Christian Brands Acquires Universal Designs

Christian Brands April 8, 2015

Christian Brands of Phoenix has acquired the Universal Designs® Company of DeLand, Fla., a family-owned and -operated company founded by Bobbi and Ronald Baugh in 1999 that is focused on providing excellent products and service to the Christian Book Association (CBA). Since 1999, the Universal Designs Company has been managed by the Baughs and has solidified its position as the market leader in paper products, inspirational gifts and related items. Core products include Pass it on® Message Cards and Posters, Names to RememberTM cards, VerseCardsTM and VerseMarksTM.

“We are very pleased to have a new strategic partner who will share our vision for Universal Designs, which has built its business on printing and finishing quality products, fulfilling the unique gift-giving needs of people in the Christian Gift Industry. This team is well versed with the needs of our industry and can help strengthen our position as a leader in the stationery field,” said Bobbi Baugh, president of Universal Designs. “With their resources, and the help of their field sales force, telemarketing staff and sophisticated Web presence, we firmly believe Universal Designs will continue to grow profitably and offer our customers the highest quality products and superior customer service that our industry has come to expect.”

Christian Brands, founded in 1948, is a distribution, importing and manufacturing firm with six distinct catalogs that sell direct to institutions and to an assortment of resellers across the country. Recent acquisitions in its wholesale division include Robert Smith (furniture), Will & Baumer (candles), Creed (jewelry), Heartfelt (wall art), Gerffert (art masterpieces) and RJ Toomey (Apparel). Products in these brands are sold to an assortment of channels within the Christian and secular gift fields with a special emphasis in the Christian retail channel.

Paul DiGiovanni, president of Christian Brands, said, “We are thrilled to be a part of the great heritage at Universal Designs. The Baugh family has combined vision and hard work to build this unique gift brand, and we look forward to continued success in both the secular and Christian Gift arena.”

Christian Brands is headquartered in Phoenix, with manufacturing facilities, a call center and a distribution center in Lewisburg; Tenn.

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