Iconic yearbook and class ring brand Balfour & Co. likes to think of itself as “a 100-year-old startup company.” The Dallas-based brand received a majority investment last March from an investor group led by an affiliate of Cerberus Capital. After merging multiple brands last October under the name Balfour & Co., it’s now starting up something new: An exclusive collaboration with Kendra Scott on a new Greek Jewelry Collection.
As one of America’s largest commencement services companies, Balfour has 5,000 employees nationwide. It’s known for everything from caps and gowns to class jewelry and apparel, announcement products, and photography—and millions of yearbooks scribbled with inside gags and notes from fellow graduates.
But today that sound you hear is the murmur of countless frat boys and sorority sisters looking up from their beer pong to ask, “Did someone say Greek jewelry?”
Line represents 108 fraternities and sororities
The Kendra Scott Greek Collection is launching with rings, necklaces, and pendants representing 108 fraternities and sororities. Additional Greek organizations will be added over the next few months. Styles vary by organization, but the overall collection includes three women’s rings, three women’s necklaces, and two men’s rings—all created with Scott’s signature styles, stones, and metals.
The collection is customized, built, and ordered exclusively through Balfour & Co.
“We’re proud to offer our customers such a remarkable way to commemorate their Greek experience and make it truly unforgettable,” said Ryan Esko, CEO of Balfour & Co, in a statement. “Our collaboration with Kendra Scott on this unique Greek line is a natural extension of our highly successful Kendra Scott class ring collection, and we’re thrilled to deepen our relationship with the company.”
Extends a Balfour-Kendra Scott collaboration
This isn’t Balfour’s first dance with Texas-based Kendra Scott. In April 2020, Kendra Scott launched its first-ever brand collaboration with Balfour: a line of eight ring styles and two pendants. Designed to “reinvent tradition,” they gave students a new way to celebrate their academic accomplishments while reflecting their own style.
That 2020 collaboration was formed after the success of Balfour offering a complimentary piece of Kendra Scott jewelry with the purchase of a Balfour class ring in fall 2019.
“The response from customers on the Kendra Scott class rings collection has been beyond our expectations,” said Scott Blevins, Balfour’s chief product officer, in the statement. Now that the company is going Greek, it hopes to spark even greater interest nationwide.
Greek collection is customizable
The Kendra Scott Greek jewelry can be customized in numerous ways. Metal options range from sterling silver to 18-karat gold in white, yellow, and rose. Pieces can be engraved with an organization’s Greek letters, crest and logo, along with personalized elements like a member’s initials, pledge date, and offices held.
“Bringing these styles to an exclusive Greek life allows us to offer additional pieces they can’t get anywhere else,” said Jaclyn Cannon, Balfour’s chief marketing officer.
The collection is sold exclusively at Balfour.com, the company said.
Cerberus Capital became majority equity holder last March
Last March, an investor group led by an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management became the majority equity holder of Balfour’s parent company, American Achievement Corporation. Ryan Esko was appointed CEO at that time. The investment aimed to make the company “well-positioned to further invest in and grow its business for the long-term.”
Consolidating under the Balfour & Co. name
Last October, American Achievement Corporation rebranded itself as Balfour & Co., consolidating all its seven brands, including Balfour and parent company Iconic Brands, under the new Balfour & Co. name.
“Bringing our various businesses together under one corporate name fits our strategy of teamwork and delivering excellence to our customers every day,” Esko said at the time. “The further investment by our new owners gives us the fuel to deliver excellence, to further innovate, and launch our next phase of growth.”
That next phase of growth is already underway—and it has a Greek accent.
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