One day you’re starting a business using a credit card with a $300 limit, and 12 years later, an NBA agent uses the general contact link on your website when setting up a meeting to design a product for a budding fan favorite. How else do you answer an interview question like, “What are you doing now that you didn’t expect to be doing when you started this business?”
Shop Good owners Audrey and Justin Falk really did start their screen-printing business with a single credit card in 2009, so when Aleksej Pokusevski’s (Poku to Thunder fans) agent reached out via email to talk about designing a fanny pack, it was more than a little surreal.
“We found out that Poku’s agent had been a long-time customer,” Audrey Falk said. “We got to sit down with them and design the product to Poku’s specs. It was a next-level moment for us.”
The Falks have had more than a few of those since moving from pop-up to fixed location in only one year. Justin Falk is a graphic designer, and when the couple began printing his custom designs on T-shirts using a hand-me-down manual printer in a friend’s barn in 2009, Audrey said she just assumed it would be the two of them forever, operating a quaint store with a manual press.
Shop Good topped $500,000 in revenue in 2021 for the first time, so the dreams of a quaint shop are definitely behind them. A partnership with the Oklahoma State Parks created another opportunity that the couple didn’t see coming.
“We met camping, and Justin proposed while we were camping,” Audrey said. “We love the state parks, so when they reached out, we were thrilled about the project.”
Now you can find Justin’s original designs — an homage of sorts — on T-shirts, sweatshirts and patches in all the Oklahoma State Parks. Other designs are now distributed in stores all over the United States.
“Fulfillment has become a huge task for us daily now,” Audrey said. “When you start with $300, you learn to sell fast, reinvest and then build as you can. That also means we’ve always had to learn how to scale a small business. It’s different when you start that small. There are no investors waiting in the wings to fund your ideas; you have to generate the funding through sales and reinvestment.”
Shop Good has spent most of its existence going after bigger accounts before the capital or human capital was available.
“The Poku Pack wasn’t the first time we were working outside our expertise,” Audrey said. “We’ve expanded our team — currently nine people – carefully. We managed a skeleton crew of two to three from 2010 to 2020, but as demand has increased, especially outside our expertise, we’ve added talented people to meet the demand.”
Custom designs for companies are now a huge part of Shop Good’s business, but it’s still a store, too. In fact, the operation inside the Automobile Alley location at 1007 N. Broadway Ave. includes three full-time pressers operating the equipment in full view of customers, making for one of the most transparent operations in Oklahoma City.