Local T-Shirt Printing Store Goes All In for Kids’ Causes
Family-Owned T-Shirt Printing Store Supports Area Schools, Libraries, Medical Non-Profits, Veterans and More in Independence and Kansas City
The driving force for the Kings to get into business for themselves nearly a decade ago was their grandchildren, so it’s no surprise that the family-owned and operated t-shirt printing shops in Independence and Kansas City support kids’ causes in a big way.
“We wanted to start something to give our grandchildren options as they grew up,” said Beth King, co-owner of both the Independence and Kansas City shops. “Irys was five years old at the time and, serendipitously, her favorite toy was a stuffed frog she called ‘Daddy Frog.’ It was just too coincidental that Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More turned out to be the perfect fit for our family’s lifestyle and business ventures.”
The Back Story: Opening a T-Shirt Printing Store
In January of 2015, when the Kings first signed on and opened the shop in Independence, it was decided that Phillip, the youngest of Beth and Steve’s two sons and the father of Irys, would manage the shop. It did very well and when, in 2017, the owner of an existing shop in nearby Kansas City was selling due to health reasons, the time was right for the Kings to take on a second shop. Phill manages both stores, along with a trusted and capable management team.
But it’s really a family business. Beth, who affectionately calls herself “Grandma Frog,” primarily handles administrative tasks like payroll, bookkeeping, marketing, licensing, and memberships. Her husband, Steve, calls himself “The Courier,” traversing the 30-mile-plus route between the two shops over highways, byways, and rivers making deliveries and handling other time-consuming logistical details. The King’s older son, Mat, lives in Atlanta and is also involved in the family business as a consultant.
And Beth and Steve’s grandkids? Irys is now 11. Phill and his wife Brandy produced a second girl, Bailey, who begins kindergarten this fall.
Big Frog has truly been a big part of the family’s lives. In fact, Phill and Brandy even got married in the Big Frog store!
Helping Kids, Education and Reading
Motivated by the young children in their lives, both Big Frog shops have supported schools and learning programs over the years with initiatives including:
• Sponsoring JAG TV and Wildcat TV (Big Frog sponsors this high school curriculum that prepares students for careers in broadcasting and includes student-run TV stations at two Blue Springs School District high schools);
• A fundraiser for the Blue Springs School District (Big Frog gave back, in the form of a Blue Springs Education Foundation Grant, 10% of specific orders that supported schools in the district);
• Fundraisers for area Elementary School PTAs (Big Frog works closely with area PTAs serving as Business Members and assisting with Spirit Wear Fundraisers, Halloween Trunk or Treats, and other children-centric events throughout the school year);
Shop Local All the Way
As if all this school support weren’t enough, the King’s give back generously in many other ways through their Big Frog locations. They recently participated in the brand’s nationwide program, called Shop Local All the Way, to encourage local give back and support of other small businesses throughout individual communities across the United States.
Three local extraordinary businesspersons from Kansas City and Independence recently joined Phil in a video interview, discussing their unique business contributions. Rhonda Sullivan, a Big Frog customer, spoke about the events and the impact she’s able to make as community relations coordinator for one Community Hospice and Palliative Care. Natalie Kesselring, who is CEO of Budget Blinds Kansas City, explained how t-shirts from Big Frog added pizzazz to the wardrobe of her workforce and variety to her workplace. Finally, as the Shop Local video wrapped up, Jill Stewart was profiled as the local Shop Local winner and had an opportunity to showcase her lovely paintings and artist creations in the “surfer girl” genre.
To watch the full interview with Phill and his small business owner guests, visit Big Frog’s YouTube channel.Back