Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Hazen.
Jeremy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
If we are getting really deep here, my story begins with me pretty much growing up with a ball and bat in my hand. My father coached baseball at the collegiate level and I remember growing up going to summer baseball camps and living in the dorms each summer. For me, it was heaven. Baseball 24/7. I played in high school and was involved in music, playing drums, that was my second passion.
If I didn’t go to college for baseball it would have most likely been for music. I went to Volunteer State Community College for two years and then transferred to Milligan College. I received a medical redshirt and then ended up transferring back to my hometown of Anderson, Indiana where I finished up my playing career and school at Anderson University.
During the two years, I attended Volunteer State, I stayed in Bellevue with one of my best friends during those summers to play in a wood bat league called the Sandlot. It was a local league for College players where I was able to develop some really good relationships with some great athletes and coaches. I knew I wanted to live in Nashville after I was done at AU so after graduation I moved to Bellevue and made Nashville home.
I started working at a baseball facility, Next Level Instructional Baseball, giving private lessons and then helped coach one of their elite 18U travel teams for their Knights Organization.
I always wanted to start my own business with baseball. I think that was fueled by seeing my parents have their own sports photography business back in Indiana be very successful and that entrepreneurial way of thinking started to develop. So I tried to start up a baseball team and that failed. I ended up getting out of baseball instruction feeling a little burnt out. Worked a wood flooring job for a few months, and hated that.
Then I landed a print job at a local T-shirt company, Project 615. I worked my way into their production manager position and then eventually found my way into a more “corporate” job doing supply chain and logistics for a company in Coolsprings. Where I am still at today doing marketing and brand management with some photography and videography mixed in.
I was able to work on a project that let me get some first-hand experience with working with manufacturing and ended up leading me to develop and design my baseball/softball product, VeloTee. I am able to stay in the baseball and softball world and help kids get better, which is a big part of my why for this brand.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Haha, having to laugh to keep from crying here. In all seriousness, if this was a smooth road, I think everyone would be doing it. Starting something from scratch isn’t for the faint of heart.
I feel like every day has its ups and downs, but if you can learn to live in the middle and not get too high or too low that’s a good starting place to be able to adjust and flow with whatever challenges face you that day.
Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but a good practice nonetheless.
As you know, we’re big fans of VeloTee. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
VeloTee is a baseball/softball backpack that holds all your gear and actually allows you to hit off of your bag.
It is the only bat bag on the market that is shaped like a home plate. Every VeloTee comes with a batting tee, so you can always practice wherever you go. It has a removable home plate top so you always have a home plate to work off of. No more throwing your hat or glove on the ground. It’s really your ALL-IN-ONE bat bag.
I’m most proud of the fact that I had an idea, nothing was out there like it, and I went for it. I told my wife when I started thinking about doing this project, that even if I only sell one bag (obviously I wanted to sell more than just one) that would be a success, for me.
VeloTee is a family-focused brand. From the parent to the player, to the siblings, all the way to the coaches. I’ve seen firsthand what is like for the parent who works a full-time job, then takes their kid to lessons wanting and hoping they can get better (whether that’s for their sake or the kids). Then to see them succeed in a game and the joy from both the parents/grandparents/siblings, to the coaches, and ultimately the kid.
Success can come in all forms and fashions. Sometimes it can be measured and sometimes not, but my vision for VeloTee is that any kid who wants to work hard to get better at baseball or softball, has a tool that can help them, wherever they go.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
I feel like I’ve been very blessed along the way and have always learned to ask as many questions as possible.
Especially, I’d say in the last five years or so, I’ve really leaned into that. I definitely am not the smartest person who will be in the room but I enjoy asking questions and really listening to what is being said.
If you find someone who is passionate about what they do and that is something you want to be doing, ask how they did it. More times than not, they started right where you did and they are eager to share if not help. Jay-Z said it best “Closed mouths don’t get fed.”
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.velotee.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/velotee/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebagthatmakesyoubetter
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/velo_tee
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfAfsu0pPunN-vqqywY7q4A
- Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@velotee