When his college baseball season was shut down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Post University senior catcher Jared Zima didn’t sit idily by.
The Berlin native took the time to put in motion a business venture that had been in the works, but needed the necessary time to develop. The shutdown, in some ways, allowed him to finish what he started.
Zima had already founded Zima Glove Care, a business that specializes in relacing, conditioning and cleaning gloves, in 2017. He expanded on that concept by recently developing an all-natural aromatherapy conditioner — Reliefwax — that moisturizes the glove while also relieving stress and anxiety.
Zima uses local beeswax and the product has a lavender scent.
“Lavender has a calming scent and slows down your breathing,” said Zima. “I loved the idea of trying to create a product to help young kids who deal with stress.”
Brandon Monti, who is the Entrepreneurship Center coordinator at Post, said getting a concept and startup venture off the ground in only about five months is “pretty incredible.”
“Jared is a very detailed thinker with a creative mind who has a drive and passion for baseball and this business,” said Monti. “He could have done it himself, but the E-Center exists to help accelerate the process and let students take a leap of faith to try and change the world. Jared is a very unique individual. He thinks like a leader, but also is a team player. He’s very coachable and absorbs advice and then does the necessary research and homework to succeed.”
Zima said he was greatly influenced by Monti, 28, a 2010 Holy Cross High graduate. Monti works closely with Jeremi Bauer, Post’s dean of the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business.
“I couldn’t have done without Brandon as a mentor and guiding me through the process,” said Zima. “He has been an absolute blessing. He helped turn a dream in what I thought was a longshot into a reality.”
Converting his basement into a home office for online business, Zima has high hopes for both ventures.
“I think both companies have a shot to go far and not be a flash in the pan,” he said. “If you give people a quality product and do quality work, I think they will appreciate that.”
It all started when Zima was a teenager and learned to repair gloves by relacing them.
“I looked at videos and taught myself how to do it,” said Zima. “At 13, 14 years old, I had an engineering mindset of taking things apart and putting them back together and figuring things out. My teammates would ask me to repair them. I told them to buy the laces and I’ll be happy to fix them.”
That hands-on experience jumpstarted his future business practice.
When he arrived at Post, he was seeking the best of both worlds, business and baseball. Post head baseball coach Ray Skjold said he had never coached a player who had a start-up business while in college.
“When Jared came in as a freshman, he was a little bit more on the quiet, reserved side,” said Skjold, who was an assistant coach when Zima arrived on campus. “As a head coach, our relationship has really grown and a bond formed from a (former) catcher to another. He’s really matured a lot and I think he’s onto something with the idea. It’s a good product. Jared is definitely a smart, intellectual kind of kid. He has high baseball IQ on the field and you can tell that his brain works and really translates into his business career.”
After graduating with a degree in business management with a concentration in sports management and a minor in accounting in May, Zima also received a reprieve with his baseball career. Because of COVID-19, the NCAA granted college athletes who lost out on their careers another year of eligibility.
Graduating seniors need to continue their education, which Zima was gladly willing to do. He already started an MBA degree and will play a fifth season next spring for the Eagles. As many as eight graduating players will return for another season.
“My teammates were eager to start their lives and careers and move on,” noted Zima “But it’s nice to know that everyone wanted to come back. We have such a great team bond and everyone wanted to be part of something really special here.”
For more information about Reliefwax, visit reliefwax.com.

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