Former Finance Exec Cultivates Small Town Living at Big Frog Upper West Side in Manhattan
Big Frog Upper West Side: Not Your Ordinary Custom T-Shirt Shop
After nearly 30 years in finance, former finance exec, Kerry Colley, Owner of Big Frog Upper West Side in Manhattan, missed the small town living he knew during his childhood. With both he and his husband traveling extensively for their careers, he wanted to put down roots closer to his Upper West Side home in Manhattan, New York. It was time for one of them to develop a work option that brought a bit more serenity and more “family friendly” hours to their lives.
That’s one of the reasons why the Big Frog Custom T-Shirts franchise concept stood out to Kerry. There was space for a shop, just a short, five-minute walk from home, which fostered a feeling of “small-town living” right in the middle of a huge city. He began the process of entrepreneurship with Big Frog in December 2018. Just a year later, he opened what is likely the most unique shop, real estate-wise, in the entire Big Frog franchise system.
What’s Different About Big Frog Upper West Side
Unlike most of the other Big Frog stores that operate in suburban strip malls and shopping centers, Kerry’s 900-square-foot shop is split into two floors.
The upstairs floor At Big Frog Upper West Side is just 300 square feet. There, print work is nearly non-stop, creating custom apparel largely to fulfill e-commerce orders, since the shop manages multiple online stores and acts as a drop-shipper for custom garments online.
The main floor is 600 square feet of retail space, with a printer to show customers the magic of creativity. The main floor also houses displays showcasing assorted designs, and racks that he moves outside to the sidewalk during good weather to draw in foot traffic. He has three full-time employees and brings in up to four more part-timers for busy seasons, including local high school and college students.
Customer Service is Key at Big Frog Upper West Side
“It really is a local, small-town feeling here at 2244 Broadway. We decorate for holidays and run fun, creative specials,” Kerry said. “But being a small, locally owned shop still lets us call the shots and do business the way that works best for us. And we always choose personal service and individual consulting advice over just a ‘canned’ online order.”
Kerry says most of his orders start online, but customers almost always end up in the shop to choose a color, a fabric, or seek his expert consultation. He advises whether it’s best to use embroidery, direct-to-garment printing (DTG), heat transfer, or other suitable apparel decorating process. For example, he had clients who wanted to embroider a high-end Lululemon garment. He counseled that embroidery on such a garment was not advisable since it would stretch and misshape the fabric. He always recommends the best custom apparel decorating option for the best possible outcome.
Customer service is key for Kerry, who grew up in a small town in Kentucky. After putting himself through college at Murray State University, his prior career took him to Nashville, then to New York City. Always a self-starter, he completed an MBA program while on the job and enjoyed a successful career with J.P. Morgan. Big Frog represents the next phase for Kerry, which, despite the challenges of opening a small business amidst a global pandemic, leaves him with absolutely zero regrets.
Steller Google Reviews and Promotions
Kerry is proud that his Big Frog of The Upper West Side boasts 4.9 out of 5 stars on over 166 Google reviews, primarily citing outstanding customer service. In addition, in the previous month, his customer count was 322, up from 231 during the same period the previous year. Repeat customers and UWS referrals give Kerry great satisfaction, and he believes in giveback and local support.
Kerry’s Big Frog UWS store puts makes promotions fun, decorating for nearly every holiday. And, if there is no holiday? Then, they use their imagination and “create” one! For example, he created an August “Aloha” promotion, which encouraged customers to say “aloha” upon entering the shop to receive 15% off their orders.
Supporting Schools, Restaurants, and Entertainment
Local schools, including PS 84, PS 87, and PS116, and popular restaurants like Jacob’s Pickles, St. James Gate, and Fred’s, rely on Kerry’s Big Frog UWS for both employee custom apparel and “merch” needs.
Beyond corporate wear and events like sweet sixteen parties and bar mitzvahs, Kerry has served many TV and movie productions, including providing 600 t-shirts for The Gilded Age, 600 hoodies for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and various pieces for several of Ryan Murphy’s East Coast TV projects, including American Horror Story.
Find Kerry’s Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of The Upper East side at 2244 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, between West 80th and West 81st Streets. The shop is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, from 12 to 5 p.m. Contact by phone at 929-474-6262, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at BIGFROG.COM/UWS.Back