Friday, April 6, 2018

A Special Kind of "Company For All Seasons"

We can truly call our company "a company for all seasons".  To be precise, such a title can only apply to companies in places that actually have four seasons!  Now we're not among the many "companies for all seasons" that landscape in the summertime and plow snow in the wintertime.  Nor are we supplying swimming pools in the summertime and fireplaces in the wintertime.  But we are still in fact "a company for all seasons" - just not the usual type.
               As a U.S. business in northeast region of the country, in which there are sharp and extreme changes to each season, we certainly qualify for such a title.  For those not familiar with this area, it's a region in which the temperatures can be in the single digits in the wintertime and be pushing triple digits in the summertime!  Even the predictability of those extreme  weather patterns have become somewhat puzzling in recent years.  Heck, it was 37 degrees (F.) this morning with a light mix of rain and snow falling, which would be fine if today wasn't April 6th!
               So that said, this post may only be of great interest to New Yorkers, New Jerseyites and New Englanders, along with much of the Eastern Seaboard.  This may also appeal to Upper Midwesterners, Pacific Northwesterners and Rocky Mountain folk.  The post may be of great 'irrelevance' to most of California, the Southwest, the Deep South and  Hawaii - but I digress.  
               As those who may be familiar with our company (or who have read previous posts in this blog), we are basically 'two-companies-in-one'.  But it didn't happen as a matter of concern for having a 'summer-ready' business in the summer and a 'winter-ready' business in the winter.  In fact, winter and summer aren't even our strongest times of year- spring and autumn are (and that happened progressively in a very personal way).
               As shown on our history page, we were originally a purveyor of hand-crafted pool-tables on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City.  But the founder's son personally loved bowling so much (at one time belonging to five leagues on a weekly basis), that he extended that passion into the company's business.  The sport's popularity was escalating on an unprecedented scale at the time in the 1940s and 1950s.  So it turned out to be quite a wise move and the growing pool-table shop on the Bowery also became the first call shop for bowling balls and supplies as well.  At one time, we had lines out the door and around the corner for the most popular bowling ball brand of that era (Manhattan Rubber), which were expertly fitted and drilled by none other than the founder's son himself!
               Now this was all well and good.  But as we discovered, there is an ebb and flow in the popularity of recreational sports, sports leagues are ultimately seasonal, and businesses (meaning: the people in business) pay bills year round.  Bowling leagues at that time of great popularity were predominantly "trophy leagues" - meaning that winning teams were awarded trophies at the end of each season.  The founder's grandson picked up on that as an opportunity when it was time to expand our business and expand our reach in the greater New York metropolitan area.  In fact, he picked up on it and took it a few steps further.  It was nice to see people who bowl being recognized for a job well done and be able to capitalize on that.  But aren't all competitive sports conducted and concluded this way?  Also, don't all people have a need to be recognized for a job well done?
               Those questions would be answered definitively when our Yonkers store opened in 1959.  Subsequently, Loria would become the most popular supplier of bowling trophies in the New York metropolitan area.  This eventually leads to building an in-house production shop for the manufacturing of every type of award product conceivable.
               Two moves and fifty-nine years later, Loria continues in Yonkers, New York, as an established and well-recognized, fourth-generation family business.  Even though the original NYC location was eventually closed in 1998, we have retained the trade of our company's founding (pool tables, pool-table supplies and service).  We also expanded into previously uncharted territory with the introduction of recreational darts in the 1990s, as well as expanding our all-purpose recognition business - a division that has become an integral part of our company.  Since its introduction in the late 1950s, our recognition division has grown from supplying trophies to bowling leagues to literally providing "awards for all occasions" as well as innovative, in-house engraving services.
               Even though the bowling division was subsequently discontinued after roughly fifty years, due to drops in the sports popularity over the years, it deserves a nod of gratitude as it was that division which subsequently opened the door to our recognition business - a part of our company that has expanded exponentially over the years and remains perpetually as the steady, predominant staple in our company.
               What's more, and perhaps the most important point of this article, is that even though we are indeed a "company for all seasons", we do not selectively do one thing in one season and something else in another season.  We are here year-round serving the needs of our customers in both our original pool-table/pool-table service division and our expansive awards/engraving division.  As I mentioned earlier, we are still in fact "a company for all seasons" - just not the usual type.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Inherent Human Need for "Recognition"

       For those of us who are in the "business of recognition", it is indeed a business.  This, of course, means that we make a livelihood selling products and services that symbolically represent the deeds and achievements that our buying public deems worthy of recognizing.  
       Putting the commodity aspect of the recognition business aside for a moment, we are careful not to lose sight of the inherent, human need for recognition.  We humans, whether we acknowledge or not, and whether we express it or not, like to be recognized.  Recognizing that reality (pun entirely intended) keeps those of us who are in the recognition business on an even keel as well, with regard to being mindful of the importance of recognition in society.  Even those individuals in society who wish to remain anonymous after an act of benevolence are still comfortably mindful of their altruism, which at its very core, still demonstrates to the etymological root meaning of the word itself.   
       The word "recognition" is based on the ancient Latin word "recognoscere", which means "to know again" or "call to mind".  On its face, the word can be visibly split into two entities: the prefix "re" (meaning "repeat" or "again") and the noun "cognition", which is synonymous with "thought" (and also a grammatical variation of the word "cognitive").  In this way, the word "recognition" can literally be translated as the phrase "thought again".  When we recognize something or someone, we are recalling and expressing that remembrance.
       In a 1943 psychological study paper by Abraham Maslow (entitled "A Theory of Human Motivation") , a five-tier pyramid illustrated what was concluded to be our essential needs in life as human beings.  The pyramid was called "Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs".  The fourth tier of the pyramid indicated the needs for feeding a healthy ego and a personal sense of self-esteem.  This tier included "recognition", while the fifth and highest tier (called "self-actualization) was the one step beyond dependence on the ego.  But getting there included the step to feeding a healthy ego - which requires recognition.
"Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs", by Abraham Maslow
       Recognition comes in many forms, from the most basic verbal expression of telling someone "job well done" to the affectionate 'pat on the back'.  More elaborately, a gift can be given to an individual to commemorate that "job well done", whatever that job or deed may have been.  Those manifestations of recognition open the door to much creativity and became the building blocks of the recognition industry.
       Here at Loria, we have been a vital part of that industry for just over sixty years now, beginning as a trophy supplier to the local network of bowling leagues in the greater New York metropolitan area, to presently being a full-service, across-the-board, first-call company for products of recognition for any and every occasion.  We supply the most popular, mass-produced recognition products but we also take on the most unusual requests, which has been one of our strongest suits for many years.  For example, we recently mounted a small stack of gold-painted bagels atop a large gold-plated loving-cup with an ornamental crown surrounding and stabilizing the bagels.  Yes, when we say "full-service", we mean it!
       So next time you think of "recognition", don't forget to "recognize" Loria as your one-stop, full-service awards and engraving supplier.  We can both do our parts in bolstering a healthy sense of self-esteem in society!


Monday, January 15, 2018

"Great Selection": Many Companies Say It - We're Among Those Who Do It!

       I'm just taking a moment here to let the world know that our awards selection is veritably excellent!  It's a simple as that.  Yes, I'm bragging here a little bit.  But what the heck?  I was straightening out our showroom collection of floor samples today and putting things back in 'tip-top' order and I noticed that we have so many variations on each sport, theme and subject that we offer.
       Besides our online presence, we are 'old-school' with keeping our 'brick & mortar' selection attractive and full of options for every budget and occasion.  I was marveling at the fact that, even though it may have been a lot to straighten out, it was least "a lot" - a lot from which to choose and that not only keeps our new customers satisfied.  It also keeps our return customers satisfied as well (of which there are many) - and if anything is our 'highest priority', that would be it!
       So, visit us today in our conveniently located showroom in Yonkers, New York for literally, the best selection of awards in any awards showroom or - check us out online!  Either way, it's our mission to satisfy each and every customer with the best selection at the fairest prices!