LENEXA, Kansas - For a company that specializes in the small, Monday was a big day. Silpada Designs, a direct seller of sterling silver jewelry, is being bought by Avon for 650 million.
"This moved rather quickly, in a matter of six months," said co-founder and chief executive Jerry Kelly.
Silpada already has annual revenues of about 230 million. Avon will make an initial payment of 650 million for Silpada's assests, including Silpada's headquarters and warehouse in Lenexa. Silpada will continue to operate as a standalone business, and co-founders Jerry and Bonnie Kelly and Teresa will stay with the company.
Started in 1997 by Bonnie Kelly and Teres a Walsh, growth in party planning business steadily grew.
"We weren't interested in exploding and growing to the point we couldn't handle it, we grew very slowly and about three years into it a tipping point was reached and we needed to expand," said Bonnie Kelly, co-founder of Silpada.
Monday, the company has 32,000 independent sales representatives. Far from the humble beginnings in the Kelly's basement.
"Our vision and our passion has always been to empower women and that's what we wanted to do, we were finally able then to give other women our jobs and thats been the joy for us, empowering other women," said Teresa Walsh, cofounder of Silpada.