Alternate uses for ribbons

We realize many of our customers are accustomed to ordering ribbons and rosettes for dog shows, horse shows, swim meets, and athletic events, but we felt like we’d clue you in on a few uses for our products that even we were surprised by. 

  • Planning a wedding? We’ve seen invitations printed on ribbons.  You can even put a photo of the couple at the top using our multicolor ribbons.   Or how about a ribbon bookmark with a favorite poem or psalm to use during the ceremony?
  • Want more than an ordinary name tag for an association meeting or group gathering?  People are more likely to want to pin on a ribbon than wear a “Hello my name is” sticker.
  • Celebrating a birthday, Bar/Bat Mitzvah or Sweet Sixteen?  We’d bet most of your guests would be happy to receive a ribbon (& that they’ve probably never gotten one before). 
  • We know Mother’s Day has passed, but ribbons are easy to personalize for any holiday.  With 14 lines of print, you can come up with your own verse to create a unique gift.  Send in your camera-ready art to put your photo on a button center for free!

Have another creative for how to use our products?  Let us know and we’ll be glad to share.

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Hodges officially joins 4-H family

We’ve long served the 4-H community, providing ribbons and awards to 4-H groups across the country. It’s a 90-year tradition here at Hodges–and a natural partnership, given our long history as an American manufacturer dedicated to serving organizations that work with dogs, horses, and various youth groups.

So, when 4-H recently strengthened its regulations on use of its name and logo, we immediately applied for approval to continue serving these long-time 4-H partners. We’re thrilled to announce that 4-H has provided us an official license to continue offering awards and ribbons bearing the 4-H name and emblem.

All you 4-H dog groups can order, as you have in the past, here. For more information on our 4-H license, click here.

We’re looking forward to continuing to work with our 4-H partners!

Hodges partners with Retriever Entry

We are very excited to be part of an exclusive new program RetrieverEntry.com, the event entry service sponsored by the National Amateur and National Retriever Clubs.

As partners with Retriever Entry, Hodges Badge Company is providing special pricing on judges gifts and competitor awards to anyone who uses Retriever Entry. As the largest supplier of the finest quality awards, we’re thrilled to be partnering with Retriever Entry and it’s clubs. And, as an example of our work, see Retriever News’ blog coverage of the recent National Retriever Championship… here is a very proud winner with one of our rosettes.

We are just one part of this new Club Rewards Program, which is designed to provide direct financial support to AKC Field Trial and Hunting Test clubs. Other offerings include rebates for entries and special offers from Gun Dog Supply.

For information on how to join the Club Rewards Program to take advantage of these incentives, visit Retriever Entry.

How Do We… Print on Ribbons

You have probably never given a thought to how all the titles, places and dates get onto the ribbons you have won.  You still don’t have to (because that is our job!) but I am going to give you the basics of  how ribbons get printed, because it’s an interesting process…

All of our orders begin on a computer screen, when you explain your needs to our customer service rep, and they enter it into the computer system.  The order is printed, checked and we send you an acknowledgment.  Then the order travels to the plant office, and into production.

The typesetter takes their instructions from the printout, and pulls brass matts from a drawer like this one:

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They compose the type in the stick, like this, and it goes into the Ludlow, which casts a single line of type like the one shown below.  Each line of type lasts for 1,000 impressions, at most, before it must be melted down to be reused.

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Type is composed in a chase, and placed in a hot stamping press.  These presses operate at 325 degrees, and stamp the ribbon with 12 tons of force.  The gold leaf is really embossed into the ribbon with that much pressure.  We use specially modified presses from Vansco Manufacturing because they print better than any other press available.

Using these presses, we can print and cut 100 ribbons a minute.  Or, if each ribbon needs to be individually titled, about 1 per minute.  If you have a long list of titles, we ask that you send them to us as an excel file – and we have a special press that can use that information for the printing instructions, saving time and expense over hand setting all the type.  Most importantly, it helps us get the right spellings of dog names.

Next week – putting rosettes together!

Dog Awards in the Making, Behind the Scenes

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Hodges' Rhode Island Factory

As always, the factory here in Rhode Island is abuzz with activity this week. Those of us who work here every day take for granted the size and scope of the facility, but when we watched a visitor take a tour recently (with her mouth slightly agape) we realized that many of our customers probably have no idea of how things run behind the scenes at Hodges Badge Company, the largest ribbon and awards manufacturers in the country.

Hodges Badge Company has two facilities: our headquarters in Portsmouth, R.I., and a second facility in Missouri (more on the latter factory in a later Good, Dog! post). We process roughly 40,000 orders and turn 12 million yards of satin ribbon into rosettes, flat ribbons and neck ribbons for medals annually. We also make more than 1 million medals and 100,000 exhibitor numbers each year. So, while a single order of ribbons doesn’t take up a whole lot of space, 12 million yards of that ribbon is a different matter entirely. Our Portsmouth warehouse and production facility alone is 45,000 sq. feet and has 100 employees (101 if you count our pup, McKell).

This week, one of the orders we’re finishing up is for ribbons and kennet, jersey, guernsey, holsworthy, and chatham rosettes for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Hudson Valley Dog Club. To create the rosettes, Hodges staffers pleat (ruffle) satin and form it into a circle.  The club logo is then placed in a gold bezel and glued into the center of the rosette.  Finally the rosette and streamers are  glued to the center.  (That is the short version.  We will detail the process in a future post).

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Rosettes for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers

Rosettes for the Hudson Valley Dog Club

Once finished, the items will be boxed and shipped to the Hudson Valley Dog Club for the final, and most important, step in our process: presentation to the Hudson Valley Dog Club’s winning dogs and their proud owners.

Our Story: Who, When, Why, Where… and Woof

As Hodges Badge Company approaches its 90th year (or 630th dog year), we sat down and thought about the markets we serve and the customers we love. And, as we planned for the next 90 years, we decided to put a special focus here on one of the markets we’re particularly fond of: Dogs.

We’ve long served the dog show market with custom-made dog show ribbons, dog show rosettes, dog show sashes, dog show medals, dog show trophies and other prizes. Now, we’re excited to build upon those relationships and connect here with dog show organizers and participants, canine clubs, and, generally, anyone who loves our four-legged friends. Here on Good, Dog!, we’ll be keeping everyone up to date on our products, company, and partnerships; exchanging information on upcoming shows and events; commenting on news in the dog market and, on occasion, sharing some personal anecdotes about dogs.

Inspiring us in this new, enhanced venture into the dog market is someone McKellnew we have around the office… Labrador Retriever mix puppy McKell, who was just adopted by Hodges Badge Company owner Rick Hodges and his wife, Jenn. Year-old McKell joined the family here in Rhode Island last week, after a long trek up from Tennessee (special thanks to the wonderful rescue groups petfinder.com and pawsnewengland.com, by the way). Now, while we know McKell will never be a show dog, and her greatest skill from what we can tell is chewing slippers, she nevertheless gets a very special award for winning the hearts of everyone here at Hodges.

Hodges Badge Owner Rick Hodges With McKell

Hodges Badge Owner Rick Hodges With McKell

Stay tuned for more from McKell and about what’s happening here at Hodges Badge Company and in the dog show world. Meanwhile, we’d love to hear from you regarding dog shows and events, feedback or questions on our products, or simply your favorite puppy stories…
(Click here to join us on our new Facebook page, as well!)