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Meet Shawn Fitzpatrick of University Trophies & Awards in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawn Fitzpatrick.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My parents open the business in 1970 with all $600 in their savings. The business was started in the back of a barbershop with about 200 square feet. When long hair became popular the barber closed and we took over the whole 900 square feet. My dad was a youth sports coach and had contacts throughout the Long Beach area that were in need of trophies. My mom ran the daily production and my dad did the bookkeeping as he had a full-time job. Family, friends and just about everyone we knew had a hand in the business one way or another. When I was honorably discharged from the Navy, my mom asked if I would help her during the “busy season” and 22 years later I am still here. Actually, I now own the business. After 46 years in the same location, new property owners decided to do a complete remodel and we had to relocate to our new 2300 square foot location. Our new location gives us a new opportunity to reach more customers within our community and beyond.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not every road is smooth. The economy is always fluctuating and my dad is great with his numbers. When the economy is slower we cut back and I have learned the business part of the business from the best person possible. There is always going to be that rainy day, or that unexpected move and I learned to be ready for when it arrives.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about University Trophies & Awards – what should we know?
We are a full trophies and awards company. I am asked a lot… so you do little league trophies? We do, however, we do so much more. We do just about everything from the appreciation trophy to the large corporate events. We specialize in trophies, awards, gifts, name badges and much more. What am I most proud of as a company? The reaction on customers faces when they pick up their order, their reaction is priceless when they see the item. We pride ourselves on customer service, a quality product and that the order is completed on time.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Consistency is the first characteristic that comes to mind.

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