Peaceful Living In A T-Shirt (a profile of PF)
The way Peace Frogs history goes, a group of college students sat around a dorm room in 1985 at the University of Virginia discussing a start-up idea by Catesby Jones – make and sell shorts fashioned out of the flags of different countries.
Catesby would launch that company and kick start what he then called an experiment in American capitalism with shorts made out of the flags of nations once behind the "Iron Curtain."
The idea caught on, growing and evolving beyond shorts and into something more culturally significant. More peaceful. More sustainable.
That start up became Peace Frogs, named for the Native American symbol for peace, now headquartered in Gloucester, Va.
The mascot? An iconic frog thrusting two fingers in the air to form a peace sign. The mission? Live fun and do good.
The frog eventually proved so popular that the focus shifted from the flags to the frog and as time went on, Peace Frogs expanded into t-shirts, sweatshirts, boxers, hats, and a variety of accessories.
The frog's combination of positive energy, whimsical attitude, and peaceful outlook has proven universal and enduring. Today, after more than 25 years since those early college campus days, Peace Frogs is available online, in more than 800 specialty stores around the world, at 16 free standing stores, a Peace Frogs Frozen Yogurt shop in Nags Head, N.C. and with 20 licensees around the world.
Ask Catesby for his secret to continuing to build on an grown the peaceful brand and he'll quote one of his customers.
"Peace Frogs is not icons or products, but really a state of mind," he said. "We don't represent any form of activism; rather, we are aware that now, perhaps more than ever, the entire planet needs some positively peaceful feelings. We care about the environment, but we care about people, too."
Peace Frogs places a premium on comfort, quality, and style, but more importantly, it gives its customers an authentic way to spread a little bit of a positive feeling every time they put on a shirt, or curl up in lounge pants.
"Customers are always telling us stories about what Peace Frogs means to them," Catesby said. "It's more than just a piece of clothing. It's an icon of hope and happiness."