By LINDSAY CAREY
Considering the ups and downs in the economy over the years, one couple is celebrating a major milestone: 25 years of business in Southington.
Owners of Awards of Elegance Tom Bentz and Tracey Bentz have been successfully serving local trophy and awards needs through their business at 410 Main St.
“We’re both born and raised in Southington, so it’s very special for us to be able to have our business here,” said Tracey Bentz.
Awards of Elegance began by offering trophies and awards; however, the owners have managed to keep business flowing year round by expanding into other merchandise such as printed apparel, promotional goods, and sports memorabilia, which now fills the entire show room.
Despite the expansion of the business products and physical space, owner Tom Bentz said it doesn’t feel like that much time has passed.
“It’s been very quick, seems like we just opened yesterday,” said Bentz. “Southington has supported us very well.”
According to Bentz, Awards of Elegance sells their products to schools and leagues in town, in addition to some corporate work. However, Bentz said the businesses’ biggest client has to be the Southington YMCA. Between all the programs at the YMCA and Camp Sloper, Awards of Elegance gets business from the organization year round.
Bentz said that he’s learned over the years that customer service is one of the most important aspects to running a business.
“Prices have got to be right, but service is key,” said Bentz.
Although Awards of Elegance has managed to be successful, Bentz admitted there are daily challenges that come with owning a business. Some of those challenges include how much time the customer gives them to fill an order, making sure vendors have the right products, and physical challenges as far as space and staffing.
However, Bentz said none of these daily challenges have surpassed the business’ ability to provide exceptional service to its customers.
“Whatever we need to do, we do it. There are no excuses,” said Bentz. “The order has to get out, because the event is happening, so we need to make it happen.”
For information on Awards of Elegance, visit their website at http://awardsofelegance.net.