Eclipse Awards' Origin Story

By Toby Barazzuol - Founder & Dream Leader

Origin Story copy

The questions I’ve been asked the most over the past 25 years are “How did you end up starting an awards company, and why did you name it Eclipse Awards?”, so I wanted to share my story of how it all came together. 

People think that I talk about the uplifting power of recognition because I lead an awards company, but the truth is I started an awards company because I witnessed firsthand the uplifting power of recognition!

My origin story starts in a bathtub as a child. Every week my mom would put us kids in the bath and I always looked forward to playing with the bar of soap because I could scrub it with my hands to create an endless stream of bubbles and foam - the cloud of bubbles would sparkle and continually grow, while the bar of soap seemed like it never disappeared. It felt like magic at the time, and I became fascinated with the idea of creating an endless stream of wonderful stuff out of something so simple. That fascination eventually  became my philosophy of how I approach business.

Fast forward 2 decades and I had graduated from business school, done some travelling, and was trying to figure out what to do with my life. A friend put me in touch with a tiny company exporting log homes to Japan and they hired me. My boss there had a side hustle making crystal awards and trophies and asked me to run that for him as well. So I learned how to design and sandblast, and found I really enjoyed making beautiful things!

Over time, I ended up attending dozens of awards ceremonies to watch our awards being presented and I began noticing that most people receiving awards were overcome with happiness and pride, often crying tears of joy upon being recognized, appreciated and celebrated. Even people in the crowd witnessing the recognition could be moved emotionally, and I was no exception. I witnessed it time and again, and though I didn’t fully understand it then, it was always such a powerful, primal and uplifting experience that I decided I wanted to help bring more of that positive energy into the world.

So on April 1, 1998 I opened the doors at Eclipse Awards.

I chose the name Eclipse Awards because I wanted to conjure the image of a powerful natural experience that leaves you feeling exhilarated and full of wonder, which is what it feels like to be recognized and appreciated. 

And that, my friends, was the start of the journey that we are still on today. I invite you to join us on our journey as we share what we learn from recognizing and celebrating the wonderful qualities that make us human!

Toby Signature

Recognize. Empower. Repeat. 

Toby Barazzuol

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