Mergers & Acquisitions | Jan 16, 2024
The Kravet family of brands has a new member. The New York–based fabric giant has acquired independent company Caroline Cecil Textiles. As part of the deal, Cecil herself will join Kravet and become creative director of her brand. The price was not disclosed.
“This was really a natural fit,” says the textile designer, who founded her Phoenix-based brand in 2015. “I can come in, join this amazing team, learn as an entrepreneur and a designer, and have access to way more resources. … The idea of having industry icons like Scott Kravet discussing my work with me and making it better—there are a lot of reasons why this deal was really exciting.”
In the months ahead, Kravet will begin distributing Cecil’s line. By the end of the year, her collection will be sold in the company’s showrooms and on its website. “We’d been talking [to Cecil] for two years. [Initially] we had put her in contact with some suppliers, and we became friendly,” says Kravet president and CEO Cary Kravet. “She has an artistic point of view, she communicates well, she’s a real entrepreneur, … and she has a really fresh look that doesn’t overlap with our product.”
Acquisitions have long been part of the Kravet playbook, but this one is distinct. Over the course of its 100-plus-year history, the company has snapped up a handful of high-profile luxury houses—some, like GP & J Baker, that date back to the 1800s. This is the first time it has acquired a relatively young indie fabric company.
Kravet plans to group Caroline Cecil with a handful of niche European brands that it distributes in the U.S.—including Andrew Martin, Lizzo and Métaphores—to present a compelling and well-rounded package of boutique lines. The move was partially inspired by feedback from designers.
“Listening to customers, we’d hear, ‘We love you, but we’d like to shop at a little brand,’” says Kravet. “But we have those brands. … [Packaging these companies together] will let our sellers talk about this boutique brand, and our customers can get excited about that under our umbrella.”
For Cecil, the motivation to sell comes partially from a desire to grow, as well as a welcome opportunity to hand off the grind of running a small business. A painter and textile designer, she launched the namesake brand—and its simple-yet-sophisticated aesthetic—cutting samples out of her garage in California before moving to Arizona. (The company will soon be relocating to North Carolina.) “It’s no small task—especially if you’re successful and producing product, it’s a lot to keep up with,” says Cecil. “We were doing great, but I was interested in a way to increase my visibility and turbocharge things.”
Going forward, Cecil will focus on designing the collection and marketing it on social media. Followers of the brand can expect, in a word, more. “We’re currently working on a launch assortment, making small improvements to the collection, rounding it out with different colorways, and then the next step will be me diving in and developing a new collection,” she says. “We’re looking at the performance category and expanding the very small wallpaper offering that I currently have. And you can still expect to see my face on Instagram and Instagram Stories—and just more content around the brand.”
For Kravet, the acquisition of a small independent is a first. It may not be the company’s last. “A lot of the very interesting boutique lines are pleased with what they’re doing. They don’t want to sell,” says Kravet. “But we do see opportunities. And hopefully, this will spur people to provide us with those opportunities.”
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