Marshfield Fair Visit

Last Friday, I headed up to the Marshfield Fair to watch the Demolition Derby.  While I didn’t make it to all the exhibits, here are some photos from the agricultural displays.  There were tons of our flat ribbons, as well as some of the Beauty rosettes awarded to the winners.

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Do you have photos of Hodges ribbons from a fair, horse show, or other competition you’d like to show off?  I’d love to share them on the blog.  Send an email to with “blog” in the subject line.

Meet our Customer Service Reps- Part VII

Next up in our Customer Service Rep interviews is Carma, who just started working for Hodges Badge in April.  While she may be new to Hodges, she is certainly not new to Customer Service, with 15 years’ experience.  A Missouri native, Carma works at our facility in Washington, Mo. 

When I asked Carma what she was surprised by when learning about our products (all of our office employees go through a full factory training), she said she would never have guessed at the number of hands that are required to create and assemble each product.   She also admits to laughing at some of the more creative designs that make their way onto ribbons.  For example, what do you call a wombat holding a baseball bat?  Just batty?

Outside of work, Carma keeps busy as an active reader (she prefers suspense author Sandra Brown) and accompanies her 13 year old son on frequent Boy Scout activities.  When I asked her if she goes camping, she said yes, but then honestly added, “reluctantly.”  Like many other Hodges employees, Carma is an animal person, with a Lab, Australian shepherd, miniature sheltie, miniature pinscher and Siamese cat.  While none of her pets are show dogs, she says they would be in the running for the Most Disobedient Dog rosette. Hmm… that gives me an idea for our next dog catalog!

Have a question that our reps could answer?  Leave a comment or send an email to

Come visit us at ASCA in Indianapolis

Next week, we’ll be heading to the American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic in Indianapolis.  We’ll be set up at booth 513 in the trade show hall all day Wednesday to Friday, as well as Saturday morning.

Anyone who stops by is eligible to enter to win a $100 Hodges Badge gift certificate.  We’ll have samples of our brand new swim trophies and medals, and we’ve also got tons of our multicolor swim class fish ribbons to give away. 

So if you’re a swim coach heading to Indy, we’ll be glad to meet you.  And if you know a coach heading to the Clinic, tell them they’d better stop by!

Exciting Announcement

We have some news that we are excited to announce- Hodges Badge has just become the official ribbon supplier to the IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association).  We are happy to sponsor this growing group of competitive young riders. 

For those of you that are not familiar with the IEA, the organization enables middle and high school riders to compete on a team representing their school or barn.  There are teams all over the country which host shows competing in English, Western, and, new this year, Saddleseat disciplines.  Similar to the IHSA , students ride unfamiliar horses that are provided by the show and drawn at random. 

So, if you’re involved with the IEA, what does this announcement mean?  First, we’ve got the IEA logo ready to use on ribbons and awards, and it’s available to you at no extra cost.  Second, we’re got all the show supplies you need and are here to help!

NEMOA – Factory Tour

Hodges Badge has been a member of NEMOA (New England Mail Order Association) for many years.  Next month, the catalog retailing group is having their annual conference  just down the road, in Newport.  And we have volunteered to host over 200 visitors on a factory tour. 

On my first factory tour, I remember being surprised at just how much labor was involved in creating our ribbons, rosettes, medals and other awards.  Now I will get to be on the other side of the group, explaining how we hand-sew rosette tops, attach their centers, print on streamers, and assemble a finished product.  Visitors should also see the laser engraver and digital printer used for multicolor ribbon in action.

If you’re reading this and are visiting Newport for the conference, please let us know what questions we can answer.  And if you’re not part of NEMOA but are interested in finding out more about a tour for a school group or other organization, please let us know.  Leave a comment or send an email to

Guest Blog: Perspectives from a Fifth Generation Hodges Family Employee

This summer, the five of us in Sales & Marketing have had the pleasure of working with Jeff, a high school senior who has been extra helpful in getting our new web technology online.  I thought it might be interesting for our blog readers to hear what it’s like being a fifth generation family employee, so I asked him to write a post for the blog.

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My name is Jeff, I’m a rising senior in high school, and this is my third summer working just about full time at Hodges Badge. I’ve been coming to Hodges and doing odd things for as long as I can remember, but for the past three years I’ve been doing some real work. I started out working on web pages and e-mails two summers ago and last summer I got a really cool job as we began work on our new website. 

I spent most of the summer (while my friends are at the beach) on two projects; Scene7, a dynamic imaging platform from Adobe that we now use to deliver all of the product images on our website , and a rosette configurator that will enable customers to preview their custom products before placing an order.  Every couple of weeks I’ll manage to find something really tough which needs some work, and usually I manage to figure it out after going back to it a few times. 

Working in the family company is interesting because I don’t work directly for my dad but I get to see him at lunch and at meetings. Being a family business, almost everyone in the Hodges family has worked here at one time. Before my sister went of to college, she spent at least two summers working here.   I know it might seem like I am obligated to return to Hodges when I’m done with college, but at the same time I’m not sure that’s what I want to do. When my dad got out of college he had another job outside the company, but when his dad wanted to retire he ended up packing up his brand new house in New Hampshire and coming back to Rhode Island to work at Hodges. So I guess we’ll see what happens.

This summer I began the college search process, and just last week I got back from a weeklong trip through the mid-Atlantic and semi-Southern colleges. Spending a week in the car wasn’t the most pleasurable thing I’ve done all summer, but it wasn’t all bad.  I did see some schools that I liked and I got visit my cousins in South Carolina. I do have a bit of an issue with the college search in that I really don’t know what I want to study.  In the end, I think my decision will probably be based on what I happen to enjoy that doesn’t really feel like work.

Well, now you know a little bit about me and what it’s like at a family-run business.  Feel free to drop me any questions (or suggestions for colleges) in the comments.

Looking Ahead at USA Gymnastics Congress

Next week, I’ll be driving down to Hartford, Conn. for the 2010 USA Gymnastics Congress & Trade Show.  Held in conjunction with the competitive Visa Championships, Congress is three-day (Thursday-Saturday) mix of educational sessions, guest speakers, shopping, and even a Hall of Fame induction complete with Olympic medal winning inductees. 

I’m excited to show visitors many of the brand new awards Hodges Badge has to offer for gymnastics, cheer and dance.  The medals, plaques and trophies are so new that I can’t even show them to you yet- watch for the 2011 Athletic catalog mailing next week, or click here to request one.

There’s also the Mega Raffle- where industry suppliers have banded together to offer over $65,000 in prizes.  No individual winner gets a prize valued at less than $2000.  We’ve thrown four $250 Hodges gift certificates into the mix.

Are you heading to Congress? Let me know in the comments.