For more than half a century, Southern Trophy House has been handing out awards, and lending a helping hand.
If you’ve lived or worked in Middle Tennessee for any length of time, you probably have some sort of relationship with Southern Trophy House. For decades, the family-owned company has been a fixture in the awards and personalization business. So if your child’s little league team won a championship, or your spouse received an award at work, chances are, the trophy, plaque or crystal award was designed and assembled locally within the four walls of the modest storefront at 2705 Nolensville Pike, Southern Trophy’s home since the business was founded in 1960. And the local connection is something the folks at Southern Trophy take seriously, as they have a long, rich history with the community.
Brentwood resident, Sue Brown and her late husband, Vic Brown, purchased the company in 1990 from former Vanderbilt football coach, Bill Pace. At that time, the traditional trophy company dealt mostly in trophies and plaques. Over the years, many things about the company have changed. Sue Brown still owns Southern Trophy House (STH), but Sue’s son-in-law, Wilson Brim, manages the daily company operations, keeping it in the family. In addition to personnel changes, the business model has changed as well. STH has gone hi-tech with digital mockups and custom fabrications while 75 percent of their business is in Middle Tennessee. Wilson Brim, STH’s vice president, says, “On any given day, a customer could need crystal, gift bags or embroidered shirts. And our people know how to work within a budget. We can come up with something appropriate for whatever their need might be and deliver it on time.”
Sales Manager, Daryle Jones who has been with STH for 20+ years says, “The emphasis on color printing is one of the biggest changes in our business.” Brim adds that technology has been a rapidly changing factor in their business, as well. “In the past, a customer would mail their art work, therefore we had to allow time for transit. Technology has greatly reduced the production curve. Accuracy, timeliness, along with customer loyalty, are keys to success in the awards and personalization business.”
STH’s reach extends far beyond its customers. Brim says, “You need to be a good corporate citizen and it’s something our employees do very well. Everyone wants to help their community.”
Brim’s son, Will, was born with Down syndrome in 1999. “His birth really changed everybody in our family. It awakened us to what’s really important.” Will’s birth also inspired his family to become more actively involved with non-profits. Brim’s wife, Kathy, a speech pathologist at St. Thomas Midtown, is a former Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee and Saddle Up! board member. Brim himself is a past Board Chair of Special Olympics Tennessee and his father-in-law served for many years on the board of what is now High Hopes Development Center, a Franklin preschool. And as would be expected, STH is proud of the various work it performs for middle Tennessee’s non-profit and disability community. “None of us chose this path, but everyone in our family has risen to the occasion to make sure our son succeeds.”
Brim continues, “Something that is unique about Nashville is that it is the center for city, county and state government. That means numerous non-profit organizations are based here and those entities consistently recognize their donors and contributors. We receive a tremendous amount of work from the non-profit community and we reciprocate. We strive to be good corporate citizens.”
More than a half century in the same building. Locally and family owned with an unwavering commitment to both their customers and their civic duties. Like a championship trophy, Southern Trophy House is a shining example of what makes this community a great place to live.