Sep 8, 2022 - Business

Tampa-based DoorFoto wants you to deck your doors with its decor

A door decorate in halloween stuff.
A DoorFoto door cover on display. Photo: Courtesy of DoorFoto

'Tis the season for stretchy door decorations.

  • At least that's what entrepreneur Josh Christian hopes we'll think.

Driving the news: Christian's fledgling Tampa-based company DoorFoto is ramping up for its biggest holiday sales season yet and trying to make itself — and the brand-new niche home decor market it created — known across the country.

What's happening: DoorFoto makes what are essentially decorative door covers out of stretchy leggings-like material.

  • They cost $49.99 to $69.99, slip on in 30 seconds and can adorn your door with your heart's desire.
  • Santa Claus, say. Or the Easter Bunny. For a few dollars more, DoorFoto's custom option lets you put any picture you want on your own front door. Your hot wife, for instance.

Flashback: This all started at Gasparilla 2017, when Christian and his friends noticed the handmade pirate door decorations on South Tampa homes and wondered whether it was possible to have one printed.

  • And if so, was it possible to get one customized to say, for example, "Ben Montgomery's Pretty Pirate Party?"
  • And if you could do that, could you put the USF Bulls or Tampa Bay Buccaneers on your front door?

Yes, but: They struck out everywhere. Could not find what they dreamed up.

  • Christian, whose background is in printing, started studying options and advances in materials and technology.
  • "Why don’t we just create this?" he told Axios he thought. "We weren't thinking about starting a company at all, to be honest. We just wanted to create a really cool Gasparilla door cover."

The latest: They built a primitive website and started taking orders. There was demand. They bought equipment and warehouse space by Rick's on the River and started selling in 2019, pulling in just under $40,000 in sales.

  • Sales tripled in 2020, to just under $120,000, Christian said, and has doubled each year since.

The rub: It's hard to get the word out when you're making a product that is so new.

  • Customers seem to love the product — 50% of sales this year were from existing customers, Christian tells us — but they need to find new customers.

What's next: College sports. DoorFoto is close on some licensing deals with the universities of Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.

  • They expect 2,000 additional sales this year from those deals.

What they're saying: "One of our biggest challenges is being obscure," Christian says. "This NCAA thing is really exciting to us. It could shoot us to the moon."

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