It didn’t take too long for TouchStone to be scooped up. Gardens Alive! purchased the gifts and home decor catalog and all its assets in May, just two months after TouchStone officials announced they were closing the business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Why did Gardens Alive!, a Lawrenceburg, IN-based horticultural mailer, decide to acquire TouchStone? The quality of the people involved with the catalog, says Gardens Alive! founder/president/CEO Niles Kinerk, “and the chance to add a more upscale brand to our gift businesses.” The TouchStone relaunch is planned for September, he says.
Gardens Alive! will retain three or four key employees of TouchStone, including owner/president Sarah Luce, Kinerk says. Other Touchstone employees could be brought back as well after “we restart the business,” Kinerk adds.
Atlanta-based TouchStone, which sells traditional furniture accents, tableware, lighting, bed and bath accessories and decor, had 16 employees when Luce announced in early March she would have to close the catalog by the end of May. At the time, Luce blamed steep postal rate hikes as the main reason for shuttering the 20-year-old company, as well as the chaotic economy.
Gardens Alive! also includes the Breck’s, Gurney Seeds, Henry Field’s, Michigan Bulb, Spring Hill Nurseries, New Holland Bulb, and Audubon Workshop horticultural catalogs. In the past year, Garden’s Alive! has acquired two former companies of the now-defunct Bluesky Brands–The Paragon and Bits and Pieces.