| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Innovation + Job News

BoomBoom Prints: New local online shop for baby/parent accessories

Twin Cities’ parents have a new source for unique, high-quality baby apparel and nursery decorations: BoomBoom Prints, an online marketplace based out of an “informal coworking space” in downtown Minneapolis. BoomBoom Prints (BBP), says Jennifer Weismann, BBP’s PR consultant, is “Etsy meets Pottery Barn.”
Fresh off a July 2014 launch, BBP already has 4,000 unique pieces for sale and about 500 participating designers—many of them based in the Twin Cities. The company has four full-time employees and three part-timers, says CEO Brett Brohl, with tentative plans to add more after the holidays.
A recently closed fundraising effort earned $400,000, a tidy sum for a startup. “Our funding round allowed us to make key hires, invest in our platform and expand our offerings,” says Brohl. BBP started as a marketplace for wall art, he explains, but now offers clothing, stationery and baby/parent accessories as well.
Founded by new dad Ryan Broshar and “serial entrepreneur” Brohl, BBP sources designs from a rapidly growing community of artists—including many in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
“I heard about the site from a friend of a friend,” says Twin Cities’ artist Kate Worum, who chose BBP as her first online sales channel. “BoomBoom Prints felt more approachable: They are local, have the artists’ interests in mind and they advertise by word of mouth.”
Worum is not alone. Another local BBP artist, John Gerber, has created such items as a bib captioned “Feed me” and a onesie that asks “Who you calling baby? Thought so.” Kate McCollow’s wall art features baby-themed fantasy scenes and serene watercolors depicting familiar Twin Cities’ landscapes.
BBP artists set their own prices, using the company’s suggested multipliers to arrive at a fair retail price. BBP then takes a cut of the sale and passes the rest on to the designer.
Though the Etsy comparisons are inevitable, Brohl points out a key difference: BBP is completely turnkey, handling every nitty-gritty aspect of selling artwork online, from printing and shipping to returns and customer contact. Etsy and other online marketplaces ask artists to do these tasks.
Worum appreciates BBP’s full-service approach. “I run a freelance illustration and design business by night, and work as a trend forecaster for apparel and accessories at Target during the day,” she says. Her hectic schedule makes it impossible to fulfill orders herself or even print her own work. “With BoomBoom Prints, all I have to do is make my art, click a few buttons and move on with my day.”
There may soon be more local “BoomBoomers” like Worum. Though about 50 percent of BBP’s designers are international, says Brohl, “we’re really concentrating our efforts on developing artists in our backyard. There’s so much artistic talent and diversity here.”
Brohl and his team often reach out directly to local artists and invite them to sell their work on BBP. With no upfront costs, they’ve already found lots of takers. “We’re excited about the future,” says Brohl. “We’re making a go of it.”
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts