The BB Frösch journey began in 2013 when CEO and Co-founder Kristin completed homeschooling three of her kids after seven years, and was looking for a new hobby. At the time, Kristin had seen lots of beautiful furniture makeovers on Pinterest that inspired her to paint and refurbish one of her own pieces. She had no experience painting before, but she decided to turn her old cedar chest into something “Pinterest-worthy”. Kristin quickly realized this was no easy task! Stripping and sanding the furniture took so much time that she was exhausted before getting to the fun painting part. Once she finally finished painting, she quickly realized that the paint she had purchased looked scratchy and peeled off easily.
For her next project, she searched for alternative paint options and found “chalk” and mineral paints. At the time, there was only one big brand on the market, and it was not readily available. After driving 45 minutes from home and spending $300 on supplies, Kristin’s new expensive paint made her next project a completely different experience. Unlike with her cedar chest project, she didn’t have to strip or sand the piece down, and didn’t have to paint a coat of primer first. She just started painting and it dried quickly and smoothly! She had successfully found a new hobby that she loved, and it quickly turned into her own form of therapy. Before she knew it, she was painting and refurbishing furniture to sell, and was even commissioned to paint for others. Eventually, she had enough furniture to fill three storage units!
Soon after, she realized this new paint was not only incredibly expensive, but there were also only limited colors available. She realized she was eating her profits very quickly in her new venture of flipping furniture, and needed to find an affordable solution that allowed her to have more colors. She discovered some DIY chalk (mineral) paint recipes and tried them all, but found most were toxic, messy, and didn’t apply well on her furniture. After months and months of learning and experimenting, she created a “magic powder” that can be added to regular paint to turn it into the “chalk” paint that she had come to love! It was a game changer – she could now give her customers the colors they wanted that were affordable without sacrificing quality and required no prep-work.
Kristin’s magic powder became the BB Frösch Paint Transformer because it has the incredible ability to transform ordinary paint into something magical. The family-owned and operated business runs on the motto “leaving people and furniture better than we find them”. They call it the “The Frösch Effect” as they give new life and second chances to dated “un-fit” pieces and find affordable ways to give them second chances.
As a newbie to the business world and managing a rapidly growing business, Kristin had to figure out how to scale her business on her own. Her business originally started with teaching classes, then selling paint transformers, and eventually adding in paint brushes, finishing wax, and other products people needed for painting. After months of sourcing the right products and companies, she found a company that would make and manufacture these additional products for her in bigger quantities to elevate her business. However, she was faced with a new set of challenges when she started shipping her products to customers.
At first, Kristin drove to the post office to buy her postage. When it came to shipping, the post office was all she knew. She didn’t realize the challenges that came with finding the right carriers, or how costly and time consuming it can be. She needed to find a shipping partner who could help her lower her shipping costs, increase her efficiency, and work seamlessly with her e-commerce platform. “I needed something easy. I didn’t have time to go and investigate and figure this stuff out”, shared Kristin.
In 2020, BB Frösch turned to Shippo to help with their shipping logistics. Shippo was easy to learn, and whatever they didn’t understand, they were able to turn to Shippo’s Support team for help along the way. Shippo was a game changer for them: “With Shippo, everything that I didn’t know I needed to know was already there and figured out for me. It was a plug and play situation. I didn’t feel like I had to do lots of research with Shippo – it’s a trusted brand.”
Kami, one of Kristin’s younger daughters, uses Shippo on a daily basis. With Shippo’s seamless integration with Shopify, she is able to easily pull orders from Shippo and get shipping labels and packing slips ready. “I am so used to working with the two together that it just feels all the same, it’s a really smooth process. I just go straight to Shippo and all our orders are already there”, Kami notes. She also highlights how their CSM (Customer Success Manager) was able to teach her new ways to help her solve problems. “It’s been really nice to always have somebody there to help. With our CSM, they’ve even taught us how to do things we didn’t even know how to do. It’s nice to have someone to help solve problems, but also teach us things we didn’t know how to do with Shippo”, she said.
As a small business owner, Kristin has plenty to worry about, but with Shippo, shipping isn’t one of them. “Success to me is not taking up our time trying to figure stuff out. There was a period of time where we were selling a much higher volume of orders and every $200 we would be charged. Our credit card company kept flagging it and shutting it off because our card was being charged several times a day. I was able to call someone from Shippo and work through that to reset the limit. I was able to talk to someone personally who helped me figure out the problem. I don’t want to have to spend time on issues like this, and with Shippo, it’s been really easy. That’s not the case with all companies we deal with – sometimes it takes forever to get a live person. Success is being able to solve problems quickly when they arise”, said Kristin.
With Shippo, BB Frösch was able to minimize their shipping costs, ship in the most efficient way, and manage returns without packages getting lost or broken. “The other parts of my business are fun, but shipping is not. I’d rather have people who are good at it figure it all out”, stated Kristin.
“When BB Frösch first started, we were excited to get one or two orders per day. It was easy to walk them down the street to the convenience store where there was a local USPS pick-up. As we added more products to our product line, it became more challenging to calculate shipping for each order since every order had a unique combination of items. At that point, we took orders directly to the post office and waited in line. Ours is a family business where we love working together painting & refinishing furniture as well as teaching others to do the same. Standing in line at the post office was definitely NOT something we expected to be doing when we started our business, and none of us liked spending our time doing it. Our business grew and grew to the point where it took hours just to process 30 orders each day. We needed a solution!”, shared Kristin
“We decided to make the switch from our former platform to Shopify to better meet the unique demands of our business. Blessedly, it was at that time we learned about Shippo. Shippo integrated seamlessly with Shopify and made it so incredibly easy to ship our products! The customer service team was amazing. They helped us with automations for our most common orders as well as take the guesswork out of picking the best carrier(s) and shipping options. Before long, we found ourselves shipping several hundred orders each day, and it didn’t even phase us because we already had our shipping systems in place with Shippo. We have been able to keep our shipping team small because Shippo does the hard part. I can’t imagine how we would ever have been able to ship the volumes we do using our old systems. Shippo was just as amazing to work with when we were small and figuring things out as they were when we grew to ship thousands of packages per month!”, said Kristin.
A Shipping Solution for Businesses of All Sizes
Shippo is a single, easy-to-integrate program that powers everything leading e-commerce brands need for shipping. From a single integration, businesses gain access to over 85+ global shipping carriers. And since all carrier interactions are standardized, Shippo makes it easy for businesses to compare rates and ETAs, print labels, schedule pickups (with USPS and DHL Express), track shipments, facilitate returns, and more across several carriers, all in one place.
Connecting your online store is also fast and easy with Shippo’s pre-built integrations. Shippo can automatically connect with several popular e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, and getting set up can be done in a manner of minutes without the need for any technical developer resources.
You also have options for using Shippo: online through our web application or connected via API. The great thing about these options is that Shippo has the ability to grow with you as your business needs evolve.
For businesses that want to get started right away, the web app is a great solution. And getting started is as easy as opening an account, entering some basic information, and creating your first shipping label. For businesses looking for an even more customizable solution, Shippo’s API is the next step. With Shippo’s developer-centric API, businesses can take their automation efforts even further. Visit Shippo’s API information page to learn more.