About designworks investments
DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS is a private investment firm focused on the equity and liquidity needs of small businesses in the gift and stationery industry. Established by Joseph Moore, a 25-year industry veteran, the firm’s mission is to help owners expand their business opportunities, increase brand and product awareness, improve operating efficiencies, and, most importantly, build profit and brand equity.
The firm’s primary interest is in recapitalization opportunities – joining side-by-side in equity ownership with founders and owners – and working together to grow business. In fact, DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS prefers to partner with creative owners and entrepreneurs who want to stay with their companies. Potential partner companies are design-driven, niche-oriented, and generating revenues between $3 million and $25 million.
Working With Us
DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS looks for companies with entrepreneurial owners who want to grow their businesses and make them more profitable. When you work with us, you have a partner who will help you solve problems, meet challenges, and remove obstacles for growth. This relationship has three distinct phases: the transaction, the investment period, and the exit.
During this very important stage, three key criteria need to be realized. First, there must be a shared expectation in both the product and long-term growth opportunities. Second, we look for positive chemistry, shared values, and a partnership spirit. Third, we must agree on the value of the business and establish an open and transparent working relationship.
As an owner, your heart, sweat, and tears are in your company. Discussions of selling or bringing in a partner are often emotional. At DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS, we have all owned and operated our own businesses. We know the sensitivities and emotions involved in a transaction. We recognize the importance of company associates. And, we understand and appreciate the need for confidentiality and discretion.
The Investment Period
This is where DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS’ approach differs from so many others. We are not merely investors in your business – we function as your partner, providing strategic support and complementary skill sets in financial analysis, working capital planning/projections, sales and marketing, and operational review. We work with you side-by-side as an equity partner to do whatever is necessary to recalibrate the growth curve of your company. Our objective is to help you get back to the fun, creativity, and product that first fueled your entrepreneurial spirit. Normally, the investment period will run four to six years. However, the investment period and partnership may extend beyond this window if the profitability and dividend stream are supportive and the partners wish to maintain a working relationship.
Once your business has met the targeted sales and profitability goals, we will work together to determine the next steps. This may be mean the sale of the company, refinancing owners’ interests, or merger with a like-minded firm. Possibly you’ll prefer to continue the partnership arrangement with DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS. Then a buy-and-hold strategy would also be an option.
Partners & Investors
Prior to establishing DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS, Joseph Moore was president and vice chairman of CR Gibson, a privately held company in the gift and stationery industry. Experienced in both start-ups and leveraged buyouts, Moore coordinated four acquisitions and one divestiture during the last 10 years, successfully integrating those businesses into CR Gibson. In 2001, Moore and partners took CR Gibson private in a leveraged transaction. After de-leveraging the company and generating double-digit increases in revenues and profits, he successfully sold CR Gibson to CSS Industries, a company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Prior to that, Moore served as executive vice president for Thomas Nelson Publishers, a public company. There, he directed the company’s book publishing and gift units and served on the board of directors.
In 2014, Tom Harris retired from Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Inc (formerly Thomas Nelson, Inc.) with approximately 38 years of total service with HCCP and its subsidiaries, holding various offices including Senior Vice President and Secretary. During his tenure at HCCP, Harris led most of the companies acquisitions and divestures. Additionally, Harris served as Vice President of Corporate Development for Rand McNally’s Internet Service Provider Group for 8 years and led acquisitions both domestically and internationally. While at Rand, Harris managed Netscape’s outsourced manufacturing, call centers and localization services in America, Europe, and the Far East. During his tenures with HCCP and Rand McNally, Harris lead many startups and is an experienced integrated financial modeler.
In 2011, George joined DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS after serving as the Senior Vice President of Production and Operations at C.R. Gibson. George has over 30 years of experience in sourcing and manufacturing a broad range of book & stationary products. In addition, George has worked with domestic and international manufacturers throughout his career and is an expert in production and distribution. He now serves as the Executive Vice President of Operations for DESIGNWORKS COLLECTIVE and is integral in supporting and developing all of our brands.
As both investor and strategic partner, DESIGNWORKS INVESTMENTS seeks situations where its capital, industry contacts, and business acumen can significantly impact a company’s growth and profitability. We are focused on investing in and partnering with companies that have proprietary products and unique market positions – primarily in the gift and stationery, decorative home accents, candle, natural products, personal care, and publishing industries. We want to work with young companies that have been in operation for at least five years and have grown quickly, but now want to take their businesses to the next level.
key criteria include:
|Revenue:||$3 To $25 Million|
|Eb I Tda:||$500,000 To $3 Million|
|Product Categories:||Gift And Stationery, Home Décor, Candles, Natural Products, Personal Care, Publishing|
|Niche Oriented:||A Focus On Defined Products Or Segments|
|Brand Recognition:||Retailer Recognized Brands And Packaging|
|Customers:||Specialty And Independent Retailers|
|Management:||Owner/Management Involvement Preferred|
|Operating History:||Five Years Minimum|