The Varsity Athlete Who Needed Tougher Equipment
Founder: Gladiator Lacrosse
If you can’t find the product you need, invent it. That’s what Rachel Zietz did. The result: Gladiator Lacrosse, the ambitious Boca Raton, Fla., teen’s premium line of durable lacrosse equipment.
“It’s never too young to start,” she tells Entrepreneur. “I started when I was 13, and it was successful. Most people are afraid, but if you’re passionate about it, you’re never too young.”
The varsity athlete and high school sophomore honors student launched her sporty startup in 2013, largely out of frustration. Despite searching in stores and online, she was unable to get her hands on lacrosse gear that was sturdy enough to withstand rigorous practice on repeat.
“For me, if there’s a problem, there’s also an opportunity,” she told the Sun Sentinel.
Rachel’s parents and younger brother are also entrepreneurs, so she scored in business right out of the gate. In her first year, she racked up $200,000 in revenue. A year later, she was on track to bank $1 million in earnings.
Look out for the talented Young Entrepreneurs Academy graduate when she faces the “Sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET. You bet we’ll be watching — and pulling for her.
Rachel’s favorite part of being a kidpreneur:
“I believe the best part is that I am able to pursue something that I love [business] and can inspire others that you are never too young to accomplish your dream. Also, it is amazing to run the day-to-day operations of the company and it is great to see the looks on people’s faces when they realize who is running the company!”
Rachel’s advice for aspiring kidpreneurs:
“My advice to any aspiring young entrepreneurs is to make sure whatever you do, you are passionate about it. Passion is the key to success and it is what drives you to work through obstacles and challenges in your way.”