PictureBoon Supply founder Lily Kanter. Photo by Stephanie Pool.

One month after opening its showroom and marketing and merchandising headquarters on Locust Ave., Boon Supply – Lily Kanter’s commerce-meets-crowdfunding startup – has opened a pop-up shop in the recently revitalized historic Mill Valley Lumber Yard

The pop-up, Boon Supply’s first, showcases the company’s ever-growing array of 200-plus products, from reusable totes and kitchen products to garden tools and storage and organizational items, all organized around design, color, and pattern. It’s open every day from 10am-5pm at 129 Miller Ave. through July 31. 

Boon Supply draws heavily on the experience of Kanter, whose much-lauded career spans 17 years in accounting and technology at places like Deloitte & Touche and Microsoft, the creation of the former Mill Valley Baby & Kids Co. and co-founding of the renowned home design brand Serena & Lily brand with artist Serena Dugan. 

But while Kanter’s retail and branding experience is much acclaimed, Boon Supply’s business model takes a decisive left turn, splicing retail with the democratization of crowdfunding on sites like GoFundMe, IndieGogo and Kickstarter. On every item the company sells, 50 percent of the proceeds go towards the cause of the customer’s choice, including organizations like Kiddo!, the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation that supports music, art, dance, technology, physical education and much more in all six Mill Valley School District schools. Organizations can also create their own fundraising campaigns on the site – just like they do on sites like GoFundMe.

“In many ways, Boon Supply is a combination of everything I’ve been doing and passionate about for the past 30 years,” says Kanter, a Kansas City, Missouri native who got deeply involved in supporting nonprofit organizations after leaving Microsoft. She was featured in Time magazine’s July 2000 cover story, “The New Philanthropists.

The lion’s share of the products on the site today are the result of Kanter’s acquisition of Mixed Bag Designs, a Burlingame-based school fundraising business co-founded by a friend of hers and which gave back 50 percent of purchases to schools. Kanter has already added some products to that mix, including an herb garden kit from the Living Seed Co. in Point Reyes.

“We’re building out a wide variety of products at price points under $25 as well as more premium offerings,” Kanter says. “And we’re completely innovating for our fall/holiday gift collection.”

In addition to Kiddo!, Boon Supply is supporting a number of local organizations, including schools and private school foundations all over Marin, including the Tam High Foundation, the Drake FundKentfield’s kik, as well as Bridge to Gap College Prep, which provides programming aimed at preparing Marin City students for college success. They’re also working with much larger organizations like Every Mother Counts, which focuses on maternal healthcare and was founded by model Christy Turlington Burns.

“We have already given back over $10 million since acquiring the existing school fundraising business less than a year ago,” she says, noting that they’re on track to generate $26 million in revenue in this year.

But while those numbers are eye-popping for such a young business, Kanter is, not surprisingly for someone with her track record, thinking much bigger.

“I truly believe wholeheartedly that this can be a billion-dollar-a-year give back company,” she says. “It will take us a little time to get there, but we see this becoming a really successful micro-fundraising site. Some of those sites like GoFundMe are $2 billion platforms. We feel there is an opportunity to have a radically exciting giveback platform.”

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