All About Us

    • 2018 Awards and Personalization Association Expo

      The best of the best receive this trophy for our industry!

      Last week Tom, Lori N. and I attended the 2018 Awards and Personalization Association (APA) Expo in Las Vegas, NV. The awards industry's biggest event, it gives trophy and awards retailers the chance to meet with manufacturers and sales representatives face-to-face.

      Industry leaders from across the country meet to network, receive education through seminars, and touch and feel the newest award products and personalization machinery. There is even an achievement gala where the best in the awards industry is recognized with The Gold Obelisk Industry Awards!

      Highlights of the Show

      A cool new product we saw at the show, its a canvas photo shaped like a home plate!

      New Products:  We will be adding many new products to our website soon!  Watch for new Fantasy Football Trophies, new colorful art glass awards, glassware including wine and barware sets, glitter acrylic awards, to name a few.

      Education: The APA tradeshow offers interesting and informative education seminars for it's members.  Experts in different facets of the awards industry present on a wide range of topics, from technical training on how to operate equipment and software, to growing sales in your business.  Our graphic designer and laser engraver Lori N attended many classes to improve her technical skills and

      Meeting Suppliers: We had great conversations with our key suppliers, including Kathy and Greg from Tropar Manufacturing, Casey, Erick, & Brianna from Simba Cal, Dan from PDU/Cat, and Larry from Crystal Blanc .

      Dan L from PDU/Cat, our top vendor.

      Networking with Competitors: Yes, we all own awards businesses, and we are technically in competition with each other. But because our industry is so small, and what we do is positive, we have a very supportive and helpful community. The phrase "a rising tide floats all boats" seems to apply in our industry, as when recognition across the country grows, so does our sales. Each awards company seems to occupy an unique niche market so there is business for all.

      After Hours:  Since it's Vegas, there's lots of opportunity to have fun with friends! Gambling, delicious food, and schenanigans are always in the cards in Vegas!

      Thank you to the APA board members, committee members, and staff for putting on a great show this year.  Also thank you to the Rio for hosting our event.  See you all in 2019!

      Cheers! Jessica

    • 2017 Customer of the Year - Linda Trinh from Sprint

      Mika and I presented Linda with her customer of the year award today!

      Today's blog is to celebrate a very special customer, Linda Trinh from Sprint!  Our staff nominated and votes her as our 2017 "Customer of the Year!"

      Linda is an Executive Admin for three of Sprint's top executives.  She is a busy gal and well liked by her colleagues!

      Our staff loves working with Linda, as she is friendly, positive, and easy to work with.  She was a frequent customer at our Issaquah showroom for many years.

      Since we have closed our showroom, Linda says this hasn't impacted her working with us, as ordering from us is as easy as ever.  She just emails us what she would like and we take care of the rest!  She said that she loves working with Mika and Janice on her orders.

      And the feeling is mutual!  Here's what our staff says about working with Linda:

      Mike says, "Linda is always sweet, understanding and accommodating".

      Our 2017 'Customer of the Year', Linda T. from Sprint!

      Mika says, "I especially like that Linda kept us as her go-to when she changed jobs from Verizon to Sprint.  Her usual jobs are easy because it’s usually the same thing, but once or twice a year she needs to place a big order and she’s very receptive to suggestions and advise from us.  She is really appreciative of the work we do".

      Today we presented Linda with the Trophies2Go Customer of the Year Award at her office in Bellevue, WA.  Thank you Linda and all of our awesome customers for your business!  We appreciate you trusting us with your recognition needs.

      Cheers!

      Jessica

    • Thermo Plaques - Trophies2Go 2017 Vendor of the Year

      An example of a Thermo Plaque.

      A huge shout out to Luke at Thermo Plaques, who was chosen by our staff as Trophies2Go's 2017 'Vendor of the Year'!  Based in California, they have been in business for over 46  years!

      The Thermo Plaque Company creates custom laminated wall plaques from diplomas, certificates, news articles, magazine articles and much more.  The plaque edges are sanded, sealed and painted to finish the display.  It's a great way to celebrate and acknowledge any accomplishment!

      Our customers that order special plaques from Thermo Plaques include Tiger Oak, who does the many Seattle Business Awards, and The Scotsman Guides.

      Here is what our staff says about working with Luke:

      An example of a Thermo Plaque made by Luke, our 2017 Customer of the Year!

      Mike says that Luke is "very helpful, responsive and knowledgeable"

      Mika says "Luke gets back to us right away when we request an order, and it super nice and easy to work with.  Also really creative.  Great products."

      Janice says "Like is very responsive, he gets back to me quickly.  He is quick, he gets the covers done fast for our customers".

      Our vendors create the components that allow us to assemble and customize the best quality trophies and awards in the industry.  Thank you to Luke at Thermo Plaques and all of our awesome vendors for great products to offer our customers!

      Cheers!

      Jessica

    • Hole in One Golf Plaque-2017 'Product of the Year'

      Hole in One Golf Plaque Our 2017 Product of the Year, the Hole in One Golf Plaque!

      For the 2017 Product of the Year, our staff chose a golf award, the Hole-In-One Golf Plaque!  This extremely popular golf award has sold over 75 times so far this year!  Wow, who knew so many lucky folks made holes in one on the golf course!

      This golf plaque features a #1 figure that can hold the lucky golf ball that made the once-in-a-lifetime shot.  To the right is customized etching with the golfer's name, golf course name, hole name, yardage, golf club used, and date.

      At an affordable price of $38.00 each, this golf plaque makes a great gift to acknowledge a special moment in time!  Country clubs can give it to members, golfing buddies can commemorate the epic shot!

      Thank you to our supplier Plastic Dress Up (PDU) for creating the components for this awesome award.  Also, a shout out to Paul, our rotary engraver, for the beautiful etching on each and every one of these special golf plaques.

      A great product choice for 2017, check it out here!  Cheers!

      Jessica

    • 5 Key People to Help a New Business Owner

      Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water with business tasks!

      In college, a long time ago, I studied Fisheries at the University of Washington and learned about salmon spawning habitat, riparian corridors, water quality, and other environmental-related topics.  You may think this was a random major of study, but it came in handy when my girls were in elementary school and also when gardening (I have been a Master Gardener since 2003).  However, around two years ago, when I started transitioning into running Trophies2Go.

      As Jeff spent more time on his new business venture, I began slowly taking over Jeff's tasks at Trophies2Go.  I started by completing the KPIs each week, including accessing Google Analytics.  Next I began writing business checks out of our accounting software, being aware of GL codes, credits and debits (huh?). But phrases like Costs of Goods Sold, Balance Sheet, P&L were still completely foreign to me.

      For existing business owners, these financial terms are probably no big deal.  But for someone without any business knowledge, it's a challenge.  There's so much to learn, but I couldn't do it without key people.

      5 Key People who help me run my business

      1. A great business coach.  My coach Curt LeMaster at Key Business Solutions started the process with teaching me how to define my core values and how to write a business plan.  He also taught me about inventory management, inventory turns, and Cost of Goods Sold.  A very solid beginning.

      2.  A patient bookkeeper.  When I don't know how to use our software, our bookkeeper Jeanine patiently teaches me what to do.  And when I mess up (which is often) she makes it right without complaint.

      2.  An even more patient business partner.  Tom's background is in banking and management (he used to run bank branches for goodness sake!) so he has a much better handle on financial matters than me.  He monitors our checking account multiple times a day, does the cash flow dance, and seems quite confident when I haven't a clue.  I'm grateful for his skills, especially since I lack them!

      4. A business smarty pants husband.  Jeff knows his stuff, is an extremely talented entrepreneur and has a million resources when I get into a bind.  I guess 23 years of running a business has it's perks, which is extremely helpful to a newbie like me.

      5. Understanding staff.  They get that I'm new at running a business and when I don't have the answers, they either help me or are patient while I figure it out.

      At some point the shit got real and I realized this is MY business and it has gotta start with me.  I have to put myself out there to learn new things, which is really uncomfortable, humbling and challenging.  But I can feel myself growing which is extremely exciting!

      If you are considering starting/buying/running a business and don't know what you are doing, you aren't going to learn unless you go for it.  You gotta dive into the deep end and learn to swim.  What are you waiting for?  Good Luck!

      Cheers!

      Jessica

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    Trophies Awards