Made in the U.S.A.

During the evening in March and earlier in April, those of you that tune in to watch ABC World News may have caught a clip from a series of segments on American manufacturing, called Made in America.  Being an American manufacturer, the series caught our eye. 

It was particularly interesting to watch the news crew empty a family’s house of everything made in a foreign country (there was almost nothing left!), and then redecorate with all American products.

Want more information on buying American?  Take a quiz to see if you can correctly identify the brands still made in America.  In addition,  ABC has put together this list of online resources to guide you to American suppliers. 

Lastly, we know there’s still a good bit of time before Memorial Day and the 4th of July, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that your red, white and blue, patriotic ribbons were actually made in America?

Happy Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day 2011, I thought I would take a minute to remind you of a few ways that we have taken steps to be greener and more environmentally conscious. 

  • Our catalogs are printed on paper that uses mixed recycled content.
  • We are installing new energy-efficient lighting throughout our Rhode Island factory, and fluorescent lighting is already in place in all office spaces.
  • We recycle just about everything that can be recycled.  Tons of cardboard and paper, in addition to scrap parts and even awards that were used for engraving practice.
  • We even recycle heat.  We capture the heat from our die presses, filter the air and use it to heat our factories.
  • I’m not sure if you know, but the satin in our ribbons originally comes from wood pulp.  That makes our ribbons biodegradable.
  • Finally, our largest commitment to the planet is our decision to put in a wind turbine to power our Rhode Island factory.  Yes, the process has taken much longer than anticipated, but it will be installed in 2011!

Meet our Customer Service Reps- Part X

We know it’s been a while, but we’re back with another friendly employee from our Customer Service Department.  Caroline may have only been with Hodges Badge Company for 8 months , but she has been a part of our extended family for much longer.  In fact, her mother worked in our Rhode Island rosette department during the 70s and 80s.  Caroline even has memories of being a flower girl for another factory employee that is still with the company.

In her time working at Hodges Badge, Caroline has come to take pride in being part of a smaller, family-owned company.  She noted that our size and attention to the customer enables us to provide a higher level of service.   For example, did you know that we still accept payment by personal check or that if you have prepaid for second day shipping and we can get the order out fast enough to use ground shipping, we’ll refund the customer the difference?  “You just don’t find that anymore” she said.

Outside of work, Caroline keeps busy with her two teenage daughters.  She also enjoys dancing in Zumba classes and admits an affection for anything Disney, with Beauty and the Beast being her favorite movie.

We hope you enjoy getting to know the people that make up our Customer Service department.  Is there anything else you’d like to know that our Reps can answer?  Let us know in the comments.

Getting Ready for Field Day

It’s about the time of year when students look forward to a very special day– Field Day!  If you haven’t yet planned for your Field Day awards or takeaways, don’t worry.  We’ve compiled a list of suggestions that should fit the bill.

The “Focus, Fun, Finish” Field Day ribbon, our Field Day Ribbon Roll, and our Field Day Award Ribbon are all Quick Ship items, which means they ship in 24 hours when you call in your order, and in 72 hours when you order online.

The 100 yard Field Day Ribbon Roll gives you six hundred 2″ x 6″ ribbons, which equals out to cost less than 10 cents per ribbon.  Of course, custom ribbon rolls are also a popular choice.

Many schools also choose our Star or Torch Award Ribbons which come in first through sixth place, and also have a Participant award.

Need to advertise your event?  Our new lower-priced banners will hold up outdoors and help you get the word out.

Lastly, we hope everyone (students and teachers alike) enjoys their special day.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Hodges Hits the Road

Just wanted to write a quick post to let you know about two trade shows we’ll be attending in the next few weeks.  This weekend (3/26-3/28), we’ll be in San Francisco meeting with education professionals at the ASCD Annual Conference & Exhibit Show.  Two weeks later (4/8-4/9), we’ll be attending the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) 90th Annual Convention & Expo in Tampa, Florida.

Know a teacher, principal or other administrator who’s attending?   We love to meet friendly faces of both new and current customers. Tell them to stop by for free samples of our scholastic awards and a chance to win a Hodges Badge Company gift certificate.

Announcing a HUGE Trophy Sale

We’d like to let you know about a new sale we’re having.  5-1/2″ through 12″ trophies in ALL markets are now 20% off.  Equestrian trophies? Check.  Dog show trophies? Check.  Our new Athletic trophies including the Signature and Superstar series?  Yes, them too. 

You don’t need a key code or postcard to participate– any order from today through June 30th will receive the discount, no matter if you order by phone, web, or email.   And better yet, our trophies always include free text engraving.

So let’s do a little browsing.  We’ve recently expanded our selection of trophy columns and figurine choices.  Many of our popular designs used on rosette side streamers now have an equivalent trophy column.  Did you know you can even use a custom design on your column?

10" Custom Column w/ Victory Wreath

 Our popular Ruby Marble series has trophies included in the sale, like this 12″ item with the year in gold trim.

12" Ruby Marble Award Trophy

Need to give awards for your Spring sports?  We have Superstar trophies in softball, baseball, lacrosse, track and tennis.

6-1/2" Softball Superstar Resin Trophy

Have a question?  Leave us a comment or call Customer Service at 1-800-556-2440.

Have you bought or sold awards on ebay?

It recently was brought to my attention that new, unused rosettes  had been offered for sale in several online auctions through ebay.  While it turns out that a show was selling their unused ribbons as part of a charity auction, the scenario still made me wonder- would you buy or sell previously awarded ribbons or rosettes on ebay? 

Sure enough, looking on ebay, there are plenty of ribbons for sale, both new and vintage, from single Grand Prix championship rosettes to lots of 50 smaller and simpler ribbons. I understand that a quilter might be using these ribbons as material for their craft, or a decorator might be interested in the vintage rosettes for an artistic endeavor.   And we would never claim to have a say in what happens to our awards after they are shipped out the door.

But who is scooping up these lots of ribbon for $1 or $2?  Maybe someone running a therapeutic facility snatches up the awards at a low cost.  Have you sold off ribbons on ebay to prepare for a move or clean out your child’s closet?  We’re honestly just curious.  Let us know of your experiences in the comments.

Revisiting Ribbons Past

Back in July, I wrote a blog post about catalogs and ribbons from past years (decades!) that was fairly popular.  By request, I have dug through the dusty boxes again in order to find some more vintage ribbons and images to show you how much things have changed.  Enjoy!

Back in 1961, there was no catalog or pamphlet. Our customers received this flyer instead. Note the phone number at the top right. KEnmore 6-6400 - close to Kenmore Square in Cambridge, Mass! In 1961 there were 4 Hodges in the business - Ted, Marice and Nina, and Ted's son Jim, who had just completed studies at MIT. Our current president, Rick Hodges, wasn't born until 1962.

In the mid '60s, we introduced the Ideal. With only one streamer and just a 3" pleated top, it's quite different than what we call the Ideal today.

Thought you'd also like to see our '60s sash model. Anyone have a name for Miss Boston?

In the mid '70s there were more unique rosette choices. The Patriot wasn't actually discontinued until the early '90s.

There were even more rosette options created in the '80s, including the Banbury seen above.

Hope you enjoyed visiting ribbons and catalogs from years past.   Do any of you still have your awards dating back from these years?  We’d love for you to share your photos!

Introducing the Championship Line- Part II

In our previous post, I mentioned there were simply too many new products in our Championship Line to introduce all at once.  This post will show you some of our new handcrafted pewter pieces.

Our Boardman Silversmiths pewter items include the Louisville Rose Garland Serving Tray, which is available in three sizes, and the Newport Pedestal Bowl, which has five size options from a 5″ diameter to a 12″ diameter.

Rose Garland Tray

Newport Pedestal Bowl

We also expanded our offering of Pewtarex plates.  In addition to the horse rim plates, we now have the Gadroon with a more elaborate rim, and the Iris Tray with carefully finished flowers (and a little frog!) decorating the left side. 

Pewtarex Gadroon

Pewtarex Iris Tray

Lastly, did you know you can order your own custom logo on the rim of a Pewtarex plate or bowl?  With just a 36 piece minimum, you’ll be awarding a prize you can be sure your competitors have never received.  Call Customer Service to request a quote.

Pewtarex with Custom Logo

Introducing the Championship Line- Part I

If you have received our 2011 Equestrian Catalog, you may have noticed a section towards the back with pages of new products.  With customers asking for items that were suitable for End of the Year and  Series High Point awards, we have significantly added to our offerings of silver and pewter, as well as brought in new pieces of crystal, bronze resin trophies, and high-end mango wood frames and plaques.

Mango Wood Disproportionate Frame

I wanted to preview a few pieces from the Championship Line here on the blog.  Of course if you’d like to review the items in print, please click here to request a catalog.

For those of you looking for a timeless silver plate, our new OG Edge Plain Tray comes in 17″ and 20″ sizes, large enough to engrave the names of many years’ winners. 

OG Plain Edge Tray

For a silver perpetual trophy, consider our new Wine Cooler. It can be placed on our cherry tone base with 32 silver brushed plates.

Engraveable Wine Cooler

Our Crystal Trophy Vase also comes in three sizes, and would make an impressive trophy for any event. 

Crystal Trophy Vase

Finally, our Horse Head bronze resin trophy also appeals to multiple disciplines.

Horse Head Bronze Resin Trophy

There are many other beautiful pieces to share, but I’d be making you scroll through pictures for way too long!  Check back later for Part II on our new pewter pieces.  Can’t wait?  Head on over to the website and click around our Equestrian Awards tab.