At the beginning of the 20th Century, the name “Bobrow Brothers” was associated with fine cigars produced in Philadelphia, PA. They were known for their “bold flavor” and “invincible size.” The cigar company is long gone but its namesake lives as do its attributes in our company 😉
At the beginning of the 21st century, Bobrow Brothers, LLC is the official name of the partnership formed by Mark and Brian Bobrow. It was their goal then just as it now to stop “working for the man” and to control their own destinies. The journey has just begun and they are looking forward to making huge progress in the coming months and on into the future.
Our story so far…
In the summer of 2008 Mark Bobrow was working as a graphic designer for an artwork company that produced many of it’s own giclee prints. The company’s printers had the ability to print on canvas and this detail caught Mark’s attention since his mom had recently sent him a photo canvas as a gift. Mark realized the potential for creating photo to canvas prints with this equipment and had the thought “hey, if they can do it, I can do it.” The seed for what would eventually become Canvas Brothers was planted.
Mark got in touch with his brother, Brian Bobrow who was out of work at the time and pitched the idea. Brian’s experience working at a lumber yard and his affinity for power tools were a perfect match for the photo canvas idea. The brothers’ mom Janet provided a very generous helping hand to capitalize the new venture and within a week they had purchased their 1st giclee printer second hand from a photographer that was going out of business. Soon after Mark decided that working for other people was not in his best interests and he left his designer job. The brothers had a long way to go before their company was viable. The first canvas they made took over and hour to stretch by hand but the “Bobrow Brothers Photo to Canvas” had been born.
The Bobrow Brothers made canvases and peddled them out of a kiosk at the local mall for the better part of year before turning their efforts to online marketing. They changed the name of the canvas business from Bobrow Brothers to Canvas Brothers and launched canvasbrothers.com. They also launched a line of inspirational artwork they are calling Little Fish.
In the summer of 2009 Mark and Brian went to visit their uncle Bill “Barefoot Willie” Fowler. Bill was the founder of the motorcycle cup holder business know as Barefoot Willies and was thinking of expanding his web presence. The three came up with a strategy for marketing cupholders online and Mark and Brian began work on the new Barefoot Willies website. They were also to become the primary distributor of Barefoot Willies products. Later that summer the brothers launched yet another website, freeduplicatecanvas.com to cater to those looking for a great deal on multiple canvases.
In December 2010 Uncle Bill called up Mark and Brian to let them know he was wanting to retire from the motorcycle cup holder business to spend more time riding his motorcycle. The Bobrow Brothers were to take over day to day operations of Barefoot Willies including marketing manufacturing and sales. The brothers took another trip out to visit their uncle only this time they had a box truck with them to load up all of Uncle Bill’s cup holder supplies. Mark and Brian partnered with a new plastics manufacturer in York, PA to make all of the products previously made in Kansas.
In the years since the Bobrow Brothers have made it their focus to grow Barefoot Willies into a premiere motorcycle accessory company. Barefoot Willies now makes a phone holder and a patented throttle control device as well as the “Cool Rider” cup holder that made the brand well known in the industry.
Check back here soon for the next chapter of our story.