Creighton University professor, Jeff Maciejewski often tells students to think like an entrepreneur. In his classroom, constant dialogue persists on ways to seize the next opportunity in an ever changing business climate. Maciejewski guides students through the waters of advertising and media ethics – underneath a car guy all the while.
When the marker board was erased and the lights shut off in the classroom, he went home and worked on the family Volvo 240 with his son.
“Ever since he was young, Casey has always loved cars and would play with Hot Wheels as a kid.” ~ Jeff Maciejewski
As Casey grew, Maciejewski began mentoring his son, strengthening the bond between them with his knowledge of business and love of cars.
The two began seriously talking last year, brain storming things they were good at and how to turn those into a viable business.
“We settled on something involving cars,” Maciejewski said.
Maciejewski and his son went to work, refining their ideas, identifying markets, and determining the unserved areas of the car world.
They kept coming back to T-shirts but not just any – there are tons of auto themed shirts – something more meaningful and iconic was necessary.
“We wanted designs that featured famous cars winning famous races,” Maciejewski said.
They went to work, producing their our own designs with the resources they had – mostly computers and printers. After creating “prototype shirts” last summer, Maciejewski and his son ventured to a street festival, camped under a tent, and displayed the Heritage Racing brand.
As the day went on, they realized they had a strong idea and began to expand.
Recently, Maciejewski spotted a trend involving adult coloring books. Grown adults getting together, having parties and coloring over a glass of wine.
Current adult coloring book sales figures indicate women are the primary consumers but Maciejewski wondered if men might be interested as well.
Although with a different theme.
“We already had this existing artwork for the T-shirts and it was a straightforward affair to re-purpose it and put it together in a coloring book,” Maciejewski said.
Similar to the Heritage Racing T-shirts, the adult coloring book features famous cars that have won major races. The automobiles inside are iconic and worthy of being remembered.
It’s an experiment for Heritage Racing as men tend not be associated with adult coloring books.
Maciejewski and his son are hoping that changes and I think it will for one vital reason . . .
Think back to the when you first saw the car. The one that turned you into the person you are now – with passion for anything 4 wheeled. It doesn’t matter what car it was or where but that car, for whatever reason, struck a chord.
It was the most amazing car in the world and to this day, you can describe it perfectly.
I refer to it as Stephanie Syndrome – coined after my high school crush, Stephanie Langel. It’s the car you will always love because it started it all. The metallic paint that glistened in the sun as it rolled past and left a forever impression is the equivalent of having your dream girl start talking to you randomly.
I foresee one of these Heritage Racing Vintage Coloring Books on the coffee table and a young toddler flipping through it for the first time. The father sits down on the couch, with the toddler in his arms, and begins to explain each car and the famous race it won.
The toddler’s eyes grow big and before long, the father and his child are coloring together in the Heritage Racing book.
And just like that, another generation of car enthusiast is born.
“There are turning points in those young lives where the light comes on and the bell rings and it says this is something – cars are something – I really want. I would love for that to happen.” ~ Jeff Maciejewski
As a father to Casey and a car guy, Maciejewski advocates passing down that passion. He describes his family as “typical middle class American” – Heritage Racing is not something they have mortgaged the house to do. Things operate on a strict budget, which according to Maciejewski, is both challenging and rewarding.
Heritage Racing is not a get rich quick plan nor is it a major corporation.
For the father and son duo, it’s about the family bonding and the joy of building a small business while inspiring automotive excitement.
“I believe, as a father, and a guy who loves cars, we must find a way to keep kids interested in them. We need to make sure the love of cars either by collecting them or racing them isn’t something that goes away.” ~ Jeff Maciejewski
And in this case, coloring them.
Heritage Racing Fast Facts
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Future Products: 18 month calendar where each car relates to the current month and wall clocks for the office, garage, or shop.
Additional Products: Posters and Onesies
T-Shirt Color: Designs are made to order and come on arctic white, carbon black, or engine gray.