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Spotlight of the Week: Rachel Zietz

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[ot-caption title=”CEO of Gladiator Lacrosse Rachel Zietz sports her PCGLAX shirt with a smile. (via Tara Shecter, junior)”]

This week, Type One sat down with Pine Crest junior Rachel Zeitz.  Rachel is not your average high school student. In addition to playing on the girls varsity lacrosse team, she is also the CEO of Gladiator Lacrosse, her own successful company that sells lacrosse equipment. She has combined her passions for lacrosse and business into an impressive entrepreneurial accomplishment.

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T1: What three words would you use to describe yourself?

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Rachel: I would say I am a very determined, outgoing, and passionate person. I am determined in all I do whether it be in school, lacrosse, or business, and I push myself to succeed. I am outgoing and love to socialize, which is a valuable aspect of business because being a connected person and meeting new people is valuable on the matter. I am also a passionate person and really enjoy the things I put my time into. That is very crucial in running my company because it is what motivates me through the challenges and obstacles.

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T1: When did you begin playing lacrosse?

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Rachel: I began playing lacrosse in 5th grade and fell in love with the sport ever since.

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T1: What inspired you to start Gladiator Lacrosse?

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Rachel: 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.

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T1: What was your biggest challenge in starting this business?

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Rachel: For my business, estimating how much inventory to buy has been extremely challenging. I have to order my equipment six months in advance. This means I have to try and estimate what I think my sales are going to be in 6-9 months. I have run out of product and learned the hard way that people do not like to do pre-orders.  

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T1: What was your biggest accomplishment or success?

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Rachel: One of my biggest accomplishments has been being featured in Time Magazine’s list of “The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016”. It was such an honor to make that list, and I was so grateful to be listed among people including the Obama sisters, Shawn Mendes, and Simone Biles!

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T1: How is professional lacrosse player Casey Powell involved in your company?

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Rachel: I connected with Casey Powell at a local lacrosse tournament I was exhibiting at and playing at. We exchanged information after I came up to him and told him about my company and why I wanted him on board. He was super interested and excited about the opportunity of being a part of the company. Since then, we have created signature Casey Powell Lacrosse Goals and Rebounders, which have done really well. We are looking to collaborating on more products in the future.

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T1: Describe your experience on Shark Tank.

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Rachel: Shark Tank was a very memorable experience. The most important thing I learned about being on Shark Tank was that it taught me how to be my most professional self as well as teaching me to always be over prepared for any situation/meeting. I think it is super important to always be over prepared for any meeting you go into, especially if you are going into the Shark Tank!

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T1: Do you plan to continue playing lacrosse in college?

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Rachel: I would love to stick to playing lacrosse in college, whether it be Division I, II, III, or even on the club level.

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T1: What goals do you have for the future of Gladiator Lacrosse?

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Rachel: We are currently working on creating a portable goal because I noticed that in the current market, there are no real “portable” goals that are easy enough to set up or durable enough for high-intensity practice or play.  

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T1: What advice would you give to aspiring lacrosse players and entrepreneurs?

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Rachel: My advice to any kid wanting to start a business is to create an idea you are very passionate about, find business owners in your own community that can mentor you, and reach out to other kid entrepreneurs, such as myself, for advice.  

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From the hit TV show Shark Tank to being named one of “The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016” by Time Magazine, Rachel Zietz is an inspiration to her PC community. She is one of few teenagers who owns and runs a $1 million business. Rachel not only motivates her teammates on the lacrosse field, but also inspires other Pine Crest students to take what they’re enthusiastic about and make it their own. [spacer height=”20px”]

Sources: Time, USA Today

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Spotlight of the Week: Rachel Zietz