When both Phil and Brad came to Milwaukee to attend UWM, they began attending bobblehead give-away sporting events and soon their collection started growing.
BizStarts Entrepreneur Member: National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
National Bobblehead Hall of Fame & Museum featured on WISN 12 on January 10, 2016
As two big sports fans originally from Rockford, Illinois, co-founders Phil Sklar and Brad Novak began collecting bobbleheads since the early 2000’s. Brad began working for Rockford’s minor league baseball team just as they began using bobbleheads as a promotion. When both Phil and Brad came to Milwaukee to attend UWM, they began attending bobblehead give-away sporting events and soon their collection started growing into the kitchen of their condo. This sparked an idea: Phil was working in the corporate finance world and had recently finished his MBA with an emphasis in marketing and entrepreneurship. This helped him piece together the idea for a brand dedicated solely to bobbleheads. Finding out there was a major opportunity in the market, both knew they could gain an immediate, long-term sustainable competitive advantage in this space. Realizing the brand could also create custom bobbleheads for customers, it all came together: the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum was born.
Phil and Brad began by building a website, conducting market research, generating custom bobblehead business, building the business plan and test marketing – all while working in their full time jobs. After about six months, they both realized there were on to a significant opportunity. They gave up their former jobs to devote themselves full time to developing and growing their new business. Their passion has its roots in something simple: bobbleheads are all about fun. They are excited to bring a fun, unique attraction to Milwaukee for locals and visitors to enjoy. Sometimes the news and current events can be filled with negativity – Phil and Brad wanted to create something that is positive and brings the community together while also educating people through bobbleheads. On the custom bobblehead side of their business, they find it exciting to pitch ideas and show companies how they can use bobbleheads to help exceed their objectives. Preparations have begun for the preview exhibition which will be at RedLine Milwaukee from January 22nd to April 30th, 2016. They are working on the site selection for the permanent location of the Hall of Fame and Museum, which they hope to open by fall of 2016.
The co-founders are constantly working on new bobblehead projects for organizations, teams and individuals across the country. On top of growing their retail bobblehead business, they are always keeping the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum Members, which can be found in 40 different states, informed of updates and new bobbleheads. Thus far, Phil and Brad have built the business and brand through their own personal investment and “a ton of sweat equity.” They are reaching the point where they may take on outside investment to accelerate growth.
Looking forward to the exhibits planned for both the preview exhibition and full scale Hall of Fame and Museum, Phil is extremely happy with the company’s progress: “It has been exciting to see the Hall of Fame and Museum grow from an idea that was borne during a commute to work into a concept that is receiving significant local, national and international attention. Without the passion, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
More Information on the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame Museum
Membership Options: https://www.bobbleheadhall.com/shop/
RedLine Milwaukee Exhibit: http://www.redlineartmke.org/bobbleheads/