Big Frog Takes New Approach To T-shirt Printing

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gene and Debbie Rogero not only expect their new business to make an impact on the local printing industry, but hey believe their new system can change it altogether.

The Rogeros opened a Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More franchise on Epps Bridge Parkway late last month and already are busier than they expected, Gene Rogero said. Businesses, families and student organizations have all come in to get T-shirts and other apparel custom printed.

"We're getting a lot of people in here through word of mouth, which being that we've only been open for three weeks is encouraging," Rogero said. "We were expecting the campus groups to come in, but we've also had businesses from all ends of the spectrum." A Florida franchise, Big Frog has about 40 locations across the country, including five in Atlanta. The business concept focuses on direct to garment printing, which couples a high resolution ink jet printer with fabric dye. Unlike screen prints, the custom designs cannot wash off or fade away from the shirt, Rogero said.

Big Frog doesn't charge any setup fees or require a minimum order. The maximum turnaround time is 24 hours, Rogero said.

"You can order one T-shirt and it will be $15.95, and of course the more you order the more you save," he said. "The machine can print a shirt in 30 seconds." The printing business is new to Rogero, who spent 25 years as a banker but was downsized one too many times. The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center paired Rogero with the Big Frog franchise.

"Six months ago, I had never heard of Big Frog," he said. "But I have always been entrepreneurial at heart. I didn't see any holes in the concept." Big Frog can print on shirts, polos, car flags, drink coozies, baby bibs, tote bags, puzzles coasters and aprons � anything that can lie flat, Rogero said. The franchise can also provide an online store on local merchant websites for companies that want to sell custom souvenirs over the Internet.

Families can print their family trees on shirts for reunions or create special logos for vacations. Companies with just a few employees have made uniforms. One Allman Brothers Band fan transferred a graphic off an old shirt onto a new one.

"We can actually scan pictures in and transfer them, too," Rogero said.

Rogero still finds himself amazed every day by the capabilities of the graphic designers who work at the store or the printer itself, which can print more than 16 million colors.

"This is just a really fun, creative business to be in," he said.

Big Frog Custom T-shirts and More Where: 1880 Epps Bridge Parkway Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday Call: (706) 769-6864 Online:

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