Rachel Zietz is a lacrosse star turned business phenom. She recently appeared on Shark Tank, after which Robert Herjavec tweeted:
Pretty impressive, right? Guess what? She’s still in High School! Impressed now? We sure are. Read on to learn more about this incredible young leader:
What inspired you to start Gladiator Lacrosse?
As a teenage lacrosse player, I was frustrated with buying lacrosse equipment and realizing that the products would not last long. I was inspired to create a better, affordable product.
How did you convince your parents that you were serious about making this a business at such a young age?
I was motivated to learn more about building better lacrosse equipment. With the support of my parents, I did a lot of research on how to build better products and how to become a young entrepreneur. They could see I had a passion in making a difference in the lacrosse industry.
Do you ever find it hard to be taken seriously because you are so young? If so, what do you do to change that?
When I began the business many people found it surprising for a girl this young to be starting a business, but I have found out that over time, showing the confidence and passion for the company has made adults take me more seriously. I have had a lot of support and encouragement from my peers and professionals. It has been a great experience to run my own company and see that even though I am young, I am doing it!
How do you balance high school and having a serious company?
Time management is key. I am very organized and I really enjoy school. My school schedule, lacrosse schedule and running a business are a priority. I have a lot of family and school support, and I always make sure to take time out to enjoy myself as a teenager!
What three words would your friends use to describe you?
My friends would definitely say that I am a competitive, social, and friendly person.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
I would describe myself as being a determined, passionate, and outgoing person.
What has been your biggest professional moment so far?
I think my biggest professional moment was being on “Shark Tank” because it taught me how to be my most professional self as well as teaching me to always be over-prepared for any situation/meeting.
Was it scary being on “Shark Tank?” How do you stay composed in a challenging situation like that?
Being on “Shark Tank” was an amazing experience! I really just tried to be myself and share all that I have built in Gladiator Lacrosse.
What’s next for Gladiator Lacrosse?
I am currently working with professional lacrosse player Casey Powell, and we have created signature Casey Powell Lacrosse Goals and Rebound Walls. We are also in the process of adding new products to our line of lacrosse equipment. The most exciting news is that we are finalizing a deal with one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the world! I am very excited about the growth of Gladiator Lacrosse and offering more products in the near future.
What’s your advice for a young woman looking to start a business?
To always follow your dreams and take the leap of faith. Make sure whatever you are pursuing is something you are passionate about because that motivates you through the challenges and obstacles in the way to your success.