It may be the only custom T-shirt shop where a dog will greet you, but that’s part of what gives Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More in Plymouth its charm. Scout is the first person—er, dog—to say hello, followed quickly by one of the employees, there to attend to your T-shirt needs.
Big Frog is a franchise, but each store is independently owned and the Plymouth shop feels like any other local small business. Julia Turner owns the store with her husband, John, but she does most of the day-to-day work, along with her son, Andrew, and two other employees.
The shop sets itself apart from other custom T-shirt operations by offering more in-store options. You can try on the merchandise, sit with a designer at the computer and design something on the spot, or come in with your own plan. No matter what you’re looking for, Big Frog can put it together, and they do it in a standard retail environment.
Julia Turner had been working in a corporate job, but when it was being moved to a new location, she didn’t want to go. She and her husband began researching franchise opportunities, as they wanted to start their own business and saw the best opportunity in franchising.
“We’re not easy to convince to do something, but we just kept loving the idea of Big Frog versus everything we looked at,” Turner says. “When people come in here they’re in a good mood. Most of the time they’re celebrating something.”
The shop opened in the fall of 2013, and lifestyle retail seemed like the perfect fit. The idea is simple enough, and it’s an area where Turner could carve out a niche.
Part of her plan revolved around working with non-profits. She wanted to give back to the community, because now she had the time. “Anyone can write a check, but time is so valuable,” Turner says.
Big Frog teams with schools in the area to offer T-shirts for kids who are chosen for academic excellence. Charity organizations can get discounts on T-shirts for their team members at events. By coming to Big Frog, they can get the design they want and the sizes they need.
“I know that nonprofits are always under budget constraints and T-shirts are the last things they think of,” Turner says. T-shirts may be a small part of a nonprofit’s success, but helps them fill a need that often goes overlooked. It’s also been a way for Turner to get her young shop’s name out into the community.
When people do come in, they get quick service. Andrew Turner, or one of the other employees, will help anyone sort through options, whether they are looking for one T-shirt or 20. They offer almost any style shirt, and printing options that range from screen-printing to stitching. They customize designs to fit any situation, and create a welcoming environment in the process.
“The atmosphere of a workplace is most important to me,” Andrew says. He left a job working at a warehouse in Shakopee, and came to work for his mom. It’s made the shop a family affair, and one that works for everyone involved.
“I love learning about all the printing, and diving into the different processes and artwork has been pretty cool,” Andrew says.
From the moment Scout greets you at the door, to the time you walk out with T-shirts in hand, you’ll have experienced a family affair.
10100 6th Ave. N. Plymouth, MN 55441