Monthly Archives: January 2016

    • Engraved Signs

      Engraved signs are a small detail that make a huge impression.  They are extremely important to make the world operate smoothly. They are needed for:

      Customized phenolic signs are needed for many industrial applications. Customized phenolic signs are needed for many industrial applications.

      - Safety

      - Instructions

      - Regulations

      - Marketing

      - Displays

      - Identification

      - Directions

      to name a few uses.  It’s easy to buy pre-made plastic signs, but what do you do if you need a custom sign, such as a phenolic sign, specific to your situation and application? Never fear, we are here to help!

      Trophies2Go can craft a plastic or metal sign to your exact specifications.  We offer plastic in a range of colors for both indoor and outdoor use.  In aluminum & brass, we offer metal signs in your choice of gold, silver, black and other colors as well.  We can engrave both plastic and metal signs with text in any language you like.  And your sign can be cut to whatever size you need for your application.  They are fully customizable to your need!

      Are you applying your sign to a wall? Machinery?  A door?  Application matters - and we provide a number of different options.  We offer engraved signs without any backing material, with double stick tape, with velcro or with magnetic strips. Or maybe you need to screw the sign into something - if so, you can request two small holes on either side of the sign or all four corners. If you choose an option with holes, matching screws are included.

      Call us at 877-926-4700 for questions about signs. Call us at 877-926-4700 for questions about signs.

      Whatever you need for your specific project, we will make an engraved sign for you at an affordable price.  Our phenolic signs, industrial signs, safety signs, and business signs are designed and etched in-house.

      Get a proof of your text before it gets engraved - FREE for orders over $50.  Production time on both plastic and metal signs is fast, usually 1 business day.  Find out more by browsing our Industrial Signs category or giving our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team a call at 877-926-4700.

      Cheers!  Jessica

    • Trophies2Go's Year in Review - 2015

      Even though we are now in the middle of January, I really enjoy looking back over the year to see what trials we have overcome and accomplishments we can celebrate as a company.  Here's a look at the 2015 year in review.

      2015 Retail Website of the Year from the ARA. 2015 Retail Website of the Year from the ARA.

      Website Challenges

      If you have ever launched an ecommerce website, you know that no amount of planning and testing can truly prepare you for when your site goes live.  Unfortunately we started the year on a down note, as we had just launched our new website in Oct 2014 and had many, many unplanned problems.  Even though the website had improved attributes over our previous site, we had challenges with our user experience, including customers unable to place orders, shipping issues, and problems with browsers, especially Internet Explorer.

      Thanks to the tireless work of our developer Ben C., over the course of the year the bugs were squashed and the website performance improved.  Thanks to the hard work, patience and perseverance of our staff, our site now looks great, works well, and gets positive reviews from our customers.

      Website Celebrations

      For the second time in our company's history, we receive the Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) Best Retailer Website (photo above right). Even as we struggled with bugs, our website was honored by the ARA for it's innovation. What an awesome achievement and something to celebrate!

      Margene is modeling our Championship Belt!
      Margene models our Championship Belt!

       

      New Products

      2015 was the year for new products.  We introduced new crystal golf awards, engraved glassware, including wine glasses and beer steins, and epic championship belts.

      We now offer full color sublimated products, which is a new technology for us.  It's been really fun to create customized awards in full color for our customers!  It's amazing to me the range of different product we can now make with our sublimation system, such as photo panels, rock tiles, name badges, clipboards, full color plaques, and acrylic awards with photos.  What an innovative and creative way to make meaningful awards and gifts!

      One other piece of new equipment we purchased is an Epilog laser. Our two laser engravers Laurie W and Lori N were over the moon with this new piece of state-of-the-art equipment!

      Staff Celebrations

      Paul with his 10 year award. Paul with his 10 year award.

      The Trophies2Go Team enjoyed two teambuilding events - bowling in May, and our annual holiday party with white elephant gift exchange in December.  Both events were well attended and enjoyed by our staff.

      One anniversary to celebrate was our engraver extraordinaire Paul's 10th year with our company.  Paul is an awesome co-worker; he's dependable and even-keeled.  He is extremely meticulous and thorough with his craft, creating stunning engraving that customers love.

      That's our year in a nutshell!  2015 is definitely a year to remember. Lessons learned include when challenges come your way, stay committed to work at it a day at a time, and eventually perseverance wins out.

      Wishing you and yours a great 2016!

      Cheers, Jessica

    • Why to Give Participation Trophies

      I don't give participation awards because I don't think kids can handle losing.  I give them because I reward their contributions to the team. I don't give participation awards because I don't think kids can handle losing. I give them because I reward their contributions to the team.

      Sunday night I was watching the Golden Globes and yet again, Participation Trophies got trashed.   I was crushed when Ryan Gosling, one of my favorite actors, made a negative comment about participation trophies when presenting.  Why is everyone hating on participation trophies?  I know I'm the owner of a trophy company, but I'm also a mom and I don't see how awarding participation trophies is making a slacker society.

      So this post is a counter argument - reasons WHY TO GIVE PARTICIPATION TROPHIES.

      If you haven't heard, Bryant Gumbel plus many others are slamming the practice of awarding participation trophies to kids. The argument says that the over praise of our youth is causing problems with that generation and participation trophies are to blame.  It's sad that something so positive is being twisted into a negative.

      I feel that when a young child participates in youth programs they learn commitment, dedication, and team work. I see no problem when a small reward, such as a trophy or medal, is awarded for successfully completing one of these programs.

      Adult Participation Awards

      Adults receive participation awards all the time, yet they don't make the headlines. Here are some examples of widely accepted grown-up participation trophies:

      My Mother in Law Bonnie and I after we finished a sprint triathlon. Why is ok to get participation awards at a race, but not ok to give kids at the end of a season? My Mother in Law Bonnie and I after we finished a sprint triathlon. Why is ok to get participation awards at a race, but not ok to give kids at the end of a season?

      1.  Every 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon gives participation medals and t-shirts for finishing the race. These runners train and at the end of their event, whether they finish first or last, they get a medal. How is this different from a child who attends every practice and game and then gets a medal at the end of the season?

      2.  Pro Athletes get Championship rings whether they are on the star line up, are injured, or sit on the bench the whole season as the third string. When the team wins, everyone gets an award, regardless of how much they contributed.

      3.  Many employees receive Years of Service awards for working for a particular amount of time at a company. Whether the employee receives hardware or cash, this is an award to motivate retention, regardless of performance.

      What gets me is when adults get these types of awards, they are a good thing, but if a child gets a participation award, the argument is that the child is going to grow up being entitled and/or have easily hurt feelings.  Is this what happens to adults too?

      Coach Push Back

      Are you a coach with a kid who is a star athlete on the team? Then your child has probably been getting trophies their entire life and they really have no value to you or your kid – I get it.

      But most children are not stars; they have to work to do well. My kids are not naturally gifted athletes but like to participate to stay active and be social with their friends. Kids like mine are the real reason for participation awards - kids that show up week after week but may only play in the game for a few minutes.  They are the ones who earn a trophy, because without those kids sticking with it, you may not have a team.

      I see participation trophies as a “sports retention award”. With so many options of what to do with their time, kids can choose to play video games instead of joining a team. Why not reward them for keeping with the sport so they will continue to play?

      Trophy Haters

      Have a hang up about giving trophies? Fine, don’t give a trophy. But DO give something as a memento of the season so the kids know you care.

      My daughter played on a soccer team with an awesome coach. He was amazing with the girls and they had a great season. But he didn’t believe in giving participation trophies. Well my daughter was crushed, especially since her parents own a trophy company. Sure, we could make her a trophy, but it doesn't mean anything if it doesn't come from the coach. As I stated above, she wasn’t the fastest or most aggressive player on the team, but she did try and she attended all of the practices and games.

      At the end of season team party, true to his word, the coach didn’t give trophies but he did give the kids a photo collage with pictures from the season. To me I don’t see the difference between a small trophy and this photo gift. They are both small mementos to recognize the season. Neither one results in kids being spoiled and entitled; they are both a way to acknowledge a season well-played.

      I know to an adult a participation trophy is no big deal, but to a young child, these really matter.   Getting a trophy from a coach or teacher is quite meaningful and a participation trophy becomes a prized possession and point of pride for young children.

      When to Give Participation Trophies (And Not)

      I am a fan of participation trophies for young kids.  This is the carrot that gets them through their commitment, whether that's a sports season or a year of piano lessons.  However when kids get older and more skilled, a participation trophy may no longer be useful.  Once in select sports and activities most kids no longer receive participation awards; they only receive trophies when winning tournaments, competitions, or other championships.

      However these older kids may still receive mementos, just in a different form.  Pins, coins, t-shirts, water bottles are all forms of participation awards that kids receive for attending different events, such as tournaments. festivals and jamborees.  These are fun for kids to collect, trade and wear with pride.

      However, I do not condone craziness - there is a line that can be crossed.  For example, we had a recent customer who changed the engraving on her son's trophy from "Most Improved" to "Most Inspirational" because she didn't like the award her son received.  In my book that is NOT ok and gives my industry a bad rap.

      In Conclusion

      Coaches, teachers, league organizers, administrators, and parents - there is a value and a necessity of recognizing our youth for committing to and participating in positive activities such as sports, academics, and the arts. A small reward in the form of a participation award at the end of the season is a good thing, especially for younger kids who are trying out activities to see what sticks.

      Read more thoughts about Participation Awards, check out my past blogs, A Mom's Opinion of Participation Trophies and Making Sports Trophies Meaningful. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to let me know.

      Cheers! Jessica

    • 2015 Customer of the Year - Issaquah School District

      Sue Maybee accepts the 2015 Customer of the Year Award for the Issaquah School District. Sue Maybee accepts the 2015 Customer of the Year Award for the Issaquah School District.

      Each year we choose one customer to honor as our 'Customer Of The Year'.  However this year we are honoring a group of very special customers at an organization we love.  The Trophies2Go 2015 'Customer of the Year' is the Issaquah School District.

      ISD was nominated by our engraver, Paul, and at our annual holiday party in December, our staff unanimously voted to honor the district.

      Each year the Issaquah School District celebrates student, athletes, teachers, staff and volunteers with meaningful recognition for their recipients. We make name badges for district employees and ribbons for the Issaquah Schools Foundation annual luncheon.  When the district celebrates their retirees, we create engraved clocks for their ceremonies.

      At the Issaquah middle and high schools, coaches and teachers often order plaques and trophies for athletics and scholarship winners.  Each May we create awards for the music programs at the middle and high schools.  We love to help elementary school PTAs with Reflections ribbons, Science Fair awards, and Golden Acorn Plaques.  And there's many more orders that the school district brings our way.

      2015 ISD awardNot only is the Issaquah School District an important customer, but it is also extremely important to our families.  Many of our employees either have children who have attended Issaquah schools (Janice, Mika, Jessica and Mike) or even graduated from the district themselves (Jeff and Laurie).  Both of my daughters attend Issaquah Schools and their education is top-notch.

      We are honored to help celebrate achievements in the Issaquah, Sammamish, Bellevue and Renton communities through our award-winning public schools.  Thank you Issaquah School District for being an awesome customer and for doing a fantastic job of educating our community's children!

      Cheers! Jessica

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    Trophies Awards