When I first saw the new Bōbiam Artistic Streetwear store, it was a humid August day and the sunlight illuminated the space full of plaster and construction debris. Bōbiam COO Joel Baardseth took me around the room excitedly talking about his vision for the space.
When I first caught up with Baardseth earlier this summer, Bōbiam operated out of a stuffy office in Wayzata that was filled with canvases, mailing packaging, and orders.
Months later on Saturday, Nov. 10, Bōbiam finally celebrated its grand opening, and the transformation is incredible. The Uptown location above The Social House looks like a hip artist’s loft. The sparkly floor, gray walls, and black ceiling are minimalistic, but the walls are filled with canvases of youth art.
Customers may forget it is a retail store, since it also is an imaginative haven for artists. The shirts are lit and displayed like art. Beneath each design is a small plaque with the youth artist’s picture, name, and title of the work of art. The other shirts sit under a glass display tables with sleek drawers organized by shirt size. On the wall, unique hats are strung.
The area has a juice bar, tables and chairs, glass conference room, and studio space in the back painted with a mural that reads, “Creativity is…” Baardseth said that artists can rent out the space, and customers can interact with the artists. The store will also transform into a gallery space for special art shows in the future.
For the grand opening, the space became a runway. Family, friends, and youth artists strutted down showing off new designs that would make a great holiday gift. (I was flattered that the eccentric young model known as Z.J. (see featured image) asked to autograph my notes after dancing his way down the runway.)
One unique addition to the Bōbiam family are youth artist Dialyn Thelen’s kit hats. The colorful designs are all different shapes and sizes with dangling additions that range from ornaments, silk flowers, nerf darts, rubber duckies, and legos. Canvas reproductions of art and iPhone cases are also available.
Bōbiam customers can pay $100 to get the ō logo shirt that comes out every quarter. Check out the store to find some more surprises.
Bōbiam Artistic Streetwear, 2919 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 763-222-3363