Rachel Zietz loved Lacrosse but got fed-up with the products on the market that were constantly falling apart and needing to be replaced or repaired. She kept thinking Lacrosse would be a whole lot more enjoyable with equipment that actually worked and lasted for a long time. So she did what any teenage kidpreneur does… she decided to invent it herself! Her company Gladiator Lacrosse manufactures some of the highest quality Lacrosse goals and practice returners on the market today.
So we caught up with this innovator to find out more about Gladiator Lacrosse and how Rachel made it come to life.
How old were you when you started making your first piece of Gladiator Lacrosse equipment and what was it?
I was 13 years old when I created my first two products: a lacrosse goal and rebounder.
What gave you the idea to create Gladiator and turn it into a business?
I came up with the idea for Gladiator Lacrosse when I was searching online for practice equipment. I noticed that all the rebounders/goals I have previously owned were not able to stay in quality condition when I used them to practice. I knew that any rebounder/goal I was going to buy would do the same. I decided to then create a version of a lacrosse rebounder/goal that would be able to stand up to all weather conditions and hardcore practicing. Through a 33-week program called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, I learned how to start, manage, and run a successful business. I designed my products and launched my website to bring great quality practice equipment at a low cost into the homes of lacrosse players all over the country.
What has been your biggest challenge in getting started and how have you overcome it?
My biggest challenge in getting started with Gladiator Lacrosse would probably be managing my business while keeping up with school, competitive lacrosse, and other extra- curricular activities. I learned that time management skills are very important when trying to balance school, competitive lacrosse, and my business.
Have your parents helped you with your business and what have they taught you?
My parents have done a great job in teaching me the business basics. My father, also being an entrepreneur, has taught me what it takes to start a business, and has helped me along the way by guiding me on how to market my business.
What are your plans for the future; will you keep designing and creating?
In the future, I am hoping to add more to the product line, such as water bottles, compression socks, and other lacrosse related items. I like to include things in my product line that I believe there is a need for. I use my own experience to decide which products to add to the line, because throughout practice and games I realize what types of items would help players excel.
What advice would you give other young Kidpreneurs who want to start their own business like you did?
My main point of advice would be to make sure you are ready to commit. I believe that my business is my child; I have to constantly watch over it and help it grow to become something successful and meaningful in the world. You should also learn perseverance and determination. When someone tells you that you should not start a business because you’re a kid, that you are making a mistake, or it is too hard, that is when you prove to him or her that they are wrong and it is possible to start a business as a kid no matter what anyone says.