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Supporter Spotlight: Ludies EST
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Go to Ludie’s EST (Embroidery, Screen-printing and Trophies), 2204 Elm St., for custom-made products that fit an individual’s request.

The store has created custom plaques, trophies and T-shirts for most of the schools and small businesses in Newton County, along with many individual requests. They have also donated several plaques and trophies to charitable groups like Habitat for Humanity.

Owner Scott Childers said Ludie’s strongest asset is its winning customer service.

"A lot of our business comes from word-of-mouth," he said. "People know how we work and that we will get them quick turnaround on their orders."

He runs the business with his daughter Kristen Childers. She also understands the importance of customer service to Ludie’s success.

"Even if it is something we don’t normally do, we will work with you and do what we can to meet your needs," she said.

When Ludie’s opened 28 years ago, it was mostly a sporting goods store. Upon noticing a market for the embroidery, screen printing and trophies, the store added to its services.

‘Ludie’s’ was a nickname given to Scott Childers’ father, who first owned the business "His real name was William, but everybody called him ‘Ludie’," said Kristen Childers. "The name just stuck, so he used it for the store."

The store was eventually given to Scott and his brother. The siblings split the business in 2004, into sporting goods and Scott Childers’ shop.

"It just worked out better that way," Scott Childers said. "He would concentrate on sporting goods and I would deal with EST."

Kristen earned a degree in healthcare management a few years ago but found working at the family business to be more personally rewarding.

"I love it here," she said. "The customers are great and it’s the reason why I loved coming to work every day. It’s made me realize this is what I want to do."