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Main Street Minute with Mike DeAnzeris

Date: July 17, 2014

EMBRACE THE RACE®

New York is home to over 1.5 million small businesses that employ more than 60 percent of the state's workforce. The Main Street Minute series celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners, who create jobs and strengthen our communities. 

MEET NFIB/NY MEMBER Michael F. DeAnzeris, III
President/Founder of EMBRACE THE RACE®
12 Circular Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518-580-4500

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Tell us about your business. 
EMBRACE THE RACE®, The Apparel for the Horse Racing Lifestyle® speaks to the discerning enthusiast, celebrating and promoting The Horse Racing Lifestyle™. Founded and based in Saratoga Springs, the brand ultimately combines an inspirational logo with an impassioned phrase to captivate customers.

What makes your business unique or special?
Our business is unique for two reasons. First and foremost, it’s passion.  Passion is at the core of what we do everyday – whether it is operationally, working with our customers or spreading the message of the brand.  It’s why we started the company and why we are energized to come to work everyday.  And secondly and quite simply, it’s our unique place as The Apparel of the Horse Racing Lifestyle®.  We’re the worldwide brand with home town roots.

Three generations- Mike DeAnzeris of EMBRACE THE RACE with his brother, nephew and father

How long have you been a business owner? Who or what inspired you to own your business. 
2011 is when we formally launched EMBRACE THE RACE®. But we have launched other companies that we are still involved with today. And honestly my family has always been in business for themselves. So to use a horse racing term – you can say the entrepreneurial spirit is in my blood.

What do you most enjoy about running a business? Do you have a proudest moment?
I wouldn’t say there is one moment in particular. I would say it’s the ongoing thrill – each time I see and hear the customer feedback. It’s a priceless feeling to see their reaction when they discover there is a distinctive and elegant brand for them. Something which both encompasses and reflects their passion for what is the enduring Sport of Kings or as they say in Japan, the King of Sports. Those moments really touch me.

What surprises have you encountered in running a business? 
When you’re creating a brand from scratch, and then expanding it to a worldwide presence, almost every step is a challenge. So the biggest thing is the details – every detail becomes a reflection of the brand and is customer impression – so it’s the need to constantly be on guard – for the good of the brand and the good of our customers. Customers who we are proud to say reside in all fifty states, all the major European horse racing countries, plus Japan, Hong Kong, and many others.

What does a typical day look like for you? What is the best part of your day?
This is difficult to answer. I don’t think there really is a typical day in a task sense – what’s typical is the intangible restlessness. Having a lot on our minds, being very busy and pushing everyday. I know that’s not typical for everyone – but certainly many NFIB members can relate to that for sure!

Are you involved in the community? What types of activities do you support?
Being founded and based in Saratoga Springs, New York the spiritual home of American horse racing, means that EMBRACE THE RACE® has a unique opportunity. Everything we do to support the Saratoga community has a trickle effect to impact the national horse racing community. So we support many charities and events that are based on town or come to Saratoga for the season. Plus I personally serve on the leadership boards of several local organizations and civic initiatives. Like most entrepreneurs, time is at a premium – but I make a point of building these efforts into my personal and professional schedule.

How do you define success?
Success for me is simple, it’s broken into a day to day effort, centered around the long term the goal of cultivating and expanding our brand throughout the world. Working to grow the acceptance of the spirit and style that is EMBRACE THE RACE® and doing so with an eye on, and respect for, the illustrious legacy of horse racing and the lifestyle. Day to day wins; backed by a vision – that equals success for us.

Mike DeAnzeris of EMBRACE THE RACE with his wife, Jill

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POLL RESULTS

Do you use a CRM to manage customer information?

Yes, I use a CRM. - ( 216 votes )

CRM? I use Excel. - ( 115 votes )

Excel? I use paper and pencil! - ( 38 votes )

No, I don't use any CRM system. - ( 145 votes )