Comparing Cincinnati area trophy shops
What services do you offer?
Susan Gilson: "We do all sorts of personalizations. We engrave metals, glass, crystal acrylic and specialized custom awards. We think of ourselves as engravers."
Theresa Mertle: "We do trophies, awards, plaques, apparel, silk screening, signs, banners and custom gifts."
Who we talked to
Susan Gilson, co-owner
7116 Miami Ave., Madeira, Ohio
Theresa Mertle, co-owner
Custom Trophy & Apparel
262 Main St., Florence, Ky.
Tim Mathis, manager
L & B Trophy
3916 N. Bend Road, Cincinnati
Tim Mathis: "We have plaques, trophies and specialty items. We can put your name or logo on anything down on to your underwear."
Why should people choose you over an online company?
Gilson: "We're family owned and we've been in business since 1974. We're active in the community, and we're nice."
Mertle: "Because our prices are very reasonable and we have excellent customer service and quality."
Mathis: "We have a very personal touch. People like that."
What are some of the options for figures on top of trophies?
Gilson: "They can put anything they want on there. We do more customized things so we're a little more unique."
Mertle: "Well, we have a turkey with gym shoes on, goofy golfers and gag gifts. We range from funny all the way up to the very elegant."
Mathis: "Footballs, baseballs, bowling balls, horses' asses, musical notes - there are probably five hundred choices."
How do you charge for trophies?
Gilson: "It depends on if it's machine-engraved or hand-engraved. There's no set price - it depends on volume and the medium."
Mertle: "Our trophies range from more than $4 and go up depending on material and size. It depends on what you want."
Mathis: The basic trophy, a figure on a piece of marble, is $4 to $5. It goes up from there all the way into the hundreds."
How far in advance should people place their order?
Gilson: "Our turnaround is two days. If I need to order something, at least a week."
Mertle: "A week to ten days is a good amount of time."
Mathis: "I tell people I like a week but it can be next-day service if it needs to be."
What's the funniest or most unusual award or trophy request you've received?
Gilson: "We did the award in [the movie] 'The Great Debaters.' It was just fun to talk to people in the movie business."
Mertle: "Nothing really stands out. We try to personalize it for whatever the occasion."
Mathis: "I built a trophy of a shillelagh. It's an Irish walking stick."