Sports teams, clubs and organizations have relied on Larry Cushion Trophies in Lansing to help them celebrate successes for more than 60 years. Lauree Cushion and her sister, Lee Ann, have been running one of the area’s oldest multigenerational businesses for 20 years. Greater Lansing Business Monthly spoke with Lauree to learn more about running the business as well as her thoughts about playing a part in so many celebrations.
How did you get into the business of making awards and trophies?
Our business was established in 1958 by our parents, Larry and Luella Cushion, as part of their sporting goods business. They owned and operated it continuously until January 2000 when our mother passed away. At that time, we made the decision to continue operating the business with the help of dedicated staff and family members.
How does it feel to create the awards that bring so many people so much pride?
It feels wonderful to be able to contribute our customers’ happiness and to the happiness of the people who receive the awards we have created especially for them. From sports trophies to employee recognition plaques, race medals, friendly family competition awards and more, we know we are part of making something that people can treasure for years.
Have there been any new trends in the awards design styles?
There have been many changes in our awards since the business began, including the transition from hand-engraved awards to computerized engraving using software that allows us to customize awards in whatever style the customer chooses. Our awards have evolved from wooden trophy bases and plaques with metal figures to a lot of other options including plastic, resin, crystal and acrylic.
What questions do you ask customers when trying to come up with an award design for them?
We ask them to give us as much information as possible about how they wish to honor the recipient of the award. Our engravers are especially good at designing plates to reflect whatever the customer wishes to say.
What kind of custom engraving and designs do you do?
Our engravers are skilled designers with many years of experience who can create beautiful, meaningful awards tailored to each customer’s needs. In addition to engraving trophies and awards, they can personalize jewelry, unique gifts, keychains, ornaments, watches and more.
What do you like best about your job? Is there any unique award creation story that really touched your heart?
We love being part of peoples’ lives on a very personal basis by creating physical manifestations of their accomplishments and contributing to their happiness. It is gratifying to be able to sometimes see the recipients receive our awards at local sporting events or have their accomplishments featured in publications such as the Greater Lansing Business Monthly magazine.
We are proud to give back to our community by providing medals and awards for competitions that are fundraising events for organizations or for a family honoring the loss of a loved one. We are also proud to be one of Lansing’s longest continuously operating family businesses and a woman-only owned business since 2000.
Larry Cushion Trophies is in the Frandor Shopping Center in Lansing. For more information, call (517) 332-1667.