Father-and-daughter duo Kim and Tricia Boomhower’s business, KB Workshop, has become a Just Jersey staple with their handcrafted, laser-engraved wooden coasters, serving boards, candy dishes, and more. Before building his own business, Kim worked for over 15 years in computer science and another twenty years in car service. It was his life-long passion for working with wood – and love of “man glitter” (sawdust) – however, that led him to Just Jersey.
As he transitioned into retirement, Kim had the opportunity to devote his time to expanding his knowledge of woodworking and practiced by creating gifts for loved ones. He works with maple, oak, walnut and in the past few years has begun to use “plywood to laser and engrave.” In 2015 Kim began to sell his creations at local craft fairs, but it was only in more recent years that he got serious about turning his hobby into a business. It was then that his daughter Tricia sent a link to the Just Jersey store, and Kim decided to give his hobby a real shot at becoming a business.
In 2017 Kim joined the Just Jersey family and began selling his hand-carved New-Jersey-shaped candy dishes, which became popular right away. After the dishes’ success, he began to explore making other products for the store as well. At the suggestion of a friend, Kim experimented with turning various interstate signs into colorful trays (which are available for purchase in-store and online) and sought Tricia’s artistic skills to help with the design element. The duo soon discovered their combined talents opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities, and soon after officially went into business together.
His daughter Tricia is currently part of the marketing department for a tech company based in Pittsburgh, and has experience from years past in marketing, sales, and development across a variety of industries. She has always been creative and has been using Adobe Illustrator
for over ten years, a skill that enabled the pair to use a CNC router and laser to create more intricate designs.
“The CNC router is how we make our inlays,” explains Tricia. “[For instance] the cheeseboards … with the design inlayed into another piece of wood[.] For the CNC [we use JPEGs with] shades of black, gray, and white … to start. Black cuts an image completely out, gray cuts half way through. So the black image we inlay over the grey- similar to a puzzle piece.” For the coasters Kim uses a laser to carve the designs that Tricia makes, which “need to be in black and white for the laser. Depending on what we want to laser, the design will pick up the black design.” Tricia’s background in marketing also made her the perfect person to manage KB Workshop’s social media and website.
When asked what they both love about their business, both Kim and Tricia expressed that having an activity to do together is what is most enjoyable. “It is fun to actually create something that my Dad can create also,” Tricia answers. They also both enjoy getting to design and create new products. “The projects I like the most are the custom orders, although all are fun,” Kim says. “The custom[s] are always a challenge.”
When they are not working together, the family loves to just spend time with one another. Kim also enjoys watching Red Bull soccer and attending tailgates. Tricia loves to spend time outside with her husband rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. They also recently completed their first 55k ultra marathon at Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona! Kim has lived in New Jersey for almost 70 years, and though Tricia resides in Pittsburgh, she is a Jersey Girl that visits her father and her home state as often as she is able.
Shop our collection of KB Workshop products here.