When you meet Ben Delmarsh, you’re immediately drawn in by his sense of humor and quiet, yet present energy. Ben is currently a junior in the College of Visual and Performing Arts majoring in communication and rhetorical studies or, what he likes to call, a “bachelor’s of persuasion.” Growing up in Manlius, right outside of Syracuse, Delmarsh always had a creative mind that sometimes got him in trouble. He says, “ I was a pioneer on the playground. I was always coming up with new games and ideas which sometimes got me into trouble, but it was all in good fun.”
He channeled his creative energy into a business in middle school where he would flip clothes on eBay to make an extra buck. As he transitioned into high school, Delmarsh praises his grandfather for helping foster his business skills. He says, “Every summer I would work at my grandfather’s t-shirt store in Inlet in the Adirondacks and I recognized the passion he put into it. He credits his time in the Adirondacks as an experience that “helped him learn sales technique, operations management, and proper customer service.”
Delmarsh was inspired by his work with his grandfather to start his own apparel company during high school. When figuring out branding he wanted to capture the essence of Syracuse as a place full of energy. He simply combined the phrase “Syracuse going crazy” to create “Syrazy,” a brand (some would say a movement) that spread like wildfire throughout his high school and the local area. Delmarsh says, “My school liked it and Syracuse loved it. We were featured on the news and people recognized our brand.”
After graduating high school, Delmarsh brought Syrazy to his abroad experience in Switzerland where he spent a year at Franklin University. He says, “It was a profound experience that really changed how I view the world and I think ultimately helped me grow Syrazy.” Coming back to Syracuse University, Delmarsh knew there was an opportunity to expand Syrazy beyond clothing.
After perusing the Facebook marketplace, he realized a huge issue that could be solved in a quick and cost effective way. Delmarsh says, “I found a limo for sale and it made me realize how expensive transportation is to bars and events. I wanted to provide a less expensive and luxurious experience for the people of Syracuse.” Delmarsh purchased the limo and has been providing transportation to hotspots in Syracuse and the surrounding area for an affordable price. He says, “You’re really selling an experience and we want it to be a positive one.”
Additionally, he plans to use the limo in a creative guerilla marketing campaign for Syrazy as they want to travel to five cities across the country also named Syracuse in order to create content promoting their new service. Innovative ideas like this make Ben Delmarsh and Syrazy look like a company that is ready to explode.
When looking towards the future, Delmarsh says “Our plan is to grow our number of limos and drivers and revamp the t-shirt business.”
Check out Syrazy to follow the company’s growth or try out a ride for yourself.
Story by Jack Lyons ‘22, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied