Antiques by Zaar
Ruth Olbrych started Antiques by Zaar over a decade ago after returning from spending eight years in Asia. She brought her experience in Asia back with her to Maine as Ruth started her own online antiques business. Antiques by Zaar became the first true “etailer” of Chinese Antique Furniture that is rich in beauty and history. After ten years in business Ruth attended her first SCORE workshop in her area, and sought out a SCORE mentor after, as Ruth knew SCORE would take her business to the next level. That was when Ruth Olbrych met SCORE mentor Nancy Strojny.
After reading an article about women entrepreneurs written by author Jane Pollak in 2010, Ruth Olbrych sought out SCORE. Ruth looked to SCORE workshops to learn about a variety of aspects in business ranging from writing a business plan to increasing the effectiveness of her social media. At her first workshop she found out about SCORE’s mentoring program. As a successful entrepreneur with over ten years of experience, Ruth was skeptical about SCORE’s free face-to-face mentoring. When looking back on her first notions about SCORE mentors Ruth said, “My understanding that such was available at no cost, truth be told, it just seemed too good to be true… but I had nothing to lose by exploring this venue.” Today Ruth is glad she took advantage of the SCORE mentoring program as not only did she find a great mentor in Nancy Strojny, but a good friend.
“Nancy is gifted at giving one the most polite “kick in the pants” than anyone I’ve ever known…. a willingness to take YOU on as the whole package, offers a perspective that is impossible from the vantage point of working in the trenches, gives guidance and advice, but with the knowledge that ultimately the decision to act upon any of it is up to you”, says Ruth about what her mentor has brought to her business. She finds the greatest value at SCORE in the face-to-face mentoring she receives from Nancy. Ruth looks to her mentor to bounce ideas off of, and as a person who can reel her when she gets off task. All of which has helped Antiques by Zaar rise to that next level Ruth strived for in 2010.
The relationship between Ruth and Nancy has been nothing short of successful as both support each other. Ruth has expanded her business, and was able avoid the pitfalls of the recession with the guidance she receives from Nancy. In the beginning of 2012 Ruth was proud to announce to the world what she already knew: Nancy Strojny is great at helping others. With no shock to Ruth, Nancy was named one of SCORE’s Champions of Change at a ceremony held at the White House. For Ruth this was a swap in roles for the two as she finally got to be Nancy Strojny’s biggest fan and cheerleader.