When Harald and Lynn Husum began shopping for a townhouse, they were looking for a place to dye.
It’s not as morbid as it sounds: The husband-and-wife duo, who co-own children’s clothing brand Appaman, started out making their playful wares by hand.
“When we first launched our company, we were creating all our clothes ourselves in our tiny 600-square-foot Wyckoff Street one-bedroom,” says Harald.
The label he founded in 2003 with his wife, Lynn, is now beloved for its fashion-forward aesthetic for the knee-high set. “We knew that for our next move, we needed something with a lot more space where our family could evolve.”
In 2005, by the time the Husums got serious about buying a home, an Appaman office had opened in Chelsea. But they wanted more space anyway — and to stay in their Cobble Hill neighborhood.
Enter a 2,300-square-foot townhouse on Third Street that came with some rental income. “It was a bit above our price range,” says Harald, a former art director, who adds the couple ended up spending around $1 million.
“But at the time, there was a tenant living on the third floor who wanted to stay, so we crunched the numbers and decided we could make it work.”
The now-fortysomething couple had already seen risks pan out successfully: In 2003, they registered the name Appaman (named after a stuffed monkey Harald cherished as a child) and came up with a rudimentary business model: to sell children’s clothes that combined edgy prints with quality fabric. Then they booked a three-month trip to South America and made a joint decision to not talk about the nascent venture until they came back to town.
Similarly, the couple made the leap to the townhouse despite reservations. “We sort of felt like we were on the fringes of the neighborhood,” says Lynn, “but it really just blew up all around us in the past decade.”