Small business spotlight: Wolfpack Promotionals is thriving on the Northside

 KB Brown moved Wolfpack Promotionals into his new W Broadway Ave. space in March after over two years of renting space at NEON. Brown says Wolfpack offers 800,000 different marketing items for Northsiders to choose from.  Photo by Mathias Durie

KB Brown moved Wolfpack Promotionals into his new W Broadway Ave. space in March after over two years of renting space at NEON. Brown says Wolfpack offers 800,000 different marketing items for Northsiders to choose from. Photo by Mathias Durie

Cirien Saadeh | Staff Reporter  

Since KB Brown, owner of Wolfpack Promotionals, moved his business to North Minneapolis three years ago, profits have gone up 100-fold and orders are increasing at such a pace that things were starting to get lost until he, his wife Katie, and staff put in a new shop management system. 

Together, the five-person business provides all the materials their customers need to promote their organizations and their work. A printing expert, Brown says he can print on anything and that his product list is approximately 800,000 items long and ranges from leather keychains to mugs and every style of clothing available. 

Wolfpack (2038 W Broadway Ave) rents out an unassuming building across the street from the Capri Theater. Until recently they were operating out of NEON’s small business incubator down the street. They moved west on West Broadway just a few weeks before the Penn Ave Improvements Project began in earnest, but Brown says the transit construction has only helped their business as transit construction forces people to slow down. 

“My wife Katie and I are thriving here. A lot of it has to do with the fact that both she and I have a customer service background, and we make people feel comfortable. That's why the store is set up the way it is. You know, people love the way that feels. We kept the business feel of the place; we made sure that it didn't feel like a hole in the wall,” said Brown. Orders must be done in person. 

According to Brown, however, working in the Northside has also had its unique challenges. They have been asked  to do a number of memorial shirts since moving into the neighborhood. Brown says that the work of printing those shirts takes an emotional toll on staff. He is not sure if Wolfpack will continue to offer the service. He much prefers graduation shirts and says he printed shirts for several Northside graduates recently. 

“We've printed more than our fair share of memorial shirts; it's not something we like to do. We do it because we know that our pricing is fair. We do good work and we're cognizant of the fact that the family is in turmoil. So we try to do our best to relieve that aspect of it. And we're not gonna charge a million dollars for a shirt like some of the other printers,” said Brown. 

Brown says Wolfpack item prices depend on design and coloring. He recommends bringing a design or at least detailed notes on what you want to see into the shop so he can work with you. According to Brown, his wife Katie will price out the proposal and work with Brown to ensure that the print proposal meets everyone’s needs. Brown notes that they typically work on six larger projects a week between Tuesday and Saturday, as well as several smaller projects. They typically ask for a week’s turnaround time for projects. 

Wolfpack Promotionals is closed weekends. On Monday - Friday, they are open from 10am - 6pm. Find out more at facebook.com/wolfpackpromotions. 

Kenzie O'Keefe