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Church Hill Classics
Monroe, CT – April 27, 2021 – In a year of cancelled graduations, Church Hill Classics®, the leading U.S. manufacturer of officially licensed frames for colleges and universities, professional associations, and the U.S. Military, saw a record-breaking increase in sales in 2020.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in our 30-year history,” said Lucie Voves, CEO and founder. “Amid so much uncertainty, we were able to grow significantly while still helping customers celebrate graduations and other milestone events with our frames. It’s a win-win.”
After 14 million college students were sent home due to COVID-19 last March, Voves, who founded her diploma-framing business in 1991, grew concerned. Campus bookstores closed, grad fairs were cancelled, and commencement ceremonies were delayed indefinitely. Spring graduation season—the peak sales period for Church Hill Classics—was vanishing.
But just a few weeks later, online consumer behavior shifted dramatically. Church Hill Classics saw a heavy surge in traffic on their ecommerce site Diplomaframe.com, which resulted in an unprecedented number of orders. The cancellation of in-person commencements across the country was translating into diploma frame sales.
“Graduation is a major milestone that deserves to be celebrated!” Voves explained. “With the loss of a traditional, in-person ceremony, parents were looking for meaningful ways to honor their children’s hard work, and our frames helped them do that.”
At one point, there were nearly 18,000 orders for diploma frames in the queue. With each frame made-to-order and handcrafted out of the company’s cutting-edge 47,000-square-foot facility in Monroe, Connecticut, Voves quickly realized her company needed to grow. She leased another 15,000-square-foot next door to the current Pepper Street facility to store all the raw materials and core framing supplies.
To keep up with increased production, Church Hill Classics nearly doubled its workforce in the last year. By adding a second shift at night, the company was able to add dozens of jobs in production, including machine operators, quality control managers, packers and more. While some manufacturers were forced to lay off or furlough employees, Church Hill Classics spent last summer actively creating jobs for the town of Monroe and Fairfield County.
A certified Woman-Owned Business through the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, Church Hill Classics is one of only a few woman-owned manufacturing businesses in Connecticut. According to the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, woman-owned businesses generate nearly $16 billion for the state’s gross state product each year.
“Women in manufacturing are often underrepresented, and I’m glad that Church Hill Classics bucks that trend,” Voves said. “Celebrating female entrepreneurship and supporting and mentoring businesswomen is something I strongly believe in.”
To further support accomplishments unique to women, Church Hill Classics recently partnered with the Girl Scouts of the USA (GUSA) and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to create officially licensed frames. This partnership builds on the company’s decades of dedication to championing female innovators and community leaders.
“We’re so proud of our record-breaking year at Church Hill Classics. Especially during a pandemic, our leaders and employees have been incredible, helping the company navigate unprecedented challenges while pivoting to leverage this unique growth environment,” Voves said. “While we continue to grow, we remain committed to delivering high-quality craftsmanship and WOW moments to our customers!”
For more information about Church Hill Classics or employment opportunities, visit www.diplomaframe.com, email Jodie@diplomaframe.com or call us at (800) 477-9005.
Church Hill Classics®, known online as diplomaframe.com, manufactures custom diploma frames, certificate frames, award frames, and photo frames for thousands of colleges and universities, high schools, honor societies, the U.S. Military, professional associations, corporate clients, and prestigious business recognition programs, including the Inc. 5000 Awards. Products are offered through its e-commerce site at diplomaframe.com™ or through its partner affiliates. Church Hill Classics is a certified woman-owned business founded in 1991 by its CEO, Lucie Voves. The Connecticut-based company has made Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Business list ten times and sponsors the annual Frame My Future Scholarship Contest. More information on Church Hill Classics can be found at www.diplomaframe.com.