How many Hodges’ Awards do you have?

A few weeks ago I decided that it was time to go through the attic. Winter would be coming soon and it was time to do some fall cleaning. Well, image my pleasure when I found an old box full of childhood memories that my parents had put away. Believe it or not I found Hodges Badge Company ribbons from almost 30 years ago. Ok, so going through the box and reminiscing was a bit of a tangent from cleaning but it was really neat seeing all of the old drawings, birthday cards, pictures and yes, award ribbons.

It brought back some good memories. I can remember being so proud when I received my ribbons back then for completing swim level classes with the Red Cross. Every week in the summer, my brother and I would go down to the Sakonnet River in Rhode Island and have a swimming lesson. At the end of the season Red Cross would always give out  ribbons or a medals. (I found his medals too!)

Apparently I am not alone in having old Hodge’s ribbons without knowing it. I received an email from a woman in  Alabama this week that told a great story and I have to share it.

She got her first horse show ribbon in 44 years at a costume competition. She hadn’t been in a show since 1965.

Well, when she brought her new ribbon home she wanted to display it with the last ribbons she won back in the 60’s. As she hung them up, out of curiosity she looked on the backs of the old ribbons to see who they were made by. She was surprised and pleased when she saw that they were from Hodges!  They look quite different from the ones she just received but she did note that the old ones certainly kept their colors well even after being tucked away in a scrapbook for 40+ years.oldribbons

So……How many Hodge’s Awards do you have hidden away and don’t know it?  Go take a look!

Riding for Reading

Have you heard of Riding for Reading? It’s a  non-profit organization dedicated to promoting reading, literacty and education through equestrian activities.  Hodges Badge Company is a proud sponsor.

Check out their site >> Riding 4 Reading

Pin Oak Charity Horse Show actually held the inaugural Riding for Reading class for 2009 Read more about it >>

2009 Equestrian Catalog Cover Contest

Call for Entries

It’s your last chance to get your photographs in for the 2009 Equestrian Catalog Cover Contest! Deadline is November 1, 2008.

2008 Winners

2008 Winners

To Enter, submit by mail a color photograph attached to an official entry form. The official rules are on the form. You can enter as many times as you’d like but each entry has to be accompanied by an entry form.

Check out these great awards:

  • Grand Prize – $2500 plus photograph appears on the cover of Hodge’s Badge Company’s 2009 Equestrian Awards Catalog.
  • Honorable Mention – $100 each

Check out ALL of last year’s Winners here!

Hurry! Entries must be postmarked on or before November 1, 2008!

New Catalogs

I am really excited about some new catalogs that we are mailing soon.  I just finished proof reading a copy of our upcoming Athletic catalog.  We have changed formats, and this book will show up in the new “slim jim” format that is post office friendly.  Sue (our art director) has gone to town with new photography, new products and a host of other improvements that everyone is bound  to love.  For example, the longer format of the slim jim really helps to show off ribbons – which are long and skinny to begin with.

In addition, we have done new photography for almost the entire book.  The medals look classier and everything really ‘pops’.  I hope that our customer’s love the catalog.

I get to see the new school catalog in a couple of days.  I hope that the results are similarly encouraging!

Rick

Merit Direct B2B Conference

I had the great fortune of being invited to the 9th annual Merit Direct B2B conference in Westchester, NY last week.  I got to leave the office and spend a couple of days thinking about how one should be running a business during times that are really not very good for the US economy.  Just to rub it in, while I was there, the RI Public Utilities Commission raised electricity rates 21.4%.  Ugh.

There were about 175 people there representing all sizes of B2B companies, all involved in direct mail.  Many of the subjects were similar to the topics that we discuss at NEMOA, but given the B2B focus of everyone in the room, the focus was a little different – and there were all kinds of new companies to meet.

Don Libey gave a great speech on day 2, focusing on the view from 35,000′ – or where he sees the catalog industry heading.  He was clear to point out that he sees no fall off in globalization.  Companies will get better at shipping internationally (because they have to) and trade will increasingly bypass the middle man.  As if to make the point, we lost an order for drug free ribbons to China today (our first ever), but we have a european supplier who wants us to ship ribbons directly to Finland – bypassing his warehouse in Sweden.

One observation I made is that there were few (if any) manufacturers in the room and that vertical markets are the exception rather than the rule.  Most companies were making less than 5% of what they sell.  Also most catalogs were broad shot amalgamations of products.  Carefully calculated to get the most shopping bang for the buck.  Does this work?  We tried it once and it didn’t work well at all.  All that means is that it doesn’t work for us.

A number of pleas were heard for catalogers to join the ACMA (American Catalog Mailer’s Association).  This little group has already saved the cataloging industry over $150,000,000 (that’s 150 million dollars folks) on postage through their lobbying efforts.  Please pay your share, and pony up some money to help with the lobbying efforts.  We did.

Rick