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J.B. Trophies Creates Awards for Winners&mdashfrom Presidents to Princes

J.B. Trophies Creates Awards for Winners—from Presidents to Princes

In 53 years of business, J.B. Trophies in Santa Clara has created awards for almost everyone, from youth soccer teams and swim club champs to Presidents Reagan and Clinton, and even Prince Charles when he visited the U.S.

We give quality service and on-time delivery for events. We see that people get more than they expect to get, says General Manager Phyllis Pierce, who has been with the company since it opened in San Jose in 1959.

Back then, the minimum wage was $1/hour. When the business moved to Santa Clara in 1962, it cost $1.25 to have the electricity hooked up and the minimum wage had skyrocketed to $1.15/hour.

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We’ve been here since this was just a little farm community, says J.B. Trophies owner James V. Farris, who joined the company in 1960. My friend [the late] John Crittenden kept bugging me to come into the business with him.

Crittenden had started the business a year earlier and needed a partner who could manage the shop and handle the machines used to fabricate, assemble, and engrave trophies, awards, and gifts. They even did wood-working.

Being in business this long, we’ve seen other businesses come and go, says Pierce. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but we’re still here and appreciate our customers’ support. Much of our business is referral.

I enjoy something different every day, knowing product and being able to direct people when they need a different kind of award, she says, recalling the largest trophy they ever made—an 8- or 10-foot, drag racing trophy. Once they nailed a big boot on an award. They regularly incorporate clients’ manufactured parts and logos in designs.

As well as custom designs, J.B. Trophies has thousands of catalogue items in all price ranges. Samples are displayed on almost every inch of the walls and floor of the showroom at 1348 Coleman Avenue (across from Santa Clara Costco). Many items are in stock if a customer needs a fast turn-around.

Traditional sports trophies and engraved award plaques are just the basics. There are engraved silver mugs, crystal bowls, glass paperweights, pewter ornaments, pens, clocks, and metal eagles, elephants, and footballs. For an online view, visit www.jbtrophies.com.

Little did I know, but there’s a lot to learn about the trophy business, a lot of details, says Rick Engen, who has worked for J.B. Trophies for seven years. He is a jack of all trades, who does assembly, shipping, inventory, receiving, sales, and stock.

In a small business, you have to be versatile and do a little bit of everything, says Engen. February 1, the business added a custom framing associate to its team, which now numbers seven—plus three pet Boston Terriers in the back.

We appreciate people giving us the opportunity to serve them if they want a good job. Our prices are not the least expensive, but they’re competitive prices for high-quality and service. That’s what has kept us here for over 50 years, says Pierce. We bend over backward to help people.

This is a public service. We’re not in it for the money, says Farris.

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