Art to Remember: Local fundraising businesses building new headquarters at Fort Ben

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Art to Remember owner Bill Boncosky discusses the company’s growth and pending move to Fort Benjamin Harrison later this year. (Photo by Sadie Hunter)

By Sadie Hunter

 

A Geist area business recently broke ground on a new development at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Lawrence.

Art to Remember, a company that makes customized products featuring student art for school fundraising, will move into its new headquarters at the corner of 59th and Lee streets later this summer.

“Unfortunately, the groundbreaking (ceremony) was canceled twice (due to weather),” Art to Remember owner Bill Boncosky said. “So, we’ve all just kind of agreed that we’ll do a nice ribbon cutting in the late summer when we move in. Hopefully, we’ll be moving in the last couple of weeks in August and be ready to go by Labor Day. That’s our goal.”

Art to Remember helps primarily elementary schools in all 50 states raise money for art programming by taking children’s art and putting it on items their parents and family members can have as keepsakes.

Art to Remember creates customized products for fundraising efforts in elementary schools nationwide, featuring student artwork for parents and family members to buy. (Submitted photos)

“We make coasters, Christmas ornaments, coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, etc.,” Boncosky said. “We have about 40 or so different products that parents buy where they get to have a keepsake of the children’s artwork while also helping raise money for art programs in their kid’s school.

“It’s kind of a low-pressure, feel-good fundraiser in that we don’t turn a school’s students into our salesforce. There’s no door-to-door sales or anything like that. (The student) just gets a custom, personalized order form with their name and artwork on it, and their mom and dad can buy stuff or buy stuff for grandma and grandpa.”

Art to Remember has been in business for 21 years. The business was started by Don and Jane Brackney in the 1995-96 school year.

“They grew the business, and I bought it about 5 1/2 years ago (in December 2011),” Boncosky said. “The spring semester of 2012 was my first time in the business.”

For each fundraiser, the student typically creates a special piece of art. But this spring, Art to Remember is launching features that allows parents to upload prior art pieces made by their child to create keepsakes.

“We’re creating this concept of a gallery so parents can maintain all of their children’s artwork,” Boncosky said. “They can use this just to maintain the artwork and know it’s there, or they can create additional gifts from there. It also allows them to order during the school’s fundraising program or at a different time, when the fundraiser isn’t necessarily active. We’ll test this with some schools this spring, and then we’ll have it generally available for the 2017-18 school year.”

The change will happen when Art to Remember moves into its new 35,000-square-foot headquarters, where all of the products are made.

“We make everything here,” Boncosky said. “I don’t make a coffee mug, for example, but I buy blanks, and then we print and make the final product here. The image transfer is all done here.”

The current Art to Remember facility is 25,000 square feet and is down the road at 56th Street and Macy Drive.

“It’s the end of our lease, and we could use more space,” Boncosky said. “Putting everything on one floor should make us a lot more efficient. Overall, it just gives us more space, more room for growth and to work with more and more schools every year and help them raise more money. We looked around a lot, for almost two years, for buildings to buy and raw land, and there’s not that much available out there.

“As we looked, we have a lot of employees that are on the east side of Indianapolis in Greenfield, Fortville, so the location made a lot of sense. I like a lot of things that they’re doing at Fort Ben. I think it’s going to be a neat place to have a business. We’re excited to be there.”

Art to Remember’s Legacy Wall program reproduces student artwork onto tiles to be mounted on school walls.

MEET BILL BONCOSKY

Career: “I’m a recovering lawyer,” Art to Remember owner Bill Boncosky said. “I just decided I didn’t want to practice law anymore and started working with a byside business broker named Jeff Smith, and he helped me find Art to Remember, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.” Boncosky closed on the business Dec. 28, 2011.

Education: “I’m a born and raised Hoosier from the north side of Indianapolis,” Boncosky said. He graduated from North Central High School and Indiana University and Indiana University in Indianapolis for law school.

Family: Married to wife Lisa. Together they have a daughter, Maggie, a sixth-grader, and a son, Sam, a fourth-grader, and their dog, Clio.

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