Ballou Buys Nancy B. & Co.

Jewelry manufacturer B.A. Ballou has purchased jewelry firm Nancy B. & Co. The acquisition was effective May 27. Financial details of the acquisition of the Culver, Calif., jewelry design firm, best known for its gold earrings and colored-stone jewelry, by the 135-year-old Providence, R.I., firm weren’t released.

Founder Nancy Brewster told JCK that discussions with Ballou about acquiring her company began two years ago, when she first approached them to see if they would be interested. “It’s time,” said Brewster, who is in her early 60s.

She told JCK that Nancy B. & Co. will continue as “a separate company” of Ballou and said she and several of her people will stay with it. She will handle product design and expects to remain with the company for at least “five more years.”

The company will be relocated to Ballou’s Providence, R.I., headquarters and be part of its jewelry division, headed by Michael Poissant. Brewster herself isn’t relocating but will work from her home, via computer, and travel to her company’s new site several times a year.

The acquisition provides the Nancy B. & Co. brand and products “greater resources,” she said, in terms of materials, shelf stock, and delivery. It also will give the brand—which sells primarily to department stores and jewelry retailers—”deeper penetration” and the ability to offer more “dating.”

She noted that the acquisition “has advantages for [Ballou], too. We are known for our gold earrings and colored-stone jewelry, where they don’t have a presence.”