|Roman Inc., Cottage Garden Collections merge|
|Written by Rhonda Sholar|
|Friday, 16 January 2009 11:07 AM America/New_York|
Family-owned, inspirational-driven gift companies ‘come together and survive’ in gloomy economy
In a move prompted by the gloomy economy, Roman Inc. and Cottage Garden Collections have merged, with officials for both family-owned, inspirational-driven gift companies saying the alliance will bring stronger and more innovative products and programs to retailers nationwide.
Although both were profitable, award-winning companies before the merger, Roman and Cottage Garden officials saw that the marketplace was softening, and that partnering with another fiscally healthy company that had similar business practices and values made economic sense.
“We’re two families coming together in tough times and saying: ‘We’ve got a successful thing going, but no one knows what the future holds. Can we come together healthy and survive the downturn?’ ” Mark Timm, whose wife, Angela, founded Bainbridge, Ind.-based Cottage Garden in 1996, told Christian Retailing.
A distributor of more than 8,000 gifts and decorative accessories, Bloomingdale, Ill.-based Roman was founded in 1963 by Ronald Jedlinski—whose son-in-law, Dan Loughman, now serves as president and CEO.
“Business isn’t just about introducing product, ” he told Christian Retailing. “It’s about inspiring the employees, customers and consumers involved in bringing that product into the marketplace.”
“Not only did our 30 employees not lose their jobs, we just made the future of our staff more secure,” said Timm, noting that both companies could see an expansion in their workforce.
Cottage Garden became a division of Roman due to the merger—announced in October. Although the controlling interest will be held by the Roman board of directors, Timm will continue as president of Cottage Garden, and Loughman as president and CEO of Roman. Angela Timm and Julie Loughman will remain involved in the strategic planning for both companies.
Retailers will see packaging that’s reflective of the merger, including a new Cottage Garden logo, and art properties by popular Christian artists, including Kathy Fincher and Tammy Repp, will be featured in Roman and Cottage Garden products, company officials said.
Roman garnered the Turnaround of the Year Award in 2007 from the Turnaround Management Association Chicago/Midwest Chapter. Cottage Garden was named first runner-up for the 2008 National Small Business of the Year, which included an awards ceremony at The White House.