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L & M purchases Royal Ribbons & Awards

By DAWN HANKINS - dhankins@t-g.com
Posted 1/15/22

As she fills a customer’s box full of multi-colored ribbons, Heather Beard admits there’s never a dull moment within the trophy and awards business.  

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L & M purchases Royal Ribbons & Awards

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As she fills a customer’s box full of multi-colored ribbons, Heather Beard admits there’s never a dull moment within the trophy and awards business.  

To boot, L & M Awards just recently announced that is has purchased Royal Ribbons and Awards, previously owned by Keith and Suzy Johnson of Shelbyville. L & M will remain at its same location of 619 Madison St. Along with that recent merger, owner Heather says comes the expertise of former Royal Ribbons owner and Shelbyville’s own, Keith Johnson.  

He’s out of trophy shop ownership, he explains, but is still helping Heather out at L & M. “We’re just kind of combining our two styles of ribbons and trophies together,” said Heather.  

Keith said recently, for him, it is time to “slow down” a little. “I still love it. I want to see her do well.” Heather admits the ribbon and trophy industry goes on year-round.  

Given Johnson and Beard’s similar business interests, the old saying is now likely true: “Two heads are better than one.”  

Heather, whose family is involved in the horse industry, says L & M’s customer service is a great asset to this community. She believes customers still appreciate that personal contact available within their shop.  

“We try to get things exactly right . . . how customer wants it. We try to make their vision possible, whatever they need for their special event.”  

Keith adds, “The competitors now . . . buy online, pay on line . . . . Here you can still call somebody. If you have any special wishes or ideas, we can accommodate that, versus just getting the cookie cutter stuff you will get from other places.”  

L & M Awards is no doubt a well-established manufacturer of award ribbons for all types of events—horse shows, fairs, 4-H events, sporting events, school activities and much more.  

The actual trophy shop has been in business for over 50 years and currently supplies ribbons throughout the world.  

Heather notes L & M serves as a supplier to several horse breed’s world championship shows and assists with ribbons and other awards for dog shows. “We strive to supply each event with top quality ribbons at a competitive price. Our ribbons are custom packed per class or color and arrive ready to use.”  

Heather said something that sets L & M apart from other trophy shops is that her team makes a customer’s ribbons unique for their event by printing any logo or show name on their ribbons.  

L & M Awards also supplies trophies, plaques, medallions, silver, crystal, and acrylic. Custom engraving is also available on most items. In addition to horse show trophies and ribbons, L & M also provides ribbons and awards for education, businesses and 4-Hers. Keith reminds that horse shows are held all over the country, so L & M is pretty well-known in the industry.  

As for the history of her business, she’s still researching that, but said the Beards are the third family to own L & M Awards.  

She and husband, Brad, purchased the company in 2008, but it wasn’t new to her.  

“I use to work here in the summers in high school. It was my summer job.” A graduate of Cascade High School, Heather graduated from a west Tennessee college. She also worked for the college a few years.  

Since purchasing L & M over a decade ago, Heather has been not just a busy trophy shop owner but is also mom to Anne Marie, age 12, a 6th grader at The Webb School in Bell Buckle and Harlee, age 3, who attends Barnyard Kids in Shelbyville.  

The beauty of being “owner,” she says, is the flexibility of being able to care for your kids at work, when necessary. “We’ve got sleeping bags and blankets back here. If they’re not feeling good . . . hang out here during the summer.”  

Speaking as someone whose business is built upon achievement, Heather is confident L & M will long remain in the “winner’s circle.” After 14 years hindsight, she’s still very thankful for the opportunity to serve this community.  

L&M store hours are: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment only on Saturdays. The shop is closed on Sundays. 

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