Bead brand to operate independently; new senior staff named.
Swarovski US Holdings has acquired a 100% stake in bead jewellery brand Chamilia in a move that should strengthen the brand’s position in Europe and North America.
Swarovski has previously operated as a minotiry investor in the Minneapolis-based company and while no deal terms have been disclosed it is believed that the acquisition will enable Chamilia – which uses Swarosvki crystals in a number of designs – to maintain its focus on the European marketplace, utilising Swarovski’s business and design expertise.
Chamilia’s chief executive Douglas Brown is a former Swarovski employee who joined the bead brand in January. He said: "Swarovski had seen great opportunity in 2011 to step into the personalised accessory and fine jewellery arena when it acquired a minority interest in Chamilia.
"As a strategic investor, completing a 100% acquisition of the company was what Swarovski would have originally intended."
Swarovski’s head of its consumer goods business Robert Buchbauer said at a conference during last month’s BaselWorld that the company intended to acquire a number of jewellery businesses in the coming years, in particular those that had already built a name and strength at an international level.
It is understood Chamilia will operate as an independent business unit within Swarovski, maintaining its Minneapolis office.
Douglas Brown will maintain his role as chief executive while Chamilia’s co-founder and designer Killian Reider does not have a formal role at present, though Brown said the company "will leave the doors open for future possibilities with her".
Cathy Ottaviano, head of product and branding for Swarovski’s Touchstone Crystal division, will move to Chamilia as its vice president of products. Peter Englehart, a former group director at Tiffany & Co. has joined the company as director of business development, with more than 20 years’ experience in the jewellery industry.