Kym Akins, owner of Canby Trophies & Awards, is used to meeting the needs of clients looking to honor all manner of achievements — but it’s not often that she finds herself on the receiving end.
That changed last month, when the downtown trophy shop was recognized as a 25-year member of the Awards and Personalization Association at its annual convention in Las Vegas.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” Akins told the Current.
Fourteen other companies also received the honor from the Chicago-based association for the nation’s retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items.
Akins has owned Canby Trophies for 14 of the more than 25 years that it’s been in business.
The past two have undoubtedly brought the most challenges, as Covid-19 severely impacted the in-person events and athletic leagues that would normally form the bulk of her customer base.
“It’s different now,” she explained. “People aren’t doing as much as they used to. It’s been a struggle for sure. But events are slowly starting to come back, and that’s been good for everybody. People have been able to start giving out awards again, which is a lot better than having to receive them through the mail.”
Akins credited the permanence of a trophy or award — something that the digital world, with all of its trappings, still can’t replace — with helping her survive, along with the support of the community.
“It gives you something to hold onto,” she said. “Something you can hold in your hand is way better than seeing a picture of it. And I have to thank the community for coming back time and time again. Truly thinking local before going elsewhere is a big help.
“Without the community, this place wouldn’t still be here after 25 years.”
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