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The Story Behind Popp’s Trophies Being The #1 Laser Engraver In New York!

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Popp’s Trophies and Personalized Gifts has been serving the Hudson Valley since 1987. This business has so much history from being an archery shop, motorcycle store, to awards & trophies. Now as we enter 2020 we have expanded into way more than just trophies!  We now offer laser engraving and hand sand carving. Providing the best quality and customer service in the award and personalization industry. We offer a multitude of recognition needs from corporate, educational, sports, and custom awards and trophies. We cater to the needs of our customers by creating unique and personalized gifts that help you keep memories alive for a lifetime for your loved ones, your business, and any occasion you can think of. If you can think it, we can make it!

In October of 2014, Popp’s Trophies moved to Walden NY under new ownership, the beginning of a new chapter in our history. Popp’s Trophies now located on 158 West Main Street in Walden NY is owned by the young and driven entrepreneur Todd DeGroat. One of Todd’s passions is sports, playing them, watching them, and creating awards for them which is why Popp’s Trophies was the perfect fit for him. Although Todd still plays sports seasonally his passion has switched over to the art of engraving and sand carving. 

Why did we get into laser engraving? “Laser engraving is a service that has grown our business drastically! Let’s put things into perspective. How many times have you won an award or a medal and forgotten about it after a couple of months, and then they sit in a box in the garage until they meet their fate. With Laser engraving, we are able to take awards to the next level. Popp’s Trophies can now engrave on ANYTHING which means we can make functional awards like commemorative cups, crystal awards, glassware, key chains, promotional products, and the list goes on.

By doing this we are able to help people brand their businesses like our personalized wooden spoons or cutting boards for housewarming gifts from realtors. From personalized coffee cups to gifts & promotional products to new clients and employees because who doesn’t love recognition?! We can also take a more modern approach on awards like being able to engrave directly on wood, and add company logos to the engraving as well making the award or gift even more special. 

So now that we have covered the awards, let’s talk about personalized gifts. We all know that person who has everything making it so difficult to give them anything. Our personalized gifts are perfect for any occasion, whether you want to put an inside joke, nickname, or monogram on any item we have you covered. But it doesn’t stop at the holiday season or birthdays, our personalized gifts are perfect for corporate branding! 

A very big part of our business is helping people have all their decor and souvenir needs for their weddings and other events. With our new sand carving machine, Todd is able to take glassware to the next level. From wine glasses, champagne flutes, beer steins, to shot glasses we can help no matter how big or small your event is. 

As a thank you to our clients and our community, Popp’s Trophies has hosted a multitude of fundraisers and has made donations to several causes in our community. To name a few: The Humane Society of Walden, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, National Night Out, PTA, Sports Teams, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Brock Haney & Ethan Beck Memorial Paddle Run, and Hyde Park Youth Soccer to name a few. 

Our mission at Popp’s Trophies is to provide our clients and our community with the highest quality engraving and personalization, while still being human and listening to our client’s needs. We are happy and proud to continue to serve the Hudson Valley and grow with such an amazing community.

Creator's Crib

Jon Reyes On Becoming A Successful Scooter Rider & Content Creator

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JON REYES

Jon Reyes is a professional scooter rider and content creator living in NYC. Jon has over 300k followers on Instagram & over 350k subscribers on YouTube.

1. Who is Jon Reyes in real life?

1- I’m a Razor Scooter Era Survivor haha. Just a city kid trying to chase my ” 7 year old self ” dreams of being a professional in action sports. Most people know me as “easy’ or in my eyes content with not needing much to be happy.

2. How did you start your Sccooter Riding career?

Born and raised in NYC, when those razor scooters were a “thing” (for a summer) I was hooked on just pushing around and jumping off curbs. Simple fun has always been an addiction for me and this was/is exactly that. I knew I would be riding a scooter for eternity, just never thought of it actually becoming a big sport.

Jon Reyes

3. What problems did you face while you were just starting?

Ah man, I was the only “Scooter Kid” for the longest. In school, in the neighborhood, and at the skate spots. At the time you’re supposed to roll up with a skateboard if you wanted to be “cool”. Years ago the world never understood anything new and different, now creativity is an asset to most successful stories. I was the perfect example of an outcast.

4. What was your inspiration behind “Ride NYC”?

Fun, pure effortless fun. When I started YouTube I was all about getting the right idea, getting the perfect footage. The first RideNYC was led from a conversation with my buddies about just pushing around the city at night, turn on the GoPro, and just post whatever happens.

5. You’ve successfully grown your YouTube channel to 300k+ subscribers, what was your mindset like getting to that point?  YT – JON REYES

My incentive was to document my journey being a professional so I could have something to look back on years from now. YouTube has such an awesome connection with it’s audience, it helped me appreciate everyone who’s supported me over the years and I think that’s what made my channel successful.

6. What are your key takeaways as a professional Scooter Rider/YouTuber?

It’s definitely a blessing to turn something I’m addicted to and love into a career. It’s still a ton of work that will probably never stop, but all that earns me more time to ride off camera, which is why I’m grateful

7. Do you think an educational qualification is necessary to succeed in life?

School is designed to learn a skill that can’t be taught in the real world. It all depends on what you’re trying to do. Most of the successful people I know now grew from self awareness and a creative mindset. Success is happiness, and if you can learn something from school to help you work toward being happy then go for it.

8. Is there something you’d like to say to our readers?

If you have a job or a path in life already, awesome….. but never delete the dreams you had when you were a kid because that is your fuel. Take risks and do everything in your power to be happy. In the end that will tell a better story.

9. Is there something you’d like to say to Nwsppr?

JON REYES – You guys are great, so much energy, and everything is clean. I love how you guys support anybody and anything that contributes to moving forward…and thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story. This is just the beginning, I’ve got so much more i’ll need to do! 🛴

ALSO READ: JOHN HILL ON SKATEBOARDING HIS WAY TO SUCCESS

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Managing A Remote Team During The Covid-19 Pandemic: With Entrepreneur Landon Murie

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LANDON MURIE

In today’s society, running a successful digital marketing firm can prove a little difficult. With the ongoing pandemic and the devastating state of the economy, most entrepreneurs in the digital marketing industry will definitely find it hard to keep their agencies afloat due to the absence of key staff and team members. A week ago, I got the chance to speak with digital marketing expert Landon Murie. Landon is the founder of Goodjuju, a marketing and SEO agency that helps property management companies gain more online exposure so they can get more clients and grow. 

During the interview, Landon discussed ways by which business can stay afloat during this period with a not so new concept known as Remote working, and successfully manage a team.

The Covid Pandemic has brought to light the importance of remote working, how has your company adjusted to this modern way of completing projects? 

To say the least, my company, Goodjuju is built on the foundation of remote working. So far, I’ve been able to scale my marketing agency, which is situated in the U.S, internationally. All my clients are property managers in America and so far they’ve not had any reason to complain. 

My team is composed of remote workers from around the world and this has helped us adjust quite perfectly to the changes brought about by the pandemic. Our operations were virtually uninterrupted and we’ve continued to run things the same way we did before. 

This is why I always counsel agency founders on the importance of imbibing remote working to their business models. You’ll never know when the next global/economic shift might happen.

Awesome! Usually Coordinating Small Teams At Work Is Difficult, How Are You Able To Manage Such A Diverse Team Who Haven’t Even Met Each Other Physically?

To be honest, I’ve struggled a lot with this. When I created Goodjuju, I didn’t bring on team members at first. Due to this, I forgot to create adequate systems. When I finally brought some team members onboard, It was chaos. Over time, I learned that the only way to manage our remote team members was to utilize expertly created systems, and processes. 

Eventually, we were able to create a good system and track everything with a project management software called “Clickup.” We still use this system to date and it’s kept us on track so far.

Based On Your Personal Experience As An Entrepreneur, What Should Anyone Striving To Run A Successful Team Do?

Well, in light of this topic, the first thing I think anyone striving to run a successful team should do is to be part of one. When you are part of a team, you’ll notice how things are done and which aspects need improvement the most. You’ll also know what it feels like to be a team member.

After this here are a few other things I suggest;

1- Create teachable systems/processes people can follow

2- Don’t micromanage people. “Trust, but verify”

3- Keep in touch as best as possible (chat/app)

4- Make sure you and team aligned on vision/goals

5- Create a motivational environment with incentives

Apply all of these, and you’ll be well on your way!

ALSO READ: CJ BOLING ON HOW GARY VAYNERCHUK CHANGED HIS LIFE

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John Hill On Skateboarding His Way To Success

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john hill

John Hill is a Professional Skateboarder, YouTuber & Content Creator. John has had massive success in his career all because of the work he has put in, and because of his love for what he does. John lives in New York City and has over 800k Subscribers on YouTube & more than 280k Followers on Instagram. Check out this amazing conversation we had!

1. Who is John Hill in real life?

Just a sk8er boi who is OBSESSED with building a peaceful life.  I’m an extremely analytical, goofy, slightly nihilistic, human who gets way too overly excited about anything in this world that strikes me as even the slightest bit unique.  I think if you asked others, they would say I’m a nice dude who works 24/7, and is eerily obsessed with skateboarding. 

2. How did your love for skateboarding begin?

I grew up in Columbia, SC as the only asian boi I knew, so I felt detached, and bored with the community, when all of a sudden… the demo disk for “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” appeared from the heavens.  The music and rebellious nature of skateboarding culture presented by the game captivated me.  It made me feel special in a community that seemed to reward mediocrity.  From there, I dreamed of living in this, culturally diverse paradise known as California.  I knew that I had to make a living riding a skateboard, so that I could do it forever.

3. How has living in New York City and working as a YouTuber/Content Creator helped change your life for the better?

Firstly, becoming a Youtuber/Content Creator worked best for fleshing out my judgmental tendencies.  I always thought of “Influencers” or sharing your voice, as narcissistic.  I knew that I couldn’t grow in the world of social media and business, if I remained unfairly critical of anything I couldn’t relate to, so I started a project that threw me in the depths of self promotion.  I mean, there are a ton of ways to answer this question.  Youtube helped me become a better speaker, build confidence, sharpen my skateboarding skills, meet AMAZING creators, build an audience that makes me feel worthy, collaborate with brands, and allow me to spend more time on creative hobbies such as skateboarding, creating content, illustrating, and designing.  

New York City is just more of the same, from what I gained from California.  I wanted to be in a new “energy” (don’t hate me for using that word).  I always moved a little fast and aggressively for California, and New York is exactly my speed.  It’s SO MUCH easier and quicker to create here.  You never sit in traffic, and every corner is a beautiful, unique backdrop.  It gave my YouTube channel a new rhythm that revitalized the audience, and myself.  I was able to meet creators who had different ambitions, and looked at “success” in ways that resonated deeper than building a large social media presence.  It’s the first city that truly felt like “home” for me. 

4. Do you think an educational qualification is necessary to succeed in life?

I’m going to answer this question based on the assumption we’re not talking about obtaining a career that absolutely requires a college degree.  I have a very divisive opinion on this, BUT it depends on what you mean by eduction.  I don’t see much value in traditional education beyond middle school.  I can say, personally, High School was a complete waste of time for me.  I learn at a faster rate, absorbing what interests me via online.  From my perspective, the careers with longevity (creating business, owning a piece of a brand, monetizing your craft) is best built with experience.  Freelancers are hired based on their portfolio of work, not their educational status.  I’m an advocate for not pursuing college. 


5. How did you start “Progress Daily” and what was your key takeaway starting”Progress Daily” as a business?

I had $1000 that I gained from my YouTube Adsense and thought “I could print 100 shirts at the local printing store, for $1000…LET’S DO IT!”.  Before that, I would write “progress daily” on my daily to do lists, to remind myself that improvement is key, no matter how little that improvement was at the end of the day.  I built a website, and fulfilled the orders myself, and used my YouTube channel as the marketing, and it worked.  The brand has been through ups and downs, but luckily today, is running stronger than ever.  My biggest take away is business requires attention, which I did not supply in the early stages.  The marketing was strong, but the vision, story, and products were lacking.  It’s easy to do what you think you “should” do, rather than what seems fun.  Put as much fun into your business as you can. 

6. What would you say to someone who is just starting out?

Don’t judge.  If you find yourself saying “yuck, this sucks, I just don’t get it” about some one else trying to create art, you’ve lost.  Business and growth are about empathy.  The more you try to understand and feel for your fellow human, the more you’ll find yourself stumbling on serendipity.  Build a YouTube channel and business around what you’re passionate about.  Every one can work hard, but the ones that remain are the ones who are having a blast doing it.  You need to start a business that you’re excited to wake up to.  

7. Is there something you’d like to say to our readers?

Yes!  I could be wrong about EVERYTHING you’ve read so far.  I’m ok with being wrong, and learning from my mistakes.  In fact, I see every learning experience as a monumental moment for growth.  I’ve felt peace in life, focusing past the superficial version of success that clouds are human capability of happiness.  You’re just a speck in the universe that exists for a flicker of time.  If you have an hour left of life left, what are you going to focus on?  I’m just realizing how pretentious some of this must sound, haha, I still stand by it.  

8. Is there something you’d like to say to Nwsppr?

JOHN HILL – The fact that you post something every day blows my mind.  The website is clean, and I appreciate the effort.  I’d like to see video and audio added to the content you supply! This could’ve been a fun video/audio podcast, AND you can cut up a podcast into separate 10 minute talking points, so now you have 8 videos from one interview.  Sorry if I’m overstepping, I’m obsessive with my creator friends as well, always looking over what they can do, giving them video and growth ideas.  I feel like this is the strangest way to end an interview ever but I really appreciate your beautiful face and thank you for the love and curiosity. 

John Hill
John Hill

CHECK OUT JOHN HILL ON INSTAGRAM, TWITTER and YOUTUBE

ALSO READ: CJ BOLING ON HOW GARY VAYNERCHUK CHANGED HIS LIFE

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