Occasions, etc is owned by us, Carrie and Colin Jenkins. Both of us grew up in Menlo Park. We originally started the business in our garage in 1992, making trophies for youth sports. This was a good part-time business for Carrie while she stayed at home with our 2 sons, Nick and Sam. The name of our business then was Menlo-Atherton Trophy.
Our first customers were Alpine and Menlo-Atherton Little Leagues, the City of Menlo Park After-School Basketball Program and Stanford Football. We sold probably 400 trophies that first year. We opened our retail store at 775 Santa Cruz Avenue in March of 2000, in a space that was 600 square feet, in the same building as The Pet Place. We added engraved gifts such as frames and albums, and were able to increase our offering of awards, ribbons, trophies and plaques. Carrie was pregnant with our son Gabriel, and ran the business by herself for a few months until Colin joined full-time just in time for Christmas of 2000. That first Christmas, we had wall-to-wall customers and it seemed that we would never get everything engraved in time. A huge step up from the garage and growing fast!
We added engraved baby gifts such as piggy banks, rattles, baby cups and feeding spoons and increased our stock of sterling silver, pewter and silver plated gifts. We started taking in engraving jobs for items that weren’t purchased here.
We also changed our name to Menlo-Atherton Trophy and Gifts to help better explain what we do.
As the baby gift personalization continued to sell well, we added more baby gifts such as Wry Baby, Taggies, Gund and Angel Dear as well as baby gifts from Mud Pie and Stephen Joseph.
Since trophies and awards were about half of our sales (where it was 100% before), we were thinking of changing our name because too many people thought that all we sold was trophies and awards. A good customer suggested that we change the name to Occasions since we seemed to have a gift for every occasion. Since most of our growth came from listening to our customers, we decided that Occasions, etc was a great choice for a new name because we do have something for almost every occasion.
We became Occasions, etc in April of 2005. We realized that with the increased business from the name change, we needed to look for a larger space. We moved into our new, 1700 square foot store at 826 Santa Cruz Ave in February of 2006. See some pictures of our new store here.
We brought embroidery in-house in October of 2006 which allows us to not only personalize what we sell ourselves, but to embroider most items brought in from the outside.
We added laser engraving capability in 2010 which allows us to engrave on a wider variety of materials and items.
The larger store has allowed us to expand what we already sell, and add new lines like Mary Meyer, TrendLab and Baby Starters by Rashti & Rashti . We recently added educational children’s products from San Mateo based TotTalk.
We are one of the few places that can have your baby shoes bronzed. We even had a bagel bronzed for someone once.
Thanks for looking at our website,
Colin and Carrie Jenkins