Media coverage in the run-up to The Big Decision

Our episode of The Big Decision is coming up fast! (Tuesday, November 27th, if you need reminding.)

Here is the initial press release we have sent out about our involvement in the show. (More to come!)

Iconic Vancouver business gains new insight on CBC Show
The family business, The Flag Shop, chosen to be featured on season finale of The Big Decision

Vancouver, BC—For over 35 years, The Flag Shop has endured as a part of the Vancouver landscape – first as a welcoming presence on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano and now as part of East Vancouver’s industrial area. Passed from its founder Doreen Braverman to her daughter Susan Braverman in 2006, The Flag Shop has quickly dominated the industry, introducing new equipment and techniques along the way and expanding to 12 locations across Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flag Shop nominated for Best Community Impact at Successful You Awards

Small Business BC's Successful You Awards

With all of The Big Decision hullabaloo, we almost forgot about this!

We are nominated for the Best Community Impact category in Small Business BC’s Successful You Awards which is “a province-wide event that recognizes and celebrates the important contributions BC’s entrepreneurs make to their local communities and global economy.”

You can read our entry and vote here.

Voting is open until November 30th. After that point, the top 10 nominees will move onto the next stage.

You’ve seen our results with Common Thread Co-operative and the beautiful things that can happen with our donated fabrics along with other flags and banners we’ve donated to good causes.

Give us a vote, eh? It would be much appreciated.

(You vote by clicking on the red “Vote for Best Community Impact” button on the left. It took us awhile to figure that out.)

Brace yourselves for The Big Decision

According to CBC’s press release, our episode of The Big Decision will air Tuesday, November 27th at 9 pm EST and PST. This will be the season finale, and we’re sharing the screen with another long-time Vancouver institution Save-On Meats.

Stay tuned for more details! We’ll be posting more as we get closer to its airing.

The Flag Shops Chilliwack and London in the news

Our Chilliwack store contributed to the street banners recently put up in a notoriously busy school zone in an effort to get motorists to slow down.

Our London store made the flags at Savour Stratford. See the photos here.

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!

West 4th Avenue’s Kits Me banner contest photos

Street banner jobs run the gamut from single design, one color screen prints to 1600 banners of 5 different designs (more on that soon!) to 89 different digitally printed designs. When Kits House, West 4th Avenue BIA, and other Kitsilano associations ran the “Kits Me” banner contest, we got the pleasure of sorting out the winners of the story contest and putting their photos on one of seven colour backgrounds. This was an ambitious project on our end since it required some meticulous planning to organize that many different design files, get them printed, and then make sure they made it up on the correct pole (we tried to honour people’s requests to put their banner in certain areas of 4th Avenue if at all possible). The banners were printed on Echotex®, our 100% recycled banner fabric.

Here’s a shot of some of the banners that are up:

See our full Facebook gallery here along with a map of who’s located where. There are still a few banners missing but we’ll add them soon.

The banners are up now until the end of October and after they come down, the participants get to keep their banner. If you think this contest was cool, watch this space for more details. You might get a chance to get your own street banner on 4th!

Here’s the list of media coverage we’ve had so far:

Some of our Flag Shop franchise owners quoted in the news

Betty at The Flag Shop London discusses the run on Canadian flags for Canada Day in London’s Free Press.

Phyllis at The Flag Shop Edmonton was contacted for a story about a 1967 Canadian Centennial flag found in a basement and brought out for Canada Day this year.

The Flag Shop Vancouver shows off popular flags for Global BC

Mike McCardell from Global BC stopped by our store to find out which flags are best sellers and which are… not. In addition to a star-making turn by Susan, you can also see staff members Saya, Breanna, and Ali.

Canada flags are, of course, our best seller, but the new Diamond Jubilee flags are doing brisk business. I suppose we’ll be holding onto that “No Bozos” flag until people decide that bozos aren’t welcome once again. These things are cyclical.

Common Thread on Co-op TV

Co-op TV recently put together this Common Thread Co-operative video which does a beautiful job explaining what they do and the difference they make in the lives of the women with whom they work.

Susan has a cameo, and you can see some footage of our production area.

Speaking of Common Thread! Spread the word – we are looking for banner donations on their behalf since they have been so wildly successful that they are beginning to deplete their stash of banners that they recycle into tote bags.

We have already begun reaching out to our customers, but if you or someone you know is in a position to donate, please get in touch with Susan at The Flag Shop at (604) 736 8161 or (800) 663 8681. We will be happy to arrange picking them up.

You can read more about their Banners to Bags program here.