FRONTENAC —  The stars aligned for new Frontenac business owner Suzy Collins, only two years in and she was honored as one of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Women of Distinction.

Collins purchased Custom Awards in 2016 after working for the company for two years.

Previously, she worked at DEPCO for eight years in layout photography and technical writing until she gave birth to her twins in 2009. She never went back to work until they entered kindergarten.

She purchased Custom Awards and renovated her garage to look like a shop, where she works from home — and no she does not work in pajamas, she said.

Collins said she enjoys where she is located because she can walk her children to school every day and be close to work.  

She engraves name tags, stethoscopes, guitar picks, liquor bottle and more and serves customers across 27 states and many of Pittsburg’s largest employers.

One day, when she took a package of pet grave markers to the humane society, she came home with a cat. His name is Carl and he lounges around the shop.

“He hangs around the shop and he greets everybody,” she said. “He thinks he’s the boss.”

Collins said she was glad to go back to work and have an opportunity to do what she is passionate about.

“Everything came into alignment … I enjoy what I do,” she said.

Aside from business, Collins is active in the community. She serves as an ambassador for the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and as a lector, rosary leader, eucharistic minister and Parish School of Religion catechist at Frontenac Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She is a member of the Frontenac Homecoming Committee and Crawford County Republican Women’s group. She also supports area non profit organizations.
Collins said it was quite a shock to learn she was selected for this year’s Women of Distinction, especially for being new in the business world.

“People out there have been contributing for so long — I’m kind of new,” Collins said. “I was shocked when he told me, it didn’t register right away.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.