Big Frog Makes a Positive Impact on Asheville with Custom T-Shirts and Apparel
Family-Owned Business Has Been Giving Back with Fundraisers and Community Service since 2016
After spending a full and successful 25-year career in retail as a multi-unit district manager, David Riddell and his wife, Christina, a payroll and booking executive, were looking for a new challenge and a way to give back to their local community. With Christina growing up nearby and the two meeting at college in Asheville decades prior, they returned in 2013. A few years later they decided on a business concept that would incorporate their already-proven best practices into their own business, plus would give them the opportunity to make a positive impact in Henderson County. They weren’t interested in cars, restaurants, or cleaning but knew they knew retail.
“I’m an extrovert and, with my previous work travel, I could never fully dive into my local community,” said David. “The reason you exit corporate America is that you want to make a difference. Big Frog’s focus on local community support plus our retail experience was a perfect fit. We jumped on board big time in 2016 with the Asheville shop and just a year later took on Durham, too.”
The Riddell’s firmly believe in hiring right because employees are the face of any business.
Big Frog Asheville opened with two full-time employees, now there’s a team of five. Several of them have been at the store for years, so there’s real longevity and continuity to the Riddell’s business model which equals success. And now David can pour himself into both communities.
He is active in three local chambers of commerce, serving on the board or as an ambassador at some point for all three. David also served on the board for five years and is now president of the Fletcher Area Business Association. He has also been on the small business committee helping to grow business in the county as well as working with as many as three non-profits at once.
A consummate connector of people, David leads, serves on and works with multiple meet-up groups and mentor organizations. He was the 2021 male entrepreneur of the year for the local SCORE chapter, a national organization providing assistance and mentorship for small businesses and non-profits. He also guests on local radio shows and podcasts that are popular for area businesspeople interested in professional development, robust idea interaction, and information exchange.
SHOP LOCAL ALL THE WAY: SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES
In just 2020 alone, the Big Frog Asheville and Durham shops gave a total of $10,000 to local businesses and causes through their LOVELOCAL fundraising program. The focus of Big Frog’s support has always been mentoring and helping pets, vets, kids and the elderly because, as David says, “kids are the future, the elderly is what got us here, vets are why we’re here, and pets are freaking cute!”
Big Frog of Asheville also supports other small business owners in the community. As one of the Big Frog store owners who actively promote the “shop local” campaign, Riddell spoke passionately about supporting other entrepreneurs in the Asheville community and was joined by Michelle Doeffinger, who owns Triangle Social Media, and Joe Novara, a coach and speaker about business and sales accountability. To watch the full interview, visit Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More’s YouTube channel.Back