It seems like forever, but it’s been just four short weeks since local tennis enthusiast and entrepreneur Adeline Arjad Cook went from being a successful boutique designer and manufacturer of tennis clothing, bags and jewelry to using her resources and manpower to aid those in need during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Shortly after California Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home ordinance, orders for Arjad Cook’s tennis clothing sold through her online and in-home boutiques nationwide went to absolutely zero. Arjad Cook counted 33 employees she uses daily in her downtown Los Angeles workspace who would now be out of a job.
“Everyone who works for me from employees who sew and cut and design and digitize the designs had no more work and there was zero revenue coming in,” Arjad Cook said. “The people who work for me are immigrants and have children and most of them are women. I thought, ‘what am I going to do’?”
Arjad Cook, a Beverly Hills resident and former commercial banker, quickly made calls to local city officials who told her she couldn’t work or enter her warehouse unless she was an “essential” employee.
“They said I’d be allowed to work if I was making masks,” said Arjad Cook, a Braemar Country Club member whose tennis game was also shuttered as she competes on six league teams, including USTA, WTT, and the South Bay Marine League. “I know people need masks and some of the ladies I play with said they love my fabric and asked me to make them some and I said sure.”
Arjad Cook worked with her designers and came up with a mask pattern that is both stylish and comfortable. Her first masks had a design of a red heart with tennis racquets. The masks are wash and wear so can be used over and over again. She said the masks can be personalized with a corporate logo or your own custom idea. Arjad Cook is looking for corporate clients that would like to give these potentially life-saving masks to their staff.
“People are saying two months to a year till I might be able to get back to work,” Arjad Cook said. “If country clubs aren’t open and people are isolated they aren’t going to buy tennis clothes. I was just trying to keep my people downtown working and making money. I’m just trying to help those who may need it at this time.”
In addition, Arjad Cook said every order she gets she buys a surgical mask and donates it to Cedars Medical Center.
Arjad Cook started playing tennis about seven years ago as a way to lose weight and meet people during a difficult time in her life. She started as a beginning 2.5 player and now is a 4.5-rated player – and 50 pounds lighter. About five years ago she wrote a book called “I Love My Doubles Partner”.
The book’s core theme is always remaining positive on the court. “When you get on the court with somebody look at what they are good at and serve to their strengths,” she said. “It’s about being kind and empowering your partner.”
Arjad Cook says a water-proof designed visor is her next project, as well as designer flip-flops. She said she has a plan for designing tennis shoes over the next couple of years.
To find more information about Arjad Cook and her fine tennis jewelry, apparel and bags, and to check out her book “I Love My Doubles Partner”, go to www.ILMDP.com. Or you can contact her via email at adeline@ILMDP.com.