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Helen Ballard Weeks founded Ballard Designs after winning the Southern Region of a 1982 Metropolitan Home contest for home of the year. Her Atlanta condominium was photographed for the magazine, and more than 500 people contacted Metropolitan Home asking where they could find furnishings like hers.
Sensing a great business opportunity, Helen quit her job and sold her award-winning condominium to start Ballard Designs. The first issue of her catalog was published in August 1983, a two-page, black-and-white brochure. Her featured item was a replica of a table found in her own home.
Today, Ballard Designs is one of the premier mail-order sources for fine home furnishings and accents. A full-color catalog is published monthly, and 60 million are circulated around the country each year. The one-woman start-up now employs a full staff at its corporate office, distribution centers and outlet stores.
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