Colin and Carrie Jenkins are a bit stuck in Menlo Park. They both grew up here, and their youngest child is a student at Oak Knoll. And for two decades, they’ve been supplying trophies and personalized gifts to local residents.
They started their business in 1992 in the basement of their home, selling trophies to youth sports teams. Their retail space, Occasions, was first located on Santa Cruz Avenue next to The Pet Place. “Our first order came from Menlo-Atherton Little League,” recalled Colin. “Carrie was keeping the business going while I was working at Raychem in Menlo Park, which, by the way, was a great place to work.
“Trophies were our bread and butter, but some of our customers suggested there was an opportunity to do engraved gifts, especially to give when babies are born. We soon realized that lots of things could be personalized.”
Colin and Carrie have staved off online competition by providing what they characterize as “great customer service.” They added embroidery service in 2006. “A guy in Redwood City was going out of business and we bought his embroidery machine,” said Colin. “It’s been a big plus for us.”
Customers have come to rely on them to make something happen at the last minute. “That fact means it’s sort of a nerve wrecking business,” said Colin. “But, it’s also a feel good business as almost every sale is the result of a happy occasion.”
Photos by Irene Searles