Stephan DeLorenzo, from left, Bryce Worrell, Melissa Boldrey, Steven Brawner and Zach Ricketts are in the production area of the new Digital Dreams location on Clifty Drive. The business, owned by DeLorenzo and Ricketts, has come a long way since the time when the two worked out of the DeLorenzo family’s garage when they were in high school. DeLorenzo describes the first years of the business as requiring a strong work ethic, dedication and a lot of faith. He envisions the same core values to help the company succeed and grow into new markets. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com.)
Stephan DeLorenzo, from left, Bryce Worrell, Melissa Boldrey, Steven Brawner and Zach Ricketts are in the production area of the new Digital Dreams location on Clifty Drive. The business, owned by DeLorenzo and Ricketts, has come a long way since the time when the two worked out of the DeLorenzo family’s garage when they were in high school. DeLorenzo describes the first years of the business as requiring a strong work ethic, dedication and a lot of faith. He envisions the same core values to help the company succeed and grow into new markets. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com.)
Stephan DeLorenzo and Zach Ricketts have worked hard to make their dream a reality.

Together they operate Digital Dreams, a business that transfers content from old formats, such as reel-to-reel, and transfers them to a digital format, such as a DVD or CD.

The business began while the two friends were in high school. They transferred VHS cassettes to DVDs in DeLorenzo's garage. 

After six-and-one-half years working on Main Street, Digital Dreams has moved to a new location on the hilltop at 220 Clifty Drive. They're also beginning to offer more services, such as video recording events and sports highlight videos.

"If you had asked me six months ago, I wouldn't have told you we'd be up here," DeLorenzo said.

DeLorenzo, the president of the company, said they were able to make the move without a monthly increase in expenses.

While the two are happy with the move to the hilltop and even have plans to, eventually, open a second store outside of Madison, things weren't always this good for the two young entrepreneurs.

In his third year running the business, DeLorenzo had to take another job. He worked as a car salesman while his new wife ran the business for eight months. Just to make ends meet. 

"The company wasn't any less profitable," he said. "I just didn't budget for the rest of my life."

When he first started running the company, he said, he was able to stay up until all hours of the night working on a project for a customer. But, when he got married, his focus had to shift, and he didn't budget correctly for that.

In the early days, DeLorenzo said he was having to wear "all of the hats" in the company. Which began to wear him down. He acted as the accountant, converted videos and interacted with customers, among other things. 

Now, he and Ricketts are free to pursue what they really like about their own business. DeLorenzo is able to work more with customers, while Ricketts can act full time as the technology expert. But, without perseverance through "one of the worst economies in years," they wouldn't be where they are now, DeLorenzo said.

"I was making less than minimum wage (when I first started,)" DeLorenzo said.

"I was having to suck it up for five years."

He says he only hoped of being able to hire on additional staff. But now DeLorenzo and Ricketts employ three additional people at Digital Dreams.

Along with the move, Digital Dreams is also starting to expand its services.

"We're getting a lot more into video production," DeLorenzo said. Which allows the company to shoot weddings, or compile sports highlight videos. They also hope to expand into web design, eventually.

"One of the things we learned was you don't want to grow too much too fast," DeLorenzo said.