Busy Bruin Brandon Bochenski Hopes Business Booms
Tuesday, 08.07.2007 / 1:40 PM / Features
By Tom Halkin - Media Relations Intern
|Boston Bruins' Brandon Bochenski (10) checks Colorado Avalanche's Ossi Vaananen of Finland into the boards during the first period in an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, March 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)|
But as many of our beloved Black & Gold hit the links and the waves, one busy Boston bear has no time for hibernation.
B’s forward Brandon Bochenski hasn’t stopped moving since stepping off the plane when he arrived in Boston mid-way through last season from Chicago.
Brandon didn’t miss a beat as he jumped into the Bruins lineup on February 6th and tallied three goals in his first two games wearing the famed spoked-B. He went on to score eight more goals and add eleven assists in the remaining 29 games of the season, setting career highs for goals, assists, and points in a season.
But the end of the Bruins season didn’t mean Brandon could rest.
Before you could say “International Ice Hockey Federation,” Bochenski was on a plane to Moscow to compete with Team USA in the 2007 World Championships along with fellow Bruin teammates Phil Kessel and Andrew Alberts. He continued his success on the world stage, netting two goals along with three assists for five points in seven tournament games.
Unfortunately, Team USA's hopes of medalling were dashed in a quarterfinal shootout loss to Finland. Thus, Bochenski’s 2006-07 hockey season was over. Seemingly, Bo could kickback, put his feet up, and enjoy some carefree months.
Not so fast.
Brandon, who will be tying-the-knot early this month to Jen, his fiancé, has had his hands full with wedding planning. And the young winger is still boarding flights back to the Hub of Hockey to run children’s street hockey clinics, and making calls to season ticket holders. He even appeared as a special guest at the Bruins recent Launch Party.
And when Brandon is back home in the suburb of Woodbury, Minnesota - a short ride from Minneapolis and St. Paul - this big-bad Bruin is the proud owner of Elodie (pronounced: el-o-DEE), a designer women’s clothing boutique.
Yes you read that correctly.
“It was originally Jen’s idea, obviously, to do designer women’s fashion,” Bochenski chuckled.
However, Jen didn’t have to twist Brandon’s arm to get him in on the deal. Bockenski, who studied business while playing hockey at the University of North Dakota, has always wanted to start a company of his own.
“I always enjoyed business in school," said Bo. "I thought that being an entrepreneur and starting something from scratch like this would be fun.
"I obviously had other envisions of what the company would be (laughs), but I get the same basic structure here, so it’s fun.”
The future Mr. and Mrs. Bochenski are no slouches when it comes to running a business either; they both did their homework before starting up. They knew the competition they would get from other popular female clothing stores in the area would be stiff, so they intentionally tailored their shop to high-end designer fashion - a true niche market -- just like you learn about in Intro to Business.
Brandon also understood the importance of both timing and location.
The 1,200 square foot shop only took a month to really take-off, as Brandon and Jen officially opened the door in mid-November of 2006 - just in time for the holiday rush. And now with the summer and warmer weather, Elodie is reaping the benefit of its location in an outdoor mall (similar to those prominent to Florida, Phoenix, and California).
The name on the other hand, wasn’t as strategically picked.
“Well, Jen originally wanted a name that had meaning, but it ended up with no meaning,” explained Brandon. “It just sounds nice and memorable. She found the word on the internet actually.
"It is a French name, and we figured it kind of went along with that high-end, New York style of the store.
"So it sounded fancy and it wasn’t taken,” joked Brandon.
However business savvy Brandon may be, he still doesn’t let the tag of co-owner go to his head. When he is not keeping the books in the back, on most days Brandon can be found, like every high-schooler with a summer job at the mall, folding clothes and working the cash register.
“I’m just kind of the guy in the back,” Brandon laughed, “so people probably don’t even know I’m the owner, they probably think I’m the janitor.
"Our six other employees are far better salespeople, so I leave it to the professionals.”
If you’re worrying about Brandon being mobbed by crazed fans while in his store, forget about it.
Bochenski admits that only a few of his customers, even in hockey-crazed Minnesota, have recognized him simply because of the nature of the store. When patrons do recognize Brandon, they are more confused than crazed, which often elicits an explanation of his business venture.
While Jen spent all of last season out in Minnesota running the store, the two have now recently hired a manager to take over everyday tasks, so Jen can spend most of the year in Boston with her soon to be hubby.
As for other future plans; the pair are already thinking about opening a second location on the other side of the city.
Brandon does however acknowledge that he will first have to see how this winter goes before they would start putting plans together in the spring. Either way there is no denying that it has been one busy summer.
“I think it has been more exciting than anything,” Bochenski declared, when asked if his off-season was weighing on him at all.
And as for the fashion thing, “I’m learning as I go,” Bo laughed.
“Jen is trying to get me to become a little more trendy, so I can look nice for the customers and I’m trying.”
Bo also admits that nobody should be feeling sorry for him and his busy schedule.
“I have nothing to complain about," he said. " I’m still getting in four to five rounds of golf a week.”
Not too shabby there Bo. Not too shabby.
To learn more about the store you can click here.