16 Big Frog – Custom T-Shirts and More

The Big Frog Custom T-Shirt Franchise

Big Frog is a franchise headquartered in sunny Florida. At Big Frog, a customer can go into one of their 67 locations and sit down with a graphic designer/artist that will customize a t-shirt exactly how you want it. Whether you are looking for a single t-shirt or a large quantity, the direct-to-garment printing process can easily achieve the custom design anyone may looking for.

“Business is a science and science is a business”.
– The Big Frog, Leeward Bean.

Big Frog Custom T-shirt Franchise
The Big Frog experience is based on three things:

  • Choose: We have apparel and gifts for men, women, kids and infants. Pick what you want to print on, choose your colors and sizes and get ready to have some fun!
  • Create: This is where our creativity really shines through. Our talented artists will work with you at our in-store design station to create a custom message and/or full color graphic to your exact specifications. Experiment with colors, fonts and graphics to get just the look you want. With our advanced printing technology, the sky’s the limit on what you can do.
  • Celebrate: Most orders can be ready in just one day.* Now that’s cause for celebration.

Direct-to-garment t-shirt printing with graphic designersAfter getting to know Leeward, Tina (even though she has her PhD, she asked me to call her Tina), and Ron, I understand why they have been so successful. Their philosophy in business is made up of a friendly culture based on experience, trust and fun. At first glance, one may think, hmmmm, T-shirts? Once you listen to the show, hear their story, and understand how the leadership team at Big Frog operates, no one will question the unique business in which Big Frog is based on.

Unlike many success stories you may have heard of in the past, the Big Frog story is quite unique. The founders all have a background in science. How can a group of successful science buffs turn to direct-to-garment printing after working in the field of fiber optic spectrophotometers? In their words… fun.


While Leeward was fishing one day he received a call from Ron and Tina asking him about a unique business opportunity. To get the details, you’ll have to listen to the show, but to make this story short, Leeward decided to come out of retirement after attending a trade show and the rest, as they say, is history.

Leeward, Tina and Ron have all worked together previously and so they new each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This allowed them to work together on this new venture and enjoy the fact they had a previous relationship. As they worked through the challenges of launching this business, they developed a franchise system that continues to grow. They’ve been asked to speak at various events on their success and want to continue growing the business of direct-to-garment t-shirt printing.

Meet the Big Frog Leadership Team

Leeward J. Bean: Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Leeward Bean, Big FrogLeeward was a founder and Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Ocean Optics, Inc. located in Dunedin, Florida. Ocean Optics, Inc. is a world leader in fiber optic spectrophotometers; an analytical instrument used for measuring light. The Company was acquired by Halma Holdings Inc. in 2004 for $50 million. In 1990 Mr. Bean left Polaroid Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts after 15 years, as Director Worldwide Business Imaging. Leeward started his business career in 1971 with Burroughs Corporation in St. Petersburg, Florida as a Systems Sales Engineer. Mr. Bean holds a BS degree in Computer Sciences from Jones College, Jacksonville, FL.

Dr. Christina P. Bacon/DeFrece: Founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer

Dr. Tina Bacon-Defrece, Big FrogTina was Director of Sensor Development at Ocean Optics, Inc., from 2000 to 2005. Additionally, she worked her Post-Doctorate at Constellation Technology in Largo, FL focusing on chemical agent detection. In both positions, Tina researched, developed and marketed the new technologies to the government, businesses and universities. Tina holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL with a specialty in particle characterization using light scattering.

Ronald E. DeFrece: Founder, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

Ron Defrece, Big FrogRon joined Ocean Optics in 1997 and held numerous positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing and management until 2006. Prior to his involvement with Ocean Optics, Inc., from 1989 until 1997, Ron was an Electro-Optics Engineer specializing in prototyping military laser targeting and designation systems for Litton Laser Systems in Orlando, Florida. Mr. DeFrece attended Brevard Community College in Cocoa, FL and DeVry Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.

It’s easy to find Big Frog on the world wide web, but I included the links to their website and social media below:

Big Frog Website
Big Frog Franchise Website
Big Frog Facebook
Send Big Frog a Tweet – @officialbigfrog
Connect with Big Frog on LinkedIn
Big Frog on Pinterest
Watch Big Frog on YouTube

Watch the story of Leeward’s break away moment for Big Frog here:

This was a great interview and I encourage you to listen to the show in its entirety; however, I’ve made it easy for you to listen to a couple of the highlights of the show below:

  • Meet Ron Degrace. (4:20 Mark)
  • Meet Leeward Bean. (6:31 Mark)
  • Meet Dr. Tina Degrace. (8:50 mark)
  • What is Dream Nitch and the story behind Big Frog? (11:10 mark)
  • What is “Being Awarded” a franchise? (21:55 Mark)
  • Why would someone buy a franchise instead of start their own business? (25:44 Mark)
  • Tina, how do you market Big Frog? (30:46 Mark)
  • Leeward’s Break Away Moment. (39:06 Mark)
  • Ron’s Break Away Moment. (41:17 Mark)
  • Tina’s “Break Away” moment? (42:12 Mark)

Stop Riding the Pine is a lot of fun and we love sharing the shows we’ve done. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in helping us grow this show by not only downloading the episodes, but also sharing them. Leave comments and rate our show so we can make the show even better. Here are the links:

Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.

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