we meet people of all ages. And people are what is the driving force behind our company. We don’t have customers; we have friends. Friends who support us in economic downturns, friends who remember us after years of loyal support, friends who take the time to tell others about what we do.
We have countless photographs of players sporting our uniforms from the past 12 years. Many are children who have since grown and most likely, have children of their own. It is gratifying to see the development over time.
In Japanese, the word “ikigai” translates as “something important one lives for”. After 12 years employed by Code Four Athletics, I can tell you honestly, it has become my personal “ikigai”.
Code Four Athletics