In honor of National Entrepreneurs Day on November 15, we checked in with alumnus Jared Zima, ‘20, ‘21. Zima, the first student to work with The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation after it was established in 2020, created Reliefwax, a company whose mission is to help those affected by stress, anxiety, and nerves overcome their struggles both in their everyday lives and while playing baseball and softball. In 2021, he won the “Student Entrepreneur of the Year” award from the Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards.
Jared Zima | BS in Management ‘20, MBA ‘21
The business is going alright, I’ve learned a lot throughout the entire process of starting a business and have been making adjustments to the business model as I go. With everything, there have been plenty of ups and downs, and while Reliefwax hasn’t taken off like I originally hoped, I haven’t given up on it! Having started the business amid the pandemic, there have been plenty of difficulties for the business, however sales are still being made and I still love being an entrepreneur!
With Reliefwax, I have started to expand the business into golf and other sports instead of just baseball. My goal is to hopefully develop a brand that encompasses multiple sports, with Reliefwax being the main product we sell. There was a period where sales stopped and I worried the business had met its end, but I broadened my target demographic and saw the sales increase again. My social media presence has increased since expanding my target demographic and the increased awareness of Reliefwax has helped the business a lot. I expanded my apparel line for Reliefwax, and utilized the help of some brand ambassadors with hopes to develop the brand and increase product awareness.
Since starting Reliefwax, I took a job as General Manager of the New England Knights baseball organization. It’s a travel baseball organization I played for as a kid, and now I am running the organization which has been amazing. My experience with Reliefwax has continued to help me while running the Knights, and many of my Knights players use Reliefwax themselves. I am currently planning out and building a couple other business ventures I plan on pursuing in the future, with hopes to own multiple successful businesses. I still go back to lessons and conversations I had at Post in the Entrepreneurship Center, and I’ve made many great decisions based on the lessons I learned there.
The main thing I have learned when it comes to entrepreneurship is that failure is okay as long as you learn from them, persistence and determination are the key factors to success.