MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT has learned that the gifts catalogs Siegler & Co. and Treasures From a Bygone Era closed down before the holidays. Siegler & Co., which first mailed in 1994 as the Sovietski Collection, and Treasures, which was spun off in 2001, were owned by San Diego-based Direct Ventures.
The Sovietski Collection was started with $50,000 in start-up capital by Mitch Siegler in 1992. Siegler sold wholesale Russian handicrafts to specialty shops and large retailers such as Pier 1 and Nordstrom, and in 1994 developed an eight-page consumer catalog selling wristwatches, clocks, and other items. Sovietski Collection had grown to a high of $10 million in sales in 2001.
In 2004 Siegler changed Sovietski Collection’s name to Siegler & Co. to expand the cataloger’s merchandising scope beyond the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. Direct Ventures invested in the business that same year, but by 2006 things had apparently gone downhill. Siegler, who would not comment for this story, resigned his post in July 2006 and is now a consulting parter with San Rafael, CA-based Lenser. The Siegler and Treasures lists have been sold for non-exclusive usage and are off the market. Siegler & Co. had 33,000 12-month buyers, while Treasures had 17,000.