We’re feeling overwhelmed by all the press love we’re getting!
Susan talked to Charlie Smith at The Georgia Straight about The Flag Shop, Textile Image, and what comes next for us after The Big Decision.
Dear clients and friends,
In September, an opportunity to appear on the popular CBC show, The Big Decision, came our way. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the format, it’s a Dragons’ Den spinoff which features two businesses on each episode vying for investment money from Canadian entrepreneurs, Arlene Dickinson and Jim Treliving.
Understanding the national reach a show like this would provide, but unsure of the specifics, I filled out an application to appear on the show and submitted it. Two days later, I received a phone call from the CBC saying they were interested and wanted to start filming right away.
Immediately, cameras went up and over the next 7 days, my amazing staff and I went to work. We were given three challenges to complete in less than a week with a surprise fourth challenge piled on at the last minute. Despite working on a tight deadline, we succeeded and in our opinion, blew it out of the water!
While we’ve embraced this opportunity, we can’t help but battle a few butterflies as we wait for our big debut. We understand the national publicity will be beneficial in the long run and we continue to grow thanks to the support of our customers (that would be you!). When we signed up, we were pitched that the idea behind The Big Decision is to showcase Canadian companies in the midst of a growth spurt. That struck a cord especially as we work daily to meet our new goal of becoming a ten-million dollar company.
Apparently, many other Canadian businesses picked for the show, who were under the same impression, have not been portrayed in the most flattering light and we want to say ahead of our debut, that we are here, we aren’t going anywhere and our future looks brighter than ever.
For many years, we have been so much more than just a flag retailer and we will continue to keep pushing our boundaries into a wider range of products in larger markets. Our expansion to a larger Vancouver office on Powell Street in 2008 has given our production team space to expand and we are proud of how far we’ve come since the very beginning—37 years ago!
The Big Decision, featuring The Flag Shop, will air next week on Tuesday, November 27th at 9pm Eastern and Pacific, and we will be live-tweeting it during the Eastern viewing (6 pm Pacific) through our twitter account @TheFlagShop. Follow us as we watch it unfold!
Owner & President, The Flag Shop and Textile Image
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Andrew Fleming recently interviewed Susan about our involvement in CBC’s The Big Decision. The story covers both us and Vancouver icon Save-On-Meats.
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.
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: http://www.cbc.ca/thebigdecision/about.html
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.
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!
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.