It’s always incredible when a customer of mine wants to stop by the shop to pick up their trophy in person. Today I got to experience just that. Keith A. , a detective from the Emergency Service Unit here in NYC, decided he’d drive nearly an hour on his day off to get his league trophy at my shop in Brooklyn. Any time I get to meet a fan of my trophies is special but it’s definitely even more so when it’s a member of the fire or police department. Hearing how Keith ran across the Armchair Cop and especially seeing his enthusiasm for the trophy is what made the day so memorable. I can’t wait to hear from the rest of the guys in his league. If they’re anything like Keith, I’m sure I’ll be in for quite a few more great days like this one. Thanks Keith and good luck in your league. -Dave
The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” definitely rings true here at FantasyTrophies.com. The other day I was on my way to the shop when I spotted a 50″ Samsung television outside of the coffee shop I go to each morning. I’ve been thinking about how incredible it would be to watch football games on an HDTV while working on Sundays and came close to buying a 32″ television at Best Buy. So when I saw the 50″ it no doubt caught my eye. Of course though you figure there is no way it works if it’s sitting on the curb. Just then two girls walked out of their place and said, “it’s still here.” The other responded, ” I bet people think it doesn’t work at all.” That’s all I needed to hear. It was soon at my shop where I plugged it in and tested it out. It works perfectly except for a small thin black line that runs across the screen horizontally. It’s so thin though that you barely see it. If only my Browns could go from trash to treasure my Sundays would be as awesome as this flat screen.
Being invited to a fantasy football draft isn’t all that odd of an occurrence for me. Being invited to a fantasy football draft held by cops of the NYPD, now that’s something that doesn’t happen every day. So when I received an email from Avi, a police officer here in Brooklyn, I jumped at the chance. After all, it was a great excuse to have a few beers and scout how my draft might go down a few days later in Cleveland. Plus it was awesome to hear from the guys of the league on how they liked their trophy, The Armchair Cop. You see, Avi was the one that contacted me about designing a fantasy football trophy specifically for police officers. He had seen the couple of trophies that I did for firefighters and he was hoping I could do the same for them. I was all for it but only under one condition. I wanted them to help in the design. Avi and a few of the guys came to my shop and gave their input. From handcuffs to old school aviator glasses and a 70’s mustache, they were all included. The shoulder holster was my idea. The legendary character Fish from “Barney Miller” provided the inspiration. Anyway, the trophy turned out great, if I must say so myself, and it holds a special place in the history of FantasyTrophies.com. Soon it’s going to be up on the site and precincts all over the country will hopefully see the “charm” in playing for a trophy designed specifically for them, by them.
As I sit here in my Brooklyn studio writing this post, I still don’t think it has fully sunk in that two guys from Sports Illustrated and the MMQB were here interviewing me for a video feature on FantasyTrophies.com. As a ten year old I would draw images of athletes from the covers of SI, totally enthralled in capturing every detail. I would then cut them out and tape them to my bedroom walls as my little shrine to sports greatness. So to now have Sports Illustrated interested in something that I’ve done just doesn’t seem possible. After all, I’m just a guy from Cleveland, Ohio that hand crafts trophies for fantasy sports leagues. A Super Bowl MVP or Cy Young Award was never in the cards and I never dreamed the magazine that I so loved as a kid would actually one day interview me.
Matt and John’s reaction, upon entering my studio, made it clear that they thought they made the right decision. Matt admitted that the story of me starting in my parent’s garage and now producing trophies in a shop in Brooklyn was what drew him to the story. Hearing about how Jay-Z, Curt Schilling, Cole Hamels, and other celebrities play for my trophies was just icing on the cake. The real story was on how I found a niche that I love and was able to build a business off of that. Something that I know that ten year old boy would’ve thought was pretty cool as well.
It’s been a crazy few months filling fantasy football trophy orders so I haven’t really been disciplined when it comes to the blog. I apologize. However, I’m going to be rolling out a few things in the next few weeks and trying to catch up on some of the news that occurred over these past weeks. Here is one thing that happened. I was featured in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Thank you Paula Katinas for writing a nice little article on FantasyTropies.com. Check it out here:
Being better connected with fans of FantasyTrophies.com is always something I’m interested in improving. Facebook and Twitter have been my go to platforms in trying to do just that. However, lately I’ve been stepping up my game on Instagram and I really like the results. It allows me to post what I’m doing around the shop or drawings I do on my commute on the NYC subway. Being an artist I’m always drawn to the visual side of things and Instagram definitely allows me to better communicate with my fans and customers through photos. So if you haven’t already checked it out, my account is @FantasyTrophies. Hope to see you there. -Dave
Made in New York still has a nice ring to it for many people. Count the Japanese in that category. The Japanese television show, “Made In New York,” decided to stop by my shop the other day and do a feature on FantasyTrophies.com. I was initially contacted over a month ago and they asked me if I’d be interested in giving their viewers a taste of how I go about creating my trophies. I was all in. A member of their team, along with a translator, showed up at my studio shortly after to do a preliminary interview and see if everything would work out. After trying to explain what fantasy sports are I was then able to show them some of my process. Both agreed that Fantasy Trophies would make for a perfect segment and that their viewers definitely haven’t seen anything like it.
When the film crew arrived I had all of my trophies laid out. I gotta say, seeing all of them at one time is pretty impressive. It’s easy to forget how many variations I have and how each trophy captures the essence of the sport. The film crew seemed to agree. I gave them a brief history of how Fantasy Trophies came to be including how my cousin Johnny became my model and how I even designed and drew the logo. Then I went through a few parts of the process before they filmed each trophy and wrapped things up. It was great experience and I look forward to seeing the finished episode. And who knows, maybe fantasy sports will become huge in Japan as well.