In our first few years of shooting weddings, we had the pleasure of photographing the nuptials of Mike Deatsch and his lovely bride Lindsay. One of my favorite things about their wedding was that they held the reception at the very cool building that Mike goes to work at every day-- DeatschWerks. It seemed like a really neat and creative environment and I was really impressed by what they had going on there.
As the daughter of an brilliant Mechanical Engineer I'd like to think that I could keep up with the best of them when it comes to explaining about how things work, but even though the Deatsch brothers David & Mike explained to me so patiently about their product, I couldn't quite grasp it. Insert some some sort of stereotypical woman/artist joke here. But here is my very nontechnical explanation of what they do: They create Fuel Injectors for racing cars that allows the fuel to move more quickly, therefore helping to have better performance. Hopefully I got that right. :-)
Although I don't really understand the mechanics of it, what I can get behind and appreciate is working hard to make something that you love and making it into your business. David started by solving by being a solution for a problem he was having with fuel performance in his own car, and then shared that solution with others and created a business that is thriving and includes over 25 employees. I just love that.
Name: David Deatsch
Business Name: DeatschWerks
Favorite Dessert: I’d rather have a local craft Stout or Porter
Favorite Artist/Album: The Lumineers
When did you start your business? I started out of my garage 10 years ago. We now have 25 employees and our own 12,000 sf facility.
What inspired you to start it? I felt the need… the need for SPEED
Can you tell me a little bit about your business and the product you produce? We design and manufacture high performance fuel systems... fuel injectors, fuel pumps and fuel filters. The cars you see in "The Fast and the Furious" and Discovery Channel's "Street Outlaws" - those are our customers.
What got you into producing this type of product? The company was born out of my passion for performance cars. I started by solving my own fueling problems and quickly found out lots of other people were having those same problems. Before I knew it my hobby had turned into a business and we have been creating fueling solutions ever since.
What was your first car you fell in love with? Anything Nissan - 240sx, 350z, GTR - I've always loved nissans.
What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome? Staying focused and resisting the temptation of shiny objects
Who/what was your biggest encouragement and why? My entire family was extremely supportive when getting the business started: My wife would work with me late into the night doing anything that needed done. My father gave me my first business loan and lots of great advice. My brother left a career-job in Chicago taking a pay cut to do manual labor in my hot Oklahoma garage.
What is your favorite part of your business: I love creating new products. The process of moving from idea, to design, to manufacturing, to market is a thrilling experience every time.
If you had advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours? Every week, month, and year will have challenges. Keep your head down, stay focused, and don’t give up. But along the way, don’t forget to have fun. If it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth doing.
Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about? I am passionate about the culture we have built at our company. Our team is fun, smart, dedicated, and hard working. They make coming to work a lot of fun.
Thanks so much to DeatschWerks for being part of our series!