Shades of Ngwenya

How Corporate Gift Strategies Can Benefit Your Business, Employees, and Clients

A corporate gift is a great way for you as a business to show your appreciation and better client relationships. Corporate gifts can also keep your employees motivated, appreciated and incentivised as well as improve employee morale.
This is why one an important “best practice” is to create a gift strategy for both your external clients and your internal clients each year.

If you do not yet have a strategic plan, and you just put your company logo on your corporate gifts and only give gifts around the festive season without budgeting for them beforehand, then you may want to rethink a few things. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but your business should be doing the complete opposite of this when it comes to giving gifts.

One of the primary benefits of having a corporate gift strategy is that you will end up surprising and delighting your customers and you will also show them that you really value and appreciate the relationship. Overall, your clients will be that bit happier and you will also be kept top of mind because of your strengthened relationship.

When it comes to giving gifts to your own employees, you can assist in increasing employee morale, work ethic and happiness when you are recognising your employees with an award or a gift. And because of this, you will be able to show appreciation for a job well done. Another idea would be to use an incentive program in order to recognise your top-performing employees and encourage friendly competition in the workplace.

Below are some things to take into consideration when you plan your next employee or corporate gift strategy.

The Right Timing

The most common time for businesses to send out gifts is during the festive/year-end season. This may not work in favour of your gift strategy as it may be “expected” if you do this every year.
Think outside the box, try to surprise and delight by giving gifts at random times of the year. You could even send a series of gifts throughout the year in order to show more appreciation. But be careful when taking this route, you do not want to give too many gifts. A way to determine when to give a gift is to think of the specific customer and the reason for giving a gift, for example, you could send a small gift each time a customer makes a purchase.

The Right Decoration

Consider how you are decorating the gift. When you are gifting an employee gift or a corporate gift, it is not the type of gift you print your logo all over. Once you put your logo on it, call to action, or marketing message, this is no longer a personal gift to show appreciation, it is advertising.

If you are serious about giving a gift, ensure that it is personalised and not imprinted. There is a wide variety of gifts that you can easily personalise with your employee or clients name or the client’s logo. It is highly recommended that is you want your employee or customer to feel special and appreciated, that you should personalise the gift instead of “print” on it.

The Budget

When giving an employee or a client a gift, you should go for the higher ticketed items instead of getting items that you can buy in bulk in order to get a discount.

In order to find out how much you should be or are able to spend, you should make sure you have created a budget. When doing it this way, when it comes to buying the gift, you will know the right amount to spend according to your company, strategy and program.

Below are some tips for setting a budget just in case you are not sure where to get started. Try to set your gift budget to:

– Years of service for employees, and years of continued business for clients.
– The nature of the program. Always consider the outcomes and the desired result that you would like to achieve and create your budget according to a percentage of your results.
– Customer lifetime value.. Consider how much your client is “worth”, basically, what the relationship is worth to you. And then determine your budget according to a percentage of those qualities.
– You could also set a random budget that is based on what you or the company is able to afford.

Just like most things in life, you should be aware of what could put a damper on your gift strategy:

– Always remember to do enough research to find out whether gifting is even allowed at certain companies.
– Do some research on the actual client to see what their likes and dislikes are.
– Your gift should be given to show gratitude, not before asking for a big favour or to up their budget.

While having a strict gifting strategy or incentive programs are not always necessary, it could be very beneficial to incorporate into your business. They can also have quite a bit of impact on the way you show how much you value and appreciate your employees and clients.

If you have decided that your company should be part of gift-giving, take the time this year to ensure that you have a strategic plan or program in place. This will assist in achieving the desired results, which will help your business grow.

Service Award Rewards Employee Loyalty and Longevity

Are you or your company taking advantage of the overall value of a certain service award as a component in your business’s employee recognition process and program? The service award is a very valuable component when it comes to an organisation’s overall employee recognition efforts. You will just need to value, understand, and appropriately utilize the service award in your formal employee recognition mix.

Awarding an employee with a service award is an opportunity for a company to recognise the employee for their longevity or tenure with the organisation. You can have your service award come in many different variations just as they approach your business uses to recognise an employee with the award can vary.

Here is all you will need to know about the what, who, why, and when a business may want to supply a service award to an employee. Why not give it a try? Employees absolutely love service awards, it is just another way for you to show them how much you appreciate and value them. Employees want to feel special and cared for, they need to know that their loyalty and longevity deserves an award.

Some of the Advantages of Providing an Employee Service Award

Employers should consider offering a service award in their company in order to celebrate and recognise the longevity of an employee for these reasons:

– The service award the only compensation or bonus component that gives recognition to the length of time that an employee has been working for the company. The length of service is usually only recognised in the public sector jobs, and in the private and public sector in union-represented jobs. An employer can informally recognise some of their longer-term employees because of their higher salaries due to the annual increases over a certain period. However, in a future that is driven by individual compensation based on contribution, merit pay will rule the day.
– A service award is there to recognise that a valued employee has served an appreciated amount of time in your company. This award gives the employer the opportunity to thank the employee for their service. Consequently, you will often see employers recognising a year of service with a service award. Then, the general service award recognises, depending on the company, 3 years, 5 years, ten years, fifteen years and so on.
– Years back, a service award was also a celebration for the company itself. The service award acknowledged that it had retained employees for a certain amount of time. This helped show that the company was a good place to work and that it is deserving of employee longevity and loyalty. This assisted with building up a positive reputation for recruiting new employees.
– A service award is also a way for a company to acknowledge the solid performers who may not be getting the biggest bonus or being recognised for a groundbreaking company accomplishment. For those employees who are the top performers, the service award is just another way for the company to show their gratitude for continued astonishing performance.
– The service award first originated during a time when companies and society venerated the older people in their culture, perhaps a lot more so than the way we do it today. Basically, a service award lives out a tradition from an earlier time when knowledge, wisdom, and experience was honoured and esteemed more publically than today.
– Think of the service award as a symbol of continuity and company memories and a way to acknowledge service. A service award that is awarded publically allows for the telling of company stories and a walk down memory lane with your employees. The ceremony where the service award is given is an opportunity for members of the company to reminisce about the company’s founding and history. It is an opportunity to enculturate the new employees with the stories and legends that have made the company what it is today. In some organisations, like the US Army, Navy, and Marines, a military enlisted person will receive a service stripe which is called a hash mark of each period of time served. This hash mark is added to dress uniform as an acknowledgement of service and a celebration.
– By virtue of long service, the employees who receive a service award are usually positive about working for the company or organisation. These employees who get these awards contribute to your company’s positive environment and culture, so it would make sense to make an effort in recognising them.

Some Recommendations about a Service Award

Many companies and organisations do well to take advantage of the positive employee feelings, which are generated with receiving a service award. When a service award is given quietly without making a big deal about it will fail to properly capture all of the opportunities and advantages available to affect employee morale in a positive way. Recognition and awards that are presented in public help enhance the value of the recognition for the person who receives it. There is no better feeling than reviving that trophy in front of all of your team members and co-workers.

These are some recommendations about how a company can go about providing a service award while still trying to create a positive impact and increasing employee morale and that overall feeling of appreciation.

– Choose a cross-functional team of employees to give suggestions on how your service award program or process should work.
– Give the chosen team parameters. For example, along with their trophy or corporate gift, the service award should contain a certain component that will last long.
– Gifts of money do not hold value for very long, and the same is true when it comes to gifts of merchandise. One the watch is incorporated into the person’s life; it has very little value as the service award they received. So, merchandise will need to have a certain component that helps set it apart from what an employee can purchase for themselves in a store. Often a trophy or an official company plaque with the person’s name on it will make it a proud memory.
– For the same reason, you should try to present the service award at an all-employee ceremony or meeting in order to enhance the value of the award recognition. The ideal person to present the award is the company president, CEO, or head of the division, at all depends on the size of your company.
– Every employee who reaches the agreed amount of years should get the same award. This is one of the employee recognition opportunities that should always stay consistent, equitable, and fair.
– Accompany the trophy or plaque with a written acknowledgement of the employee’s service. This letter should state how long the employee has been at the company and thank the employee.

At Shades of Ngwenya, we manufacture from plate glass, recycled glass, crystal glass and much more to create our beautiful trophies and gifts. For more information, visit our website on

Glass Trophies | Custom Trophies

Deciding on a company to supply trophies and awards

Trophies are lovely to reward people for any occasion, sporting event, end of year function, school teams etc. We talk about if trophies can be personalised and engraved, the benefits of giving a reward and how long it takes to get a trophy engraved.
Can trophies be personalised?
Trophies are best given when they are engraved and personalised. To make a person feel extra special, go that extra mile of making them personalised. Engraving can be done on almost everything, weather the trophy is glass, wooden or metal you can get it engraved with a name of phrase.
The benefits of giving a reward.
Rewarding someone makes them feel appreciated and if they feel appreciated, they work harder. Year end function rewards are wonderful for the business’s employees to grow, succeed and challenge themselves. Getting first place in a soccer match and receiving a trophy for all your hard work really makes an impact on a team for the upcoming season.
How long does it take to get a trophy engraved?
When placing your order for trophies to be engraved, always talk to the company you are dealing with to discuss their turn around time. This creates less stress and gives you peace of mind. However, on average rush orders can take up to 24 hours and anywhere up to a couple of days, depending on how bug the order is.
Looking for trophies, Contact Shades of Ngwenya.
Have a look at our website for our variety on call us on 011 796 3006 for orders or drop us a mail on . Alternatively leave you details on our site and we will call you back.

Glass Trophies | Custom Trophies

The Benefits of Awarding Employees with Trophies

Motivating staff to perform at their best while retaining their loyalty takes its own special kind of strategy, an internal one that makes them feel appreciated in their time and efforts, and motivates them towards consistent, and effective productivity.
There are a number of ways that your business can do this. One such way is by awarding your employees with meaningful, hand crafted, custom trophies.
Here’s how doing so can improve on the productivity of your business:
Show them they’re Appreciated
Awarding trophies to your employees shows them that you value their skills, experience and service. This is an excellent way to not only keep employees motivated, but also keeps them loyal.
People like to feel appreciated for their efforts, and when they do, they put out better work and are generally more productive.
Create a Competitive Environment
There’s something about being able to win something that galvanises people to do their best. Acknowledging top performers, or those that bring the most value to your business with awards and corporate gifts.
This will create an environment of competitiveness within your business as your best employees vie for recognition for their efforts, creating an exciting, though productive environment to work in.
Continuous Motivation
Keeping trophies and awards that have been won by employees displayed in your working spaces will also remind everyone in the office that exceptional work is recognised, not only by management but also by peers.
Having them in working spaces as a visible reminder of an employee’s excellence will not only motivate the winning employee to be consistently exceptional, but will do the same for everyone who can see it.
Contact Shades of Ngwenya for Details
If you would like to know more about our offers on handcrafted custom trophies, be sure to get into contact with a representative from Shades of Ngwenya today, or visit our website for further details on our offers.

Glass Trophies | Custom Trophies | Shades Of Ngwenya

What it takes to become a Glass Blowing Specialist

What is a Glass Blower?
A glass blower construct designs ranging from simple to complex, using molten glass (Extremely Hot Glass). Glass jars and vases, jewelry, art work, and figurines all may materialize from the end of a narrow long tube, the skill and tools of the glass blower determining the final design of the glass.
The skill of glass blowing itself is an ancient one. It was in use in the middle east as early as 20 BC, among the Phoenicians, when creating crude glass receptacle sturdy enough to hold liquids was a great accomplishment. As practitioners became more advanced in their skill, artisans began experimenting with the designs of finely detailed and delicate blown glass that combined a variety of colors and shapes to form what represents to works of art. Today’s glass blowing techniques mirror those of the past, with skilled workers using methods of glass construct that have been passed down through the generations.
What does a Glass Blower Do?
In conventional, glass blowing, molten glass is first made by heating a combination of soda ash, potash, limestone and sand to over 1093.3 Degrees Celsius. When using the oldest technique, free-blowing, the glass blower spools a section of molten glass on to the end of a blowpipe, forming amass, or blob of molten glass. The blower then blows air through the pipe to expand the glass into a bubble of the required size. From this point, several tools are employed to produce the design the blower has envisioned.
The marver, a flat, thick steel surface, is used to cool and shape the glass. Tweezers, paddles, jacks and shears are used variously to pull out glass formations, flatten areas and cut and shape the glass. Glass that is not cooled properly can shatter dangerously due to thermal stress. Finished glass pieces are placed in an annealing oven to cool down at a safe temperature, a process that can take hours or days, depending on the size of the finished product. Individual glass blowers often develop their own workspaces and techniques, designed to suit their way of working, and methods of creation.
For amazing glass creations, getting in touch with our professionals at Shades of Ngwenya today!

Shades of Ngwenya

Four Reasons Why Glass is Better Than Plastic

There is an age-old battle between glass and plastic. And while there are pros and cons for both sides, glass is almost certainly the better of the two. How so? Well, here are four good reasons.


Plastics fill up landfills at a phenomenal rate. Glass, due to the fact that it is reusable, is a far less harmful culprit. Glass is also a great material to recycle, and the process uses less energy and releases less toxins than plastic recycling. If you’re looking to go green, go glass.

Less Toxic

Producing a PET plastic bottle may generate as much as 100 times the toxic emissions than producing the same sized bottle out of glass. These toxins then go into the air and into water, polluting everything that it comes into contact with. For this reason alone glass should be considered for all applications hen possible.

Glass is Class

That’s right, glass is beautiful. Glass is easy on the eye, and certainly a lot more classy than plastic. Imagine hosting a dinner party and pouring that fancy bottle of red wine into plastic cups for your guests? The notion is almost incomprehensible. Quite simply put, glass = class.


Though glass products are often more expensive than their plastic counterparts, they will last longer. This means that by the time you have gone through 85 plastic containers, you could very well still have your original glass containers. Over time this amounts to huge savings. Think in the long-run when choosing between plastic and glass!

Shades of Ngwenya

Shades of Ngwenya is based at Ngwenya Glass Village in Muldersdrift. We are trophy manufacturers specializing in custom made trophies, awards and corporate gifts, as well as a large range of standard trophies. We manufacture from recycled glass, plate glass, crystal glass, resin, wood, aluminium, brass and stainless steel in the West Rand. Bring us your design and we will create it for you, or we can create a custom trophy or award design for you through our in-house graphic design department.

Trophy making - Shades of Ngwenya

How Glassblowing Works

Glass blowing may seem like a new thing that’s just popped onto the scene, however, the glass blowing technique has actually been around since antiquity. Even though it is not as old as simpler methods like cutting or carving shapes from bigger pieces of glass or bead making, the art of glass blowing has been all the range since the time of the Roman Empire.

First century B.C. Syrians are most commonly credited with the amazing discovery that glass could be blown by using a hollow tube and blowing into many different molds or shapes, this is a landmark event in the history of the glass manufacturing process.

Quite impressively, some glassblowing techniques have not evolved much since then. There have been a few new technologies that have introduced more modern equipment, but the main fundamentals of glassblowing have remained the same. Below is some more information about glass.

Glass is a very ubiquitous product and many of us do not give it too much thought. But if you evert stop and consider glass, a common question that may pop up would be, if glass is solid, how can it be transparent? Well, the transparency in glass is because of glass’ interesting molecular structure, this means that it is a solid, however, it has a molecular arrangement more akin to a liquid. With most solids, highly organized molecules are rigidly aligned and the closely bound together. When it comes to liquids, these molecules have a weaker connection and are positioned in a more random manner. Known as an amorphous solid, glass, while it is rigid like a solid, has a randomized molecular structure like a liquid does. And this characteristic is why glass is transparent. Light waves are much better at penetrating through this kind of arrangement than through any other close-quartered solid molecular arrangements.

But for now, it’s enough just to know that glass can be made from combinations of many different ingredients, and these create many levels of traits like strength, transparency and conductivity.
Shades Of Ngwenya are award winning manufacturing specialists in Krugersdorp. We specialize in customized trophy designing, trophy engraving and corporate gifts. For more information, visit our website on

Custom Trophies - Shades of Ngwenya

And the Winner is…

Families gather around their television sets in anticipation of the Academy Awards every year and hair never fails to stand on end when seeing one of its renowned recipients holding one of the most distinguishable trophies of our time; the Oscar Statuette. Whilst a trophy is merely particles of solid matter, the history and tradition behind the Oscar Statuette means it represents the kind of achievement which sets men and women apart in the film industry whilst defining careers.

So What’s the Big Deal with Trophies?

Sure, handcrafted custom trophies are uniquely tailored artworks and can be beautiful in themselves, but it is the blood, sweat, tears and constant striving for ranked achievement which really give them their true value and make them a desirable item to have in one’s possession.
In essence, trophies and various awards represent the concept of triumph whilst turning achievement and pride into something hand-held.

Why Would Trophies, Awards and Corporate Gifts Benefit My Company?

Introducing a tangible reward such as a trophy into the corporate space not only serves as a motivational tool, but paves the way for consistency and tradition to give the award more weight once there is a history behind it.

Doing this will also set a kind of benchmark for employees to reach and even strive beyond as they are prompted into action via motivating social and performance comparisons with peers. Awarding employees is also a way for you as the employer to express your appreciation and gratitude for their efforts and work ethic – making this a powerful tool for comradery and pride in the workplace.

How Do I Find Trophies that Uniquely Represent My Company?

Think about the values that your company holds and how you wish to evolve as a business from there. The kind of legacy or tradition you want your company to be synonymous with would probably be a great place to start with custom trophy design. The team at Shades of Ngwenya can assist you in creating your perfect representation in trophy form. For further information, send an inquiry to

The Magic Of A Custom Gift

Custom Wrapped Gift | Shades Of Ngwenya

The Magic Of A Custom Gift

We all have these certain people in our lives that we love, but we struggle to get them meaningful gifts that they would enjoy. This can be because they are fussy people who do not like many things, or they are one of those people who already seem to have everything. The trouble comes in when we know that we cannot always give them vouchers or generic gifts such as chocolate, biltong or even candles. We want our gift to be something that they would greatly appreciate, while still being something that they would use and enjoy. This can become very tricky, especially as the years go on.

Dealing With The Struggle

There is no doubt about it, we love these people in our lives, yet we dread any time we know we have to start the tedious hunt to find them something that they will like and use without giving them a simple or generic gift time after time. Sure, we can give them generic gifts every once in a while, but we also want to express to them how much we appreciate them and value their presence in our lives. We cannot always express that gratitude and admiration with another box of chocolates and a pair of socks.

A Custom Gift

A custom gift is a great way to show the people we love that we care about them and that we pay attention to them. It is a great way to let them know that we truly do want to make them happy and show our appreciation. It is also a great means of getting them something truly unique for their needs and interests. A custom gift is a simple, yet elegant item that you will get created just for that loved one. This could be based on something that they already have like an existing collection, or something that they need, or something that they would just admire.

The Perfect Custom Gift

The best custom gift is something that is personal to that specific person. There are no limitations to the gift as it could be a bar decoration, a study clock, an office paperweight or a new favourite beer glass. The options are there. If you are still stuck on what you could do, be sure to seek the advice of a professional. One such professional is Shades of Ngwenya. Be sure to visit their website to find out more about how they can help you create the best gift.

Interesting Facts About Glassblowing

Interesting Facts About Glass blowing | Shades Of Ngwenya


Interesting Facts About Glassblowing

Glassblowing is an amazing art form which has been evolving for centuries, and has now been elevated to a place you’ll have to see to believe. If you have not been to a local contemporary art event, then you have been missing out, especially if they feature glass artwork. At Shades Of Ngwenya we specialise in glassblowing, handcrafted custom trophies & medals. So we have put together some cool facts that we think you should know about glassblowing!


Volcanoes and lightning bolts were the first glassblowers.

In order to transform raw materials into glass, things need to be heated up to extremely high temperatures. For a better understand of how hot the temperature needs to be in order to create glass, nature originally made it in one of two ways. The first way glass was made, was when lightning struck sand, which sometimes fused it into slender glass tubes called fulgurites. The second way, is via a volcanic eruption, which sometimes fused rocks and sand together into a glass called obsidian.


Glassblowing is as old as the Roman Empire.

Glassblowing originated in the first century before the common era, which actually coincided with the establishment of the Roman Empire. Due to the fact that it appeared at this point in history, it made it easier for glassblowing to spread more quickly, and became all the more popular.


Mold-blowing and free-blowing are the two major methods of glassblowing now.

These days there are two major methods of glassblowing; mold-blowing and free-blowing. Mold-blowing, involves placing a glob of molten glass on the end of a blowpipe, and inflating it into a wooden or metal carved mold. This means that the texture of the bubble of glass is determined by the design on the interior of the mold, rather than the blower’s skill. On the other hand, free-blowing involves blowing short puffs into a molten portion of glass, which has been spooled at one end of the blowpipe.