Big Frog Custom T-shirts and More, headquartered in Dunedin, Fla., has apparel and gifts for men, women, kids and infants. Customers pick what they want to print on and choose their colors and sizes. Big Frog’s talented artists work with them at an in-store design station to create a custom message and/or full color graphic to their exact specifications.
We recently interviewed Leeward Bean, President and CEO of Big Frog, to find out more about this fun, unique – and highly successful – franchise. Wondering what has made it such a success? Read on to find out!
What’s special about the Big Frog franchise?
Big Frog Custom T-shirts and More is an upscale retail custom t-shirt boutique with no minimums, no setup fees, no artwork charges and 24-hour delivery. The Big Frog Experience is to “Create a value added experience for every customer.”
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What is the idea behind the franchise?
Custom t-shirts made easy. Make it fun for the customer – from 1 to 1,000 T-shirts.
How does Big Frog compare to its competition?
There is no competition in the retail space. We are easier and less expensive than Internet companies, plus we have exceptional customer service.
Who is your target demographic?
Every person is a prospect.
Where do you see the Big Frog franchise in five years?
300 stores in the U.S.
Can you describe a typical day in the life of a franchisee?
Drive business to the store through local networking and social media. Manage a small staff of two to three employees and make the customer happy.
What’s your background?
Prior to starting Big Frog, I was a partner at an analytical instrument company. Started in 1990, Ocean Optics, Inc. became the world leader in miniature fiber optic based spectrophotometers. We sold Ocean Optics in 2004 and I retired, until a young couple who worked at Ocean Optics wanted to start their own company. We started an Internet company specializing in “geek” novelties. We wanted to sell t-shirts for geeks, but found screen printers wanted minimum volumes, and inventory was going to be a nightmare. We found a new technology called Direct to Garment Printing, which is an all-digital process that allows you to print one shirt at a time. To help supplement revenue, we started marketing the t-shirts to schools, charities and businesses and the business took off. A customer was so impressed with what we were doing he offered to buy a franchise and off we went.
What motivates you to keep going?
The franchisees and success.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have joined IFA (International Franchise Association) earlier.
Please tell us your secret to success…
“It’s all about the customers,” and our customers are our franchisees.
What is the worst job you have ever had and what did you learn from it?
I was working in a glass factory in Florida as a teenager. I quickly learned how important it was to obtain an education.
What is one thing that really excites you?
Seeing our franchisees become successful.
Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Find underserved niche marketing and serve it better than anyone else.
Where can people find out more about the Big Frog franchise?
Where can people find Big Frog on social media?