Wind Turbine Update!

Here’s a note from Rick regarding our long-in-progress efforts at putting up a wind turbine:

Our Wind Turbine arrives Friday August 5th!

Our wind turbine will be arriving this Friday after its long journey from Chennai, India.  It left there almost two months ago and has visited many different parts of the middle east, the Mediterranean and several ports in Western Europe.  We expect the first of three trucks carrying the tower, nacelle and the blades to arrive by 8:00 tomorrow morning.  We (somehow) expect to have everything unloaded by 10:30!

If you want to view this as it happens, you can go to http://hodgesbadge.viewnetcam.com for a live feed of our parking lot and the wind turbine.  Unless you have already accessed a Panasonic web cam you will have to download a small plug in before viewing starts.

Need to know more information?  Check out past posts on the turbine here: https://blog.hodgesbadge.com/tag/wind-turbine/

We’ll keep you updated as construction progresses.  So check back here or on facebook for an up-to-date status.

 

Introducing… Full Color Dog Tags!

Put your own artwork on each dog tag for a custom award.

If you’ve happened to sneak a peek at our new Athletic catalog, or if you caught our announcement on Facebook, then you may have heard, but for those of you just finding out, our newest product line is now available: full color dog tags

In addition to fully-custom dog tags (where you use your logo or artwork), our art department has designed stock images for individual sports.  Coming in August with our Scholastic catalog, there will also be new designs for academic achievement.  Want to use them for a horse or dog-related event?  We’ll be happy to add your group or show’s name to a stock design for your own unique and custom tags.

Our Torch designs are available in 12 sports

If you want to personalize each dog tag, you can add an engraved plate to the back for just 50 cents. 

To those of you that suggested we carry dog tags, we hope you’ll know that we take your suggestions seriously.  And if you’ve got a product idea we should look into, be sure to let us know!

Need some Red Ribbons?

Some designs are great for younger students

While Hodges Badge Company may be best known for equestrian, fair, and athletic awards, we want to let those of you working with children in schools and community programs know that we offer a full selection of red ribbons and drug free items for Red Ribbon Week.  Each year, the last full week of October is designated as Red Ribbon Week, a national drug awareness event.  By wearing a red ribbon, students and adults alike can show their stance on opposing drugs and drug use.

Need a red ribbon?  Check out our web site for 43 stock designs, as well as ribbons that can be personalized with your school or organization’s name, and 50 and 100-yard ribbon rolls.  Also popular for Red Ribbon Week are drug free buttons and wristbands.

Have you had an anti-drug campaign or drug awareness event at your school?  What items or activities were a hit?  Feel free to share in the comments.

Other designs get straight to the point

Roses (& Rosettes) on Display at the Newport Flower Show

Each year, garden enthusiasts from across New England look forward to a special summer event hosted by the Newport Mansions.  Held at Rosecliff, the Newport Flower Show is a three-day celebration of plants, flowers, gardening and landscaping.  Everything from cut flowers to table arrangements to topiaries and full outdoor gardens creates quite a scene to take in. 

The casual visitor might not be aware, but the show is also a competitive event.  There are many categories with entries striving for the blue ribbon, from the basic cut roses and allium to creative classes for a parasol made of plant material to a design inspired by the Vanderbilt’s Chinese Tea House. 

Here are a few photos, courtesy of the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscaping Association, which played a big part in setting up the gardens and exhibits.  For more photos, there’s another full gallery available at About.com.

This arrangement's category required all flowers in white

A more creative display

An avian topiary

Commercial exhibitors set up full outdoor gardens as part of the competition

PS- For those of you needing awards as beautiful as those given out at the Flower Show, the rosettes shown are Ideals and Wheatons with gold rims.

Back from the Western States Horse Expo

Rick and I just got back from exhibiting at the 2011 Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, California.  Even with a lot of caution around EHV-1 there was still good attendance with visitors from Oregon and Nevada in addition to CA.  We got to meet with many customers- both current and prospective, and gave out tons of ribbons, making kids smile with a Clean Pony Award or blue rosette.
 

Besides manning the booth we got to check out demonstrations (like Cowboy Mounted Shooting)  and lessons by clinicians, including well-known horseman John Lyons, former Olympic dressage rider Charlotte Bredahl, hunter-jumper trainer Nick Karazissis Jr., and competitive trail champion Mark Bolender.

Here are a few photos:

Rick with Sydney of the California State Horsemen's Association, and a flat of freshly picked fruit (yum)

Clinician Mark Bolender and his horse Checkers negotiate the log pile (bridleless!)

The Art Show awarded Chatham Rosettes to winners in photography, sculpting, drawing, painting and more

 

A new member of the Hodges family

Bella, in one of her rare quieter moments

Two weeks ago, the non-human portion of the Hodges family grew a little larger when Hodges Badge Company’s President, Rick Hodges, and his wife Jenn, adopted Bella, a six-month-old yellow lab.  While not a rescue in the truest sense, Bella was taken in from friends of the family that were not going to be able to care for her.

McKell, our other office canine, has been busy showing her little (but already larger) sister all the best play spots around the office.    So if you happen to be on the phone with Customer Service and hear a squeaky noise (or a big WOOF) in the background, know that you’re not hearing things.

While Hodges may be best known for our horse show awards, I think it’s safe to say we really do have a soft spot for dogs, and an affinity to anyone identifying as a ‘dog person.’

Super Spellers

2011 winner Sukanya Roy hoists the trophy

So I have a confession to make.  Last night, instead of watching the NBA finals (or more reality TV), I was glued to ESPN watching the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.  No, Hodges Badge Company didn’t sponsor the shiny gold trophy.  I was just amazed at the abilities of ten to fourteen-year-olds to decipher or recall the spellings of words you don’t come across unless you read the entire dictionary (which the winner did, twice).

Watching the ‘final five’ knock out 21 words in a row, including “caciocavallo”, “völkerwanderung”, “abhinaya”, and others that were difficult to pronounce, let alone spell, I started thinking about my job.   Tell people you work for an awards company and often times you’ll hear the argument about how “everyone gets a trophy” and “kids don’t value hard work when they get awards for just participating.” 

Well, at the Bee, they weren’t handing out trophies to all the finalists or runners-up.  But if you saw what those kids were able to do in front of the TV cameras, you’d probably want to hand them all blue ribbons.  Because sometimes, you don’t have to finish on top of the pack to have accomplished something.

Meet our Customer Service Reps- Part XI

We’re back with another opportunity to get to know our Customer Service Reps.  This time we spoke with Donna, who began working for us last summer.  While she may be relatively new to the Customer Service department, she actually has previous experience working for Hodges Badge Company, as she spent time in our Rhode Island factory as our Shipping Supervisor in the ’90s. 

Now that she spends more time taking calls, Donna shared how interesting it is to talk with people from all over the country, and how much there is to learn about the different type of competitions our awards are a part of. 

When I asked her what customer service means to her, she noted how important it is to make the customer comfortable.  This means being yourself on the phone in order to provide service on a personal level. 

Originally from Fall River, Massachusetts, Donna is a super busy mom to three kids- ages 11, 10 and 6.  When she gets a spare moment, she loves reading, running, and spending time outdoors.

A Little Story about our Cookie Cutters

So if you browsed carefully through our 2011 Dog Show Awards Catalog, you may have noticed we slipped a few new non-traditional prizes into the mix.  In addition to our obedience and agility frames, silver, and new whistles, are a selection of dog-themed cookie cutters.  And keeping with the tradition of our equestrian cookie cutters, the shapes come with a cookie recipe.

McKell, posing in between cookies

Anyone who looks for recipes online knows there are plenty of dog cookie recipes to choose from.  Do you want to use liver, bacon, cheese, jerky bits, yogurt, peanut butter, or another central ingredient?  Well, to make sure the recipe was simple enough, and would get your dog salivating, we had to test the recipes.  Our President Volunteer Baker Rick Hodges was happy to test them out on McKell, our company dog-in-residence.

It turns out the yogurt recipe burned too easily, and the bacon recipe didn’t look too good after it sat in the jar for two days.  Rick said that there was no way he was putting raw liver into his blender!  So we stuck with the dog-approved classic peanut butter.  While McKell “really would rather just lick peanut butter straight from the jar,” apparently she thinks the cookies are pretty good too.

We’re Having a Rosette Sale- 3W is Back!

Great news!  Back by popular request, our three-streamer rosettes with white center streamers (3W) are now on sale through June 17th.  That means you can order the Ideal 3W, Empire 3W, and new to the sale, the Beauty 3W at a significant savings.

These are our classic rosettes with a design twist to help you save.  They feature a white gold rim center with any stock logo, and a white center streamer with customized gold print.  With these special rosettes, the side streamer colors denote placings while the center streamer stays constant to enable the savings.

In a hurry?  Rush orders can still take advantage of this offer. 

Have a question? Leave a comment, send an email to info@hodgesbadge.com, or call Customer service at 800-556-2440.