Ballard Designs is a catalog and online retail company that sells European-inspired furniture designs and other housewares. Its parent company is Cornerstone Brands and it is a subsidiary of HSN Inc. There are currently two retail stores in Florida and three outlet stores, two near its corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia and one near its distribution center in West Chester, Ohio. Customers are able to shop in-store, online or through a catalog by calling a toll free number.
Ballard Designs was founded in 1983 by Helen Ballard Weeks. Ballard Weeks got her start in the retail industry after winning Metropolitan Home magazine's home decorating contest. When the photos of her Buckhead condo were published, more than 500 readers contacted the magazine asking where they could buy furnishings and other décor items like hers, especially a dolphin-based table. A year later, Ballard Weeks quit her job, sold her home and started Ballard Designs. Her concept was to sell affordably priced, antique-inspired furniture and home décor largely based on her shopping finds from antique markets in Europe. The first catalog, a simple two-page black-and-white brochure, featured a replica of the dolphin-based from her home. It became Ballard Designs' first big seller.
In 1997 Ballard Designs merged with Cornerstone Brands, publisher of several home and apparel catalogs, including Frontgate, Garnet Hill and Smith+Noble. Ballard Designs later became a subsidiary of HSN, Inc. after Cornerstone Brands was acquired by IAC/Interactive Corp. in 2005. In 2007, Ballard Designs opened its first retail store in Tampa and expanded a year later to Jacksonville.
Ballard Weeks continued to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Ballard Designs until she retired in 2002. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Brands.