John Jackson owner of Pro Edge Paintball and Professional paintball player #22 for Los Angeles Ironmen.
On a Friday afternoon while working at Tank's Katy Paintball field, I asked my boss about owning his own business. At the time I was 22 years old and had just finished my Associates Degree at the local community college here in Houston. I always knew I wanted to own a business but had zero experience and no one close to ask for guidance. My boss at the time owned the paintball field I worked at and had started a paintball store originally before opening the field. He was a hard working guy who I felt comfortable being open with luckily.
After prying for business information, my boss asked me why I was asking of course. I told him I have always been interested in business growing up but didn't have a clue what I would be apart of. My family didn't own their own companies and we didn't have the means to just open something up either way.
Being the encouraging person he was, my boss threw out the idea of opening a paintball field because that is where I currently worked and had worked for about 5 years. I didn't have the funds for this.. I didn't have any money actually. Then he threw out the idea about opening a store? That was his first business into the paintball industry. A small, 600 sq feet paintball store with his wife. A small business that wasn't too much for someone without any experience to start up maybe.
I was a nerd when it came to paintball gear and equipment. I knew part numbers by heart on the popular guns. I practically lived at the paintball field. This was a cool idea but I didn't have a clue how to even get started.
My boss left for the day and I got back to work.
After about 30 minutes my boss called me.. excited. He had called his wife and told her the idea of opening a store and she was behind it. This was crazy.
Well about a month later we signed a lease and there we went.
July 15th, 2008 was our first official day of being open. About 500 sq feet of show room, 5 paintball masks, about 10 guns and 1 tiny clothing rack we were officially a paintball store.
That day the Houston paintball community showed us an incredible amount of love and support by filling the store. We all watched paintball videos on a 20 inch old school TV stuck in the corner of the room. Friends put up their used guns for sale on the wall to help things look more full and everyone shopped for what they could based on our limited selection to show us their support.
Still to this day some of our very first customers still shop and support our store and it is amazing.
I can't express enough how thankful I am and how thankful the staff at Pro Edge is for the love, support and friendships that have been created over the years of being apart of the Houston paintball community.
At the time of writing our new About Us page we are coming up on 13 years of being open.
It is April 24, 2020 and the Corona Virus has us completely shut down. We are making the best of the situation by remodeling the store and building a brand new website! Yesterday marked 30 days of being closed to the public. Houston fields are finally opening back up May 1st and "Retail To Go" is now a thing here in Houston.
Thank you to every single person who has supported us over the 13 years we have been open. Thank you to the players in Houston that even just share our Facebook posts but haven't ever been in the store. Thank you to the players who "feel guilty" when they buy anything from anywhere else and buy just a $2 pod when they stop by to show their love. Thank you to the parents who still stop by to say hi even though their kids don't play anymore.
You all are amazing and I know that without all of you, Pro Edge Paintball would not be anything. Pro Edge would not be here and would not be a dream come true for me.
Thank you to all of the players who have worked at Pro Edge over the years. You all are incredible and have been the back bone for the reputation we now have to live up to. Each one of you represents the growth and the impact that our store has had on our community.
To Tank and Jason that owned Tank's Katy Paintball, thank you for giving me an opportunity to work for you and to learn so much to now work side by side with you in this industry.
Thank you to my mom for letting me live at home until I was 28 so that I could live the dream of owning my own business!
And if you haven't ever shopped our store, thank you for taking the time to read about us and the story of Pro Edge Paintball.
Stop by and say hey and give us a chance! Message us online or email me if you need help or have questions, I typically am the one responsible for answering any and all questions.
Enjoy Paintball, Enjoy Life and Enjoy Friends!
Be Safe and I look forward to seeing you all at the paintball field!
John Jackson Pro Player #22 of LA Ironmen (Left) and Matt Jackson Pro Player #21 of Edmonton Impact (Right) at the local paintball field in Cypress, TX.