By Adam Black
The Ashland Beacon
Whether it was for a Little League Championship game, the key to the city or a medal for the special Olympics, Jennifer Smith has been there at these moments one way or another.
After more than 30 years of servicing the community with all its awards and trophy needs, the original Trophy House in Catlettsburg closed its doors for the final time.
“It’s a bittersweet moment for me,” Smith said, as she looked around her store. “I’m excited to retire but will miss all the people I have come to know.”
While customers will still be able to get the same quality trophies from the second store located on Carter Avenue in downtown Ashland, Smith recollected of all the times she and her family and friends spent in the original store.
“There is quite a bit of stuff here,” Smith said, followed by a laugh. “After 16 years it’s going to take some time to empty the building.”
For 16 years, Smith along with her close friend has been running the Catlettsburg business and recently decided it was time to retire. With her husband already retired, and her best friends husband retiring the duo decided it was time to join their spouses and enjoy retirement.
“I want to travel and see the world while we are both still young enough to enjoy it,” Smith said. It will be weird not coming here every day, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.”
On Friday, Dec. 14, Smith closed the original shop in Catlettsburg and started the process of moving years of equipment and memories to her daughter's location in Ashland.
“I will still be around for a while at the Ashland store,” Smith said. “I plan on helping Jessica with the transition and informing all our customers.”
Although for years Smith has been serving the community, she looks at her customers more like friends.
“These people have become like family,” Smith said. “They have supported us over the years and we are so grateful for it.”
As Smith looked around her store one last time trying to remember one of the best trophies she made, she remembered the time she gave the late George Jones a plaque and key to the city.
“It was a really neat experience,” Smith said. “That was probably one of my most memorable moments and trophies to make.”
Smith said she also has enjoyed over the years creating awards for all sorts of local school activities, Summer Motion, Marathon Petroleum and other sports teams in the tri-state.
“It’s been a great 16 years here and I know Jessica will do a great job carrying on the legacy,” Smith said.
Once the building is completely empty, Smith plans to sell the building hoping for another business to move in and become a staple in Catlettsburg like hers.
“Thank you to all our customers, without them we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” Smith said.