making balls in my pajamas I’m Jon-Paul Wheatley. You might know me as @jonpaulsballs on Instagram and TikTok

This project started while living in the former football (soccer) capital of America – St. Louis, Missouri. As a fan of the sport from a young age, I began to wonder what it actually takes to make a ball.

So, I set out to hand-stitch one.  It was terrible –  a little leather hacky-sack sized object, strung together with wonky seams. I loved it.

My skills improved as a side effect of making a lot of bad balls. I spent hours in research and development, drafting new concepts and techniques, with the goal of exploring this new medium.

a collection of balls

I began documenting my process, uploading the story of each new design to Instagram and TikTok as @jonpaulsballs. Every ball was different. Designed around a different material, theme or idea. 

The balls started to resonate. Outlets like ESPN, The Sun, COPA90, BR Football, @433, soccerbible, and Goal.com began reporting on these experimental balls.

This led to collaborations with brands like adidas, FIFA, and MLS. In a surreal six months, this project took me from quietly making balls alone in my apartment to the streets of Mexico City, to the Adidas headquarters in Germany, and to the stands of the World Cup final.

After being shared across digital spaces, select footballs were exhibited at galleries in London and St. Louis as art. I was honored. 

I established 12 Pentagons, my new ball company, on this premise: to elevate the craft of ball making. Through a series of exclusive drops, 12 Pentagons will release single editions of hand-crafted balls straight from the research and development lab.

balls out

Each drop will only contain a limited quantity of the latest design. That means, when the supply is gone, it’s gone forever.

Stay ahead of the game by signing up for our newsletter so you never miss a drop.