Frenship mother opens Flip Flop Shops franchise in mall

Christy Foster displays one of her varieties of flip flops in her new Flip Flop Shops in the South Plains Mall.

Christy Foster displays one of her varieties of flip flops in her new Flip Flop Shops in the South Plains Mall.

Christy Foster, a Texas Tech alum and mother of five, recently opened the Flip Flop Shops in South Plains Mall.

Foster has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration, and has been a stay-at-home-mom for the past 10 years. She was interested in purchasing the Flip Flop Shops franchise for different reasons.

“My husband and I own another business so I’ve had those experiences of being self employed and being in that environment,” said Foster.

The startup costs of opening the Flip Flop Shops compared to a restaurant and other franchises she looked at were also less expensive, she said. She and her husband were already looking to expand their current business, Lone Star Sports Collectibles and Coins.

She found the Flip Flop Shops franchise online, where all the store owners are identified by their feet in flip flops – even the chief financial officer.

“I’m a year ’round flip-flop wearer,” she said. “I have the laid-back Southern California lifestyle, that’s me, and when I came across it, it was just the perfect fit.”

The Flip Flop Shops was started in Boston and there are eight in the United States. Foster’s shop is the first in Texas, she said.

Foster purchased the franchise in March 2008 but had to work out leasing agreements with the mall before she was able to open. She wanted her store in the mall because it has the highest amount of customers than any shopping center in Lubbock.

Her plan to keep the shop prosperous is to always keep new styles of flip flops in the store and keep up with trends. Each Flip Flop Shops carries different flip flops because each owner chooses their own merchandise. Foster chooses flip flops from a catalog and works with representatives from the franchise in order to make her decisions.

“It all kind of goes back to the fact that there was nothing else like it in Lubbock and it was just the timing to bring something — a totally new concept — to Lubbock,” said Foster.

Although it has been an adjustment to her five children to not have their mother at home constantly, they’re excited for the Flip Flop Shops. Foster said her 5-year-old son is her best advertiser and told all of his friends and teachers to go to the store.

Foster is balancing work and home by trying to spend no more than five hours at the store per day. A self-described “sports mom,” she said she still takes all her kids, who range in age from two to 14, to all of their events.

There are many features that make the shop unique, she said. Almost everything is made from recycled materials and it is considered a “green store.” There are surfing videos playing, and the shop has a distinguished smell of coconut emitting from an oil-scent machine.

All different ages of people are shopping at her Flip Flop Shops, and Foster said she sees huge potential for the store to do well.

“I love the customer interaction working here,” she said. “I had never worked in retail sales before. It’s just fun and is a fun atmosphere.”

You must be logged in to post a comment.