a wee bit of Rhodes family history…

…with Alson’s Sportswear and family…

{January 1994}
Dusty and his best friend Paul (childhood friends & roommates at SUU) go to the Philippines to find the factory that made the shorts that Paul brought Dusty home from his mission. With a little money in their pockets and big dreams of buying and selling NBA apparel they embarked. This is a picture taken of them leaving Las Vegas for Manila.
They went directly to the factory and made the deal for some Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and various other apparel. They met Myla and Alson and began not only their business but a friendship that has lasted to this day and which is responsible for Dusty’s successful business… Pro Look Sports as well as Alson and Myla’s sportswear company.
This is the factory before Pro Look. There were three workers… all still there at the factory today. It was a 2 room building without a roof because of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption. Dusty and Paul ended up living with them at their house for a month while they made the products. A serious bond was formed of love and respect for each other.
This is Dusty with his south of the border looking gotee… at their house.
This is the Mercado/Bungay family. The girl on the far right is Love. She ended up living with us when we moved there as a family a few years later to really get the factory going.
When they got back to the U.S. they sold most of their stuff… but because of a few difficulties (robbery in Phoenix, cheaper than normal prices, etc.) they didn’t make much money. So Dusty went back again in October for a second try. Paul, and Dusty’s friend Shawn, (the three started the venture under JRS Sportswear) both didn’t want to try it again and went on doing their things. Paul ended up owning a very successful construction company in Vegas and Shawn played professional football in Canada. On this trip however Dusty found out the hard way that you couldn’t import NBA apparel without them allowing you to. DUH! He got over $5,000 of goods taken from him and got a pretty big lesson in humility and business. He was able to get one set of uniforms out of customs that wasn’t NBA logo’d. It was a set for Milford HS and their coach Joe Hillock. They were a huge success but Dusty, so stunned by his loss decided to focus on his studies to become a doctor.

{Oct. 1996}
Dusty & I met one year later in 1995 and were married in February of 1996. We went to Korea {as English teachers} for two years to get out of the debt that we both had built up (about $40K total for both of us not including student loans). Dusty left the business under the watchful eye of Joe Hillock, his first sale who absolutely LOVED the uniforms, and we left. While there we visited the factory together in October of 1996. Dusty and Alson began talking again about a new plan to sell to schools only. I fell in love with them as well and we schemed together.

The factory had grown a little bit (about 7 workers now) because of some business with two clients- one from Japan and one from Singapore.

{April – October 2000}
We returned to the US from Korea the end of 1997 and Dusty graduated from school, got an internship to work in the medical research dept. for the summer of 1998 at the U of U where he hoped to attend medical school that same year. We had Kiana just before the Summer of that year and between working at the E.R., working in the internship, studying for the MCAT and Jane attending school & working at Gap… we never saw each other and he didn’t get enough time with Kiana. So he made the decision to stop his study and go for it with Pro Look. He had been working it since the spring of 1998 and did a run through Nevada selling about 12 programs uniforms. He met Brent Hekekia {I call him our organizational HERO!} on that trip and adjusted his goals to picking up reps and running a business that wasn’t just a one man show… meanwhile he got a job at PMI through his old college roommates Pat Byrnes and Chris Bartold. We hired my college best friend Daphne to rep and then
Troy took over for her and hit Colorado getting a big bid there for about $100,000 which required us to move to the Philippines to make sure we could deliver. Right before this, our second baby girl was born, and we named her after Myla Bungay. Myla Maree Rhodes. So Dusty left PMI and we moved there in April of 2000.

The family scooter.
This was our MAIN form of transportation, and this was how we typically rode on it. Kiana loved being in front, and Myla a.k.a. Moosey was known to always fall asleep over Dusty’s shoulder while we were driving.
On our trip this month, I took the girls back to the home we lived in during our April-Oct. 2000 visit. Neither of them have any memory of it, it was on the old U.S. Clark air force base, then & now known as the “Clark Economic Zone.” Our neighborhood was the “Redwood Villas,” and they had been remodeled after Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption hollowed them out.

We lived their during the wet/monsoon/typhoon season and our streets used to flood down the sides. Our Filipino nanny would make them origami boats and run the girls outside with an umbrella to float them down the streets right in front of our house. They loved it, but only remember because of me telling them the stories of it…
This is Moosey at the water park, “fontana” that was near our neighborhood. I would take the girls there every day we had sunshine, since it was rainy season.

I had a camera shop I always had my film developed at, and when I went in to pick up these pictures, they had blown up the second one to a large poster size and had it on display in their front window. It was so funny because first of all, they never asked our permission and secondly, because that poster of Moosey stayed in their front window for about 3 years!This is the shop with her picture in the front window, bottom left –I took Myla’s picture on the same little slide this month…she’s a bit bigger now!
This is our little family at the “Bareo,” the countryside of the Philippies. Rice fields, fish ponds, and little bungalows. We had taken a day trip with the Bungay family to see the area…

{July-August 2002}
About 18 months after the time we spent living in the Philippines, we headed back with the girls for a 3 week visit…

Our kids were able to re-unite with Rap and his little brother Rouri this month to play. They spent a lot of time sitting around playing computer games & DS’s…During the ’02 visit, we took Kiana & Moosey with Myla & Alson to Davao, Mindanau, the largest southern island in the Philippines where Dusty had served his mission. I had been there previously without the girls, but lets say, it’s not a safe place to travel. Dusty was one of the last American missionaries to serve in the area before it was closed to Americans. So, we had waited till the girls were both a little older to take them… It was a wonderful trip…
Myla moosey and her namesake…
snorkling at paradise island
The girls do remember this.
On this trip, we experienced a small earthquake in our hotel,
and we had a typhoon hit as we were driving to the airport…
even though the streets in Manila were flooding, we made it!

time for a new factory…
Till this point, I haven’t mentioned that the 1st factory Alson & Myla owned was on “Field’s Avenue,” right outside the gates of Clark.
This street is known world-wide as the red light district.
So, it not only was time to get a much larger factory, but also an appropriate time to find a better location!

Ground breaking March 2004
Business was good… real good.
The factory grew to 100 workers and still we couldn’t keep up. We were late and couldn’t take many orders simply because we couldn’t produce. Threfore, we purchased a hectare of land to build a new building on.

The first phase of the factory with only 20,000 sq. ft. opened in September of 2005. It still wasn’t enough and so in July 2007- The second phase of the factory was completed and now 40,000 sq. ft. was able to be used.

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{July 2008}
Alson & Myla, and Pro Look is now thriving with about 200 designers/cutters/sewers in the factory with about 20 managers/office staff in the Philippines.

I have only listed/mentioned trips that were of more significance to our family than most. During all of these years, Dusty has continued to make on average about 5 trips a year to the Philippines to maintain business…

I took this photo this month, while we were there – Myla & KJ are on the front row. Dusty & Kiana are on the right side. How I love all of these people! They are all so happy, such hard workers, and incredibly talented…
Go Pro or Go Naked!
either way, people will stare…

13 responses to “a wee bit of Rhodes family history…”

  1. I love this story Jane! I love that you guys totally took a chance on this little passion of Dusty’s and that it has turned into this fantastic business. I love that you’ve hired dear friends and treated them so well, I love that you run beautiful, clean factories, I love that you’ve done all of this as a family. I hope Pro Look continues to be a huge success. If I ever move back to Utah I might have to ask who does your marketing ; )

  2. What a great post, Jane! I love learning the background to your business. What determination and motivation you both have. It’s inspiring! I’m so happy for the both of you that your dreams came true. 🙂

  3. WOW! I loved reading the story and seeing the rapid expansion of Dusty’s company. Ever thought of going public? His growth index would be through the roof! Congrats to you and Dusty both on your success and perseverence.

  4. WOW!! I learned quite a bit from that Post!! I was wondering when you were going to Post. So cute that Myla was Named after her. I can’t believe how HUGE it has Grown. Way to Go Guys…Nothing like going after your Dream!

  5. Love hearing the story from the beginning. One of my favorite things is watching how growth and experience happen over time.
    The pictures from way back then are so priceless. I keep thinking our pictures from here will be that way ten years from now.

  6. Wow… WHo would have thought, huh? I lived through all of that with you and knew/remember much of it, but it is fun to SEE the photos and growth that have occurred over the years… both in your business and your sweet family! LOVE LOVE LOVE you all and are so proud of you for dreaming big and sticking with it, through good times and bad… your hard work and perserverance have truly paid off (and will continue to do so)! I am so happy for the success of Pro Look and even more so, of the Rhodes family! You touch and bless the lives of so many! Hugs~ 🙂

  7. THANK YOU for getting that huge group picture together! I can’t believe I’ve been going over there every year since 2001 and have NEVER TAKEN A CAMERA! Man, i am lame…

    Looking at those pics of the old factory brought back so many memories and seeing that group pic at the end has me counting down the days until i return (right around 300 :-)…I am like you – i LOVE our factory family so much and have many great friendships and bonds with them…

  8. Well that was cool!
    Loved seeing your story!
    Not many new business’ succeed, let alone turn into such a success!
    Way to go! That is truly admirable! And great that your whole family has been a part of it!

  9. I love your story Jane! I was missing your blogging while you were in the Phillipines, but the story was worth the wait. I am totally impressed with where Dusty has been and where he is at today! Kudo’s to you Dusty! What an inspiring story. Love to hear stories like that, and wow-you and your family have been such a great support.
    Glad your home!

  10. I am so glad for you and Dustys great sucess. So seriously I want you to make me a pair of your one of a kind capri shorts. They ended up darling and now that your a pro, you wont mind right?
    Great story and pictures.

  11. Loved this post!! Good for you making your own shorts! They looked great! We went to Taiwan to teach English and ended up staying and having my first child their. Asia is such a wonderful place! I love that you treat your workers like they are family!! Congrats on your success!!!

  12. Wow! That was so cool to see what you guys have accopmlished with your business, but the coolest thing is how you embraced the culture and the love you have for the people. I especially loved the big group shot. So many people (as I am sure you know) struggle over there and to see how many lives you have helped is absolutely amazing! Really it is so cool! I love the filipino people!

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