Local T-Shirt Printing Store Gives Back to the Community
Family-Owned T-Shirt Printing Store Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of Kansas City Gives Back to Local Schools, Libraries, Medical Non-Profit, Veteran Organizations, and More in Kansas City
At Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of Kansas City, operating its local t-shirt printing store is a family business. Owned by the King family – mom Beth, dad Stephen and sons Phillip and Matthew – Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of Kansas City opened nearly a decade ago. The dream to start a small business was planted when the grandchildren came into the picture.
“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 too coincidental that Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More turned out to be the perfect fit for our family’s lifestyle and business ventures.”
With Beth’s love of children, it’s only natural that the store has a soft spot for supporting causes that support children’s welfare.
Starting 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 a consultant in the family business.
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.
Supporting Kids’ Causes
Motivated by the young children in their lives, both Big Frog shops have supported schools and learning programs over the years with initiatives including:
• Awards and events at Park Hill School District (Big Frog supports quarterly educational foundation events, and supports elementary school awards);
• Mid-Continent Public Library Summer Reading/Learning Programs (Big Frog has supported summer reading programs at all of the library branches, donating thousands of t-shirts and tote bags over the years);
• Intern program with the Parkhill School District (students from the high schools work at the stores as interns, learning about marketing, production, and business in general. Big Frog is working on expanding the program into the Blue Springs School District in 2022).
Shop Local All the Way
Aside from its children-focused giving back initiatives, Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of KC North actively supports small business owners in Kansas City. They recently participated in the brand’s nationwide program, called Shop Local All the Way, to help raise awareness of the impact of small businesses in the local community as well as provide small business owners a platform to share their brand stories.
In this initiative, the community had a chance to nominate their favorite small business and Big Frog randomly picked a winner to receive a voucher for free Direct-to-Garment Printing on custom apparel. Kansas City local artist Jill Stewart was the lucky winner and joined Big Frog’s Shop Local All the Way Live Interview Series to share her own entrepreneurial journey and showcase her paintings.
Phill was a guest at the live interview series and shared their humble beginnings and the many ways they continue to support the local Kansas City community as a small business. Rhonda Sullivan, a Big Frog customer, was also a guest and 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.
Last, but certainly not least, the Kings have been able to embrace causes that make a true difference in people’s lives through initiatives in both shops.
Local folks will recognize the popular “Stand Up for Stanley” initiative, begun by a long-time client, Debbie Pack. She’s won awards from at least 300 cities for her work with anti-bullying campaigns. She raises bulldogs and because they’re not what people typically imagine as “beautiful,” she goes into schools and organizations touting acceptance of things (and people…and dogs) who are different.
Local t-shirt printing store Big Frog supplies many t-shirts for Debbie’s events. As an extension of this anti-bullying message, both shops have taken advantage of many opportunities to help programs that support teen suicide prevention. One organization called Smile Train, which supports children born with cleft palates, was a noteworthy recipient when, because of Big Frog’s participation, the King’s shops were able to donate over $500, enough to provide two children with surgery to repair cleft palates.Back