March 4, 2015
Not too long ago Ryan Broshar was looking, without success mind you, for nursery wall art to match a quilt made by his newborn’s grandmother. When he and his wife couldn’t find anything that fit their taste, Broshar decided that it was a problem only an entrepreneur could solve.
So, he teamed up with Brett Brohl to build a marketplace, BoomBoom Prints, which connects independent artists with families to create custom prints. That is, they effectively serve two different clients: artists and people with young children.
For artists, BoomBoom Prints lets them easily upload their art and create a unique store on the platform. Once uploaded, their art is automatically placed on products, from wall art to onesies, of their choosing.
“Unlike several other craft and art sites out there, we handle all printing, shipping, customer service, and everything else business-related for the artists, freeing up their time to create,” says Brohl. “Because they have a unique store our artists can market themselves with relative ease via social media and other online channels.”
And when it comes to anybody with a youngster in their live, BoomBoom Prints’ second client group, the marketplace offers unique products that break away from the mass produced gifts and art you might find at a big box store. There are new artists added nearly every day to ensure that parents have the widest selection of new products.
However, this dynamic led to one of BoomBoom Prints’ biggest challenges to date: they needed young families to shop at the site, but if there were no artists they wouldn’t buy anything. Further, no artists would want to sign up if there was nobody there to buy products.
But Brohl and Broshar aren’t ones to give up easily, and to solve this issue they started a BoomBoom Prints line of art. Broshar did the original pieces, still available for purchase today, and that opened the floodgates to approach other artists and slowly build a foundation.
“Today we have well over 1,000 artists, close to 10,000 unique art pieces, and over 500,000 unique products, all of which are growing every day,” says Brohl.
Sure, BoomBoom Prints is still the ‘small guy’ in the online art world, and while Etsy is massive, they don’t attract the same market segment that Brohl and Broshar are targeting. In fact the duo believes that they can do it better.
“Etsy artists love our platform because of our simple UI and the fact that we handle all the back end for them,” says Brohl. “An Etsy artist spends a huge portion of their time doing fulfillment and will end up making about the same amount as they would with us, without any of the hassle.”
What helps keep them distinct from other platforms is that BoomBoom Prints focuses on making discovery easier for the end client. That way their clients don’t have to wade through a ton of irrelevant content to find what they want.
And they’re not the only ones who believe in their product; they closed a successful seed round in September and are planning to raise a Series A round in Q3 or Q4 of 2015. Over the next few months, the team will push new pieces of software that help take advantage of the visual content they offer.
To sum up: they might be small, but their proof of concept is validated and BoomBoom Prints is on a great growth trajectory. I’m looking forward to seeing what they roll out next.
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