That personal touch: Coleen’s Trophies and Gifts going strong

Sonya Roth, owner of Coleen’s Trophies, Awards & Gifts in downtown Garden City, offers a wide variety of gift options.
By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a month-long series called the 25 Days of Downtown Christmas that will highlight the fantastic selection of retailers in downtown Garden City.

If you’re looking for a neat, personalized gift this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with Coleen’s Trophies, Awards & Gifts in downtown Garden City.

Gifts? At a trophy shop? You heard that right!

Coleen’s is so much more than trophies, according to owner Sonya Roth, who took over the business from her mother, Coleen Rupp, a little more than a year ago in September 2016.

“I’m shocked about how many people don’t know about us. We’ve been in business 39 years and I bet in half the phone calls I make people don’t know about us or they think we’re just a trophy shop,” Roth said.

Family Tradition

The long time business was started by Coleen Rupp 39 years ago as a part of The Good Sport. The engraving and gift business split off and became a separate business and store about 15 years ago when Coleen sold The Good Sport to her son, Brian Rupp. The separation was designed to allow Coleen to slow down, Sonya said.

“My mom brought two stores from the roots up, basically, and they’re still in business 39 years,” Roth said.

In the last 15 years, Coleen’s Trophies, located at 304 N. Main St., has expanded from just trophies and awards to include so much more.

Roth said people buy a lot of plaques, both wall and desk plaques and acrylics, and she can do engraving on glass, plastic, wood, leather, and metal items.

“Another area I’m pretty strong in is name tags and business plates and signage. We’re doing lots and lots more of that,” she said. “My mother has always done a lot of the creative stuff you see with the giftable things that are Christian-based: wedding, anniversary, baby, first communions. I’ve broadened that a little bit and we carry things like rosaries and St. Christopher necklaces. We do a lot of baby banks, baby silverware, Christmas ornaments.

“I have lots of gifts. You could come down and add a sentiment for everybody on your list.”

Roth said the business is also doing a lot of work in corporate gifts, such as putting a business’s logo on items they then use for customer appreciation gifts to include things like leather key chains, wine and barbecue took kits, wooden cheese trays and cutting boards and engraved ceramic items.

Engraving Expertise

All the engraving is done in-house. Roth does laser engraving, which allows her to be very creative with the designs, and also uses an “old fashioned” engraver that’s generally used for jewelry and watches.

Roth, who grew up in the business working for her parents, said she got a lot of experience on the old fashioned engraving machine and is self taught in the computer programs necessary to turn computer aided designs into ones ready for the laser engraver.

Technology has made the engraving process much faster, and allows much more creativity.

“To where you can do multiple items. Like I just finished 150 key chains, 100 pocket knives, 160 cutting boards. It’s been fun though,” she said with a laugh. “It’s kept me darn busy.”

The technology also has allowed Roth to branch out into engraving mugs and cylindrical or round things. The laser engraver turns the item as the design is engraved onto the surface of the item.

“I haven’t had anything that I haven’t been able to do yet. Sometimes I will get a logo that I have to send off and have somebody work it so I can use it, but I’ve only had to do that twice. For the most part, I can do it in here,” she said.

Roth has also broadened into offering natural wood art, which she said is neat for wedding gifts, and she has had interest in things like personal door signs.

“But everything that I do, everything that I carry in here, can be personalized in some way,” she said. “I love being creative. And I’m a people person who does a lot of talking so I love customers. I really love meeting new people and I like to stay busy.”

Downtown the place to be

Roth said she’s never considered relocating the business to another part of the community.

“I love downtown. That’s the place to be. I get amazing compliments from out of town customers about our downtown all the time,” she said.

Roth hopes even more specialty or boutique type shops consider coming downtown, the more retail the better.

“I think a lot of the activities Downtown Vision brought down have been great, but those people will stay down here more if there’s shopping. I think every store will do better, even if they have a competitor,” Roth said.

More places to eat would also be a benefit, especially places where people could sit outside while they eat. Roth said she would love to see a brewery downtown.

“I think we have a really nice downtown, it’s a pretty downtown. It is still fun to walk around downtown, but if there were a few more stores pulling people down here it would help everybody,” she said.

Coleen’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Coleen’s does have a Facebook page, and a website at www.coleenstrophies.com.