The Big Decision Challenges: Day 4 of 7

The Big Decision Challenges Day 4

The sale is in progress! So far so good. Today is our big in-house sale, and Monday we will be ramping up for online orders.

Susan helping a customer who bought up some of our Olympics items.

And because 3 challenges in 7 days is just not enough, we’ve now got a FOURTH challenge to complete by Tuesday involving pitching to a major company.

The Big Decision Challenges: Day 3 of 7

Here we go…

As of yesterday, Challenge #1 (a new block-out mesh client) is done.

Challenge #2 – Operation: Business Consultant – still MIA.

Challenge #3 – Bury the Deadstock – continuing apace.

2:30 pm – The consultant is here! The consultant is here! We got faked out!

We’re having a big ol’ hootenanny tomorrow! Come by the store at 1615 Powell St. for deeply discounted flags and flag paraphernalia as well as giveaways and refreshments!

The Big Decision Challenges: Day 2 of 7

The Flag Shop on The Big Decision Day 2
It’s crunch time. We have the lists in hand. Now the marketing collateral begins. Deadline: noon.

Wish our marketing team luck in processing almost 300 items into one coherent sales flyer.

9:00 a.m. – Shield crests are done. $1.70 each, marked down from $4.25. Moving onto car flags.

9:20 a.m. – Car flags are done! Not all car flags are on sale, but the ones that are are now $9.88 down from $19.95. Discovered one I didn’t even know we had (Portuguese Football Federation, if you’re curious). Moving on to vinyl decals.

10:00 a.m. – Vinyl decals are done! These are discontinued stock. The ones on sale are $1.25 down from $2.95. Quick flag trivia: St. Patrick’s Cross is the flag of both Ireland and Alabama. This occasionally causes confusion in our inventory system. This isn’t a complete tangent, it’s one of the ones on sale.

10:30 a.m. – Friendship pins are done. We’re selling off overstock on certain designs. 50% off – regular $4.50, now $2.25. More quick flag trivia: Don’t click the first link for St. Andrew’s Cross if you search for it on Google. D: Come on, Google. Keep it family friendly.

11:30 a.m. – Factory seconds are up online. Prices and discounts vary.

2:30 p.m. – Former flags are up. Still to come – stick flags and Olympics merchandise.

4:00 p.m. – Olympics merchandise is live! This is actually just a small part of our whole collection. Contact the Vancouver store to find out what else we have on hand including a few rare and collectable items!

Check in tomorrow for the rest!

The Big Decision Challenges: Day 1 of 7


So as Susan explained in the last post, we have SEVEN DAYS to complete THREE challenges.

The largest challenge is the most labour intensive.

We have to sell off a huge amount of deadstock.

We’ve been in the flag business since 1975. We have a LOT of inventory to clean out.

As of this writing, it is 2:00 pm PDT and so far we have two large spreadsheets. The first is a list of our “factory seconds” – flags that (to the untrained eye) look perfectly fine but to us have small printing flaws that makes them second tier to our regular flags. The second is a list of unsold shield crests. How many more are there to go?

Edit: 3:18 pm – Houston, we have stick flags. I repeat, 6×10 and 8×12 stick flags.

Stay tuned. We’ll be posting lists and prices before the end of the day today tomorrow at noon Pacific.

We’ve also got something in the works for our Vancouver store this weekend. You won’t want to miss this!

Factory Seconds for sale
Goodbye, factory seconds, so sad to see you go!

How we got on The Big Decision and our challenges going forward


How did we get picked to be on the show? We’ll let our president Susan Braverman tell you in her own words:

A couple of weeks ago, I applied to be on the CBC TV Show called The Big Decision. Its two hosts, Arlene Dickinson and Jim Treliving, are both on Dragon’s Den. Here is a link that gives you a brief overview about the show:

Unlike other businesses on the show, my company Textile Image (The Flag Shop Head Office) isn’t in financial despair. In fact, we are stronger than we’ve been in years. But I decided to apply to be on the show because I think we have a great story and that one of the hosts may think we are a worthy investment. In my application I explained our past, what I did to turn the company around, and how we now find ourselves in a strange situation where we aren’t in ONE specific industry anymore. We are a “flag & banner” company that makes signs and promotional products, and we are a “sign company” that also makes flags & banners. The days of selling just flags are long over. And with our digital printing equipment, we can do even more than we even realize we can do. And we have 12 locations across the country! And our block-out mesh street banners have taken off…. and, and, and, and…

So I submitted my application and told my story. And last Tuesday night, CBC phoned me and explained that my application was sent in too late, that they are in Vancouver filming right now, but that one company had to pull out for financial reasons and so they offered me the spot. The host would be Arlene Dickinson, whom I consider one of the top marketing icons in Canada.

That was last Tuesday night at 9:30pm. My life has not been the same since.

Read the rest of this entry »

What in the sam heck is going on around The Flag Shop Vancouver?

The Big Decision crew setting up at The Flag Shop Vancouver

Stalking the lighting crew

We’ve had a lot of excitement around our office lately. A whirlwind of activity has engulfed us because we’re going to be on TV! For once, it won’t be about hideous clown flags (do you think those are poised for a comeback?), Canucks flags (sigh), or how to make Canadian flags (classic!).

We’re going BIG this time…  CBC’s The Big Decision, that is.

We’ve been tripping over power cords, getting shushed by crew members while they try to film people crying (just kidding, they’re lovely), and telling anyone who will listen that we’re not here to make friends (that’s a lie, we’re totally here to make friends). In the end, we’re hoping that Arlene Dickinson will shine her investment light upon us and give us the boost we need to take The Flag Shop and Textile Image to the next level.

What is the next level? Well, that’s part of the journey. Won’t you join us? We’ll be documenting everything RIGHT HERE as it goes down for better or for worse.

Cheer us on here and on Facebook as we try to meet THREE challenges in ONE week!

The Terry Fox Run flag – then and now

Since the 32nd annual Terry Fox Run is this Sunday, we thought you might to see a little bit of history. On the left is a Terry Fox Run flag from the original 1980 order, and on the right is the Terry Fox flag currently on display outside our store. We’re still selling them in our Vancouver store as well as online, and we donate $50 from every sale to the Terry Fox foundation.

 Terry Fox Flags - then and now

Some new additions to our library

We have just added two new titles to our inventory!


The first we’re quite proud of since our founder, Doreen Braverman, contributed to its writing, and we donated to help fund its publishing. NAVA’s Canadian City Flags looks at 100 municipal flags across Canada – the 67 largest Canadian cities plus the largest five cities for each province and territory. The book features full-colour illustrations and in-depth write-ups on the history and design of each flag. Doreen has previously contributed to the books Our Flag and Flags Tell the Story of Canada.

You can buy the new Canadian City Flags in our stores and online.



The second is a gorgeous visual biography of the Canadian flag called A Flag for Canada by Rick Archbold. A beautiful history of one of Canada’s enduring symbols, this book is elegant enough to display on your coffee table.

It is available in our stores and online.