“We had been looking for a strategic partner with the necessary resources and expertise to help take Nancy’s Notions to the next level,” Tacony CEO Kristi Tacony Humes said in a press release. “We feel Missouri Star Quilt Company provides Nancy’s Notions with a unique opportunity for growth because of its success and experience in both the quilting and sewing markets.” The sale went into effect on May 27.
Tacony Corporation is a leading distributor and manufacturer of consumer and commercial goods.
Tacony bought Nancy’s Notions from founder Nancy Zieman in 2003. Zieman founded the company 41 years ago from her basement. Its first warehouse was in a chicken shack on the Zieman family farm. Nancy’s Notions grew into a 100,000 square foot warehouse that included a retail store and annual retreat. Zieman hosted the longest-airing sewing series on television, Sewing with Nancy on Wisconsin Public Television, which first aired in 1982. She passed away in November 2017 after a two-year battle with bone cancer.
“We are excited to add the Nancy’s Notions brand to the Missouri Star Quilt Company family,” said Missouri Star CEO Michael Mifsud in the press release.
“Nancy Zieman was a great inspiration to so many and we are excited to honor her legacy and also introduce her love of sewing to a new generation of creators.”
Missouri Star Quilt Company currently offers one of the largest selections of precut fabrics in the world and ships thousands of packages to customers across the globe every day. Their YouTube channel has over 650,000 subscribers and almost 200 million views and new quilting tutorials are published every week. Their Hamilton, MO headquarters have become a tourist destination, attracting quilters from near and far who want to come experience the “Disneyland of Quilting” with 12 themed quilt shops, a retreat center and education center. What started out as a family business has grown to include an entire community.
Jenny Doan and Nancy Zieman.
Over the years, Tacony had whittled down Nancy’s Notions. In July 2019 Tacony shut down the Nancy’s Notions retail store in Beaver Dam citing competitive pressure, presumably from ecommerce. They also discontinued the annual Sewing Weekend retreat and warehouse sale. In the years leading up to those closures, many quilters and sewists felt that Tacony had mismanaged Nancy’s Notions, allowing the once-beloved brand to decline. Tacony’s leadership of Nancy’s Notions was described by some as “joyless” and “lacking in enthusiasm.”
Perhaps Missouri Star will be a better home for Nancy’s Notions. Nancy’s Notions was founded by a television star who was best known for demonstrating sewing techniques in a friendly, approachable way. Missouri Star’s Jenny Doan has a similar mission and has won similar acclaim.
According to Humes, this sale is not a sign of financial duress for Tacony. “Our businesses remain strong and this divestiture will help us focus on the customer experience across our core brands as we move forward,” said Humes in the press release. “Delivering exceptional customer experience is our top priority and Tacony continues to challenge status quo to ensure we stay true to the values that have made us successful for over 74 years.”