Store Manager Jill Bonifield started working at Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More after she moved to Austin from Port Aransas. She said she was drawn to the store and how its employees interacted with the community, so she applied for a job.

Although the design aspects of the job were new to her, Big Frog’s emphasis on customer service came naturally to her. Even after eight years, she remembers each customer’s name and details about their order.

“They're just amazed by that,” Bonifield said. “It makes them feel comfortable. It makes them feel like somebody there cares.”

Big Frog staff members use a process called direct-to-garment (or DTG), which applies water-based ink to print custom designs on items like t-shirts, hoodies, hats, aprons and more. The store also offers screen printing, digital heat transfers, embroidery and can help customers create their own unique designs.

Bonifield’s long tenure with Big Frog, which is more than double the average tenure in the retail industry, contributes to her ability to connect with customers. She has been able to build lasting relationships with community members by making shirts for Vandegrift High School’s football and cheer teams, Canyon Ridge Middle School and the Children’s Center of Austin.

“One of the reasons that I really think our model is different and will stay successful is that personal touch,” Bonifield said. “ It's more of a boutique shopping experience.”

Big Frog is able to participate in special moments in its customers' lives with its custom products. Bonifield said every summer she makes custom shirts for a local family’s beach trip. The family puts funny quotes on the shirts and each one is different. Bonifield has seen the kids grow up over the years and now they’re all teenagers.

“Everybody gets a completely customized shirt and I know every year in June, they’re coming [to the store],” Bonifield said.

In addition to making personal connections with individuals in the community, Big Frog differentiates itself by providing complementary graphic design services.

“Big Frog gives you a place where you can walk in the door, touch and feel the garments, try them on, look at samples of what has been printed and work with a designer who truly is very knowledgeable,” Bonifield said. “They can do lots of detailed work... They can create graphics that blow your mind. I don't know of another place [where] you can do that.”

Austin residents who have an event or vacation coming up can contact the Big Frog store for help with their custom design.

“From a decorating perspective, we can do anything that you can imagine provided the right [amount of] time,” Store Owner Horacio Ochoa said.

The Northwest Austin store is located at 8300 N. FM 620, Ste. D-400. The franchise recently opened another location in Round Rock at 206 W. Main St., Ste. 112.

Ready to bring your design idea to life? To learn more about Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More, visit the business’ website.

The above story was produced by Multi-platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.