After retiring from the auto industry, Farmington Hills resident Doug Rossman decided he wanted to try something different and be his own boss.
He decided to be a franchise broker for a year, and then ended up becoming a franchise owner himself.
He and his wife, Robin, opened Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More at 26036 Ingersol Drive in Novi Town Center earlier this month.
Doug Rossman said the new look of Novi Town Center cemented their decision to open the store in Novi.
"I think it's really going to pick up nice," he said.
The business offers custom digitally-printed T-shirts and other items using what is essentially a large ink-jet printer.
Unlike screen printing, which essentially is layers of paint on top of fabric,
Big Frog’s direct-to-garment printing bonds the dye to the molecules of the fabric. This means that Big Frog’s products can be washed in both hot water and color-safe bleach without causing the image to fade, crack or peel. The technology also is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t involve using harsh chemicals and is water-based.
Thanks to Big Frog’s specialized equipment, customers can work with a graphic designer to customize T-shirts, baby clothes, sweatshirts, mouse pads, coasters, aprons, puzzles and more.
Customers can bring in a photo or design of their own or work with the company to use online images. The design file is then stored in the system, so customers can come back and print more items if they want.
Right now, the company can print on any color T-shirt besides black and offers more than 16 million colors. In January, the business will purchase a new printer that has white ink for printing on black.
Big Frog does not charge per color or require a minimum T-shirt purchase; customers can print just one shirt if desired. There are no artwork or set-up fees, either.
During their first week of business, Robin Rossman said, a family brought in a shirt they bought in Chicago and asked for a caricature of their daughters to be printed on the back of it. The family was thrilled when the Rossmans said they could do it.
"That made me feel really good. Ninety-nine percent of the time we can make people's T-shirt dreams come true," Robin said, with a laugh.