Bill and Donna Lupien began Lupien’s Gifts and Engraving in 1986, operating out of the back room of their Sears Catalog Merchant Store in Midtown Plaza, Oswego. When Sears bought the couple’s business out in 1998, Donna and Bill opened a storefront on West First Street and their son, Jim, joined the business, becoming an accomplished engraver.
In 1998, the family decided to close the gift store to focus more on the engraving and award side of the business. They moved their business into their home at 139 E. Third St. and expanded their services to include sublimation, a heat transfer process which allowed them to offer more options for personalized awards and gift items.
It was around this time that Jim, newly married, ventured into business with a large, local manufacturing company, where he still works today. The couple continued to grow the successful local business with Bill working as the creative force in the engraving and sublimating departments while Donna focused on customer service and sales.
The Lupien family was devastated in September of 2010 when Bill was diagnosed with fourth-stage lung cancer, passing away in March of 2011. Their children, Debra, LeeAnne and Jim, along with grandson, Devon, all stepped in to help her keep the business going in between their own jobs.
Donna considered selling the business in 2012 while her daughters, Debra, a freelance writer, and LeeAnne, a freelance photographer, continued to learn and help her keep up with orders during the process. By 2014, both Debra and LeeAnne shared with their mom how much they enjoyed working in the family business and more than that, working with her. They asked her to consider allowing them to join her in the company with plans to eventually take it over and continue the family legacy of providing quality custom awards and gifts.
Today, Donna, Debra and LeeAnne are busy expanding the company’s array of services, building its first website and now can be found on Facebook.
“We are known in Central New York not just for the high quality of our work, but also for our extremely personal service and great prices,” Donna said. “I am thrilled that my daughters want to continue Lupien’s Gifts and Engraving and can’t wait to see how far they take it.”