During one of Tampa’s notorious Gasparilla celebrations in South Tampa, Josh Christian noticed how the pirate-themed decorations on people’s porches along the bustling streets could be more exciting, and that’s when an opportunity came knocking.
“People had these elaborate wreaths that can be expensive and sticker-based materials or basic banners, but the images were boring and that’s not what we wanted to decorate with,” Christian said.
It was then, in 2018, that Christian co-founded DoorFoto, a Tampa-based startup company that initially offered door decorations and now sells fabric door wraps.
The fabric is similar to athletic clothing that’s created with spandex and polyester. The fabric can wrap around doors without ripping on corners, but it’s thick enough to create a quality printed image.
When the company first launched, the online sales online verified the significant demand. In 2019, the team bought equipment and a 1,000-square-foot warehouse space by the Rick’s on the River restaurant, which is where it manufactures the orders.
Today, Christian’s wife Jen, Doorfoto CEO, handles the day-to-day operations and works alongside another team member.
The bootstrapped company has over 1,800 designs and prints on demand rather than storing inventory. It has over 10,000 customers from all over the world.
The company is now entering its peak season, designing Halloween and other holiday-themed designs, and has stuck a new deal with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
DoorFoto announced this month it has inked licensing deals with the University of Alabama, the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida.
Christian said in the coming weeks, a social marketing campaign will launch between DoorFoto and the University of Alabama.
The deal allows Christian to incorporate the football teams’ logos into the wrap designs.
This week, he said he will also be meeting with a company that works with roughly 200 universities as they create welcoming kits for incoming college students.
In addition to breaking into the collegiate football submarket, Christian has also engaged with representatives from the Walt Disney Company regarding using Disney-owned images on design wraps. Christian said once he meets a certain threshold in sales, the discussion with Disney may evolve.
Christian has attributed much of the company’s growth to a loyal base of its return customers, which make up 50% of DoorFoto’s sales.
In 2020, DoorFoto’s sales tripled to just under $120,000. Christian said he projects sales to double this year.