Tacony Celebrates 65 Years

January 1, 2011

This year, Tacony Corporation is proud to celebrate its 65th Anniversary.  Tacony has spent decades offering independent retailers popular brands such as Baby Lock sewing machines, Riccar and Simplicity vacuums and Koala Studios. Tacony knows that its success is dependant on the success of its customers and has maintained the culture of customer service introduced by its founder. 

In 1946, after returning from the War, Nick started a small business selling and servicing sewing machines from the basement of his home. He invested his savings in used machines, motors and parts, and worked diligently in an industry that had been ignored during the country’s industrial support for the War. Over the next two decades, his business grew to become a Tacony distribution network supporting independent retailers throughout the U.S. 

Nick’s success was in large part due to his development of a family rapport with customers. He made sure that every employee and customer felt like they were a part of his family.

In 1970, Ken Tacony joined his father in the business. When Nick Tacony passed away in 1984, Ken assumed the leadership of Tacony Corporation. Under Ken’s guidance, Tacony has grown far beyond being a large distributor of sewing machine parts. Today, Tacony Corporation imports, distributes, and manufactures a full range of products for independent retailers to market to homes and businesses. Tacony has become a truly diversified worldwide consumer products company with over 645 dedicated associates maintaining twelve offices and showrooms. Ken Tacony’s three children, Kristin Tacony Humes, Kennon Tacony and Korbin Tacony, also play significant roles in the Company. In each of their roles, the Tacony family emphasizes the importance of setting Tacony Corporation apart from the competition by providing exceptional customer service to the independent retailer. 

In the past decade, Tacony has experienced incredible growth with the acquisition of several brands, including Koala Studios custom-built furniture, the Tornado, CleanMax and Truvox floor care brands, and Mac Molding injection molding. Tacony has also opened the first Vacuum Cleaner Museum with one of the most rare and extensive collections in the world. This collection is a valuable resource for the product development team. 

Existing brands have also experienced vast growth. Thanks to an impressive selection of innovative machines, Baby Lock is now proud to count famed “sewlebrities” such as Nancy Zieman, Eleanor Burns, Martha Pullen and Kay M. Capps Cross among their spokespersons. These popular women participate in events around the country, promoting Baby Lock and, as a result, participating retailers’ stores. Baby Lock is also the underwriter of the popular programs Sewing with Nancy, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting and Quilt in a Day, giving a national presence to further drive traffic to independent retailer locations. 

1997, Ken Tacony made the landmark decision to move the production of Riccar and Simplicity upright vacuum cleaners from Taiwan to St. James, Missouri. Since the initial move, the Tacony Manufacturing facility has expanded four times and has created over 150 jobs, making it one of the largest employers in St. James. Today, the 190,000 sq. ft. facility is home to state-of-the-art equipment for high tech painting, injection molding, solid modeling design, prototyping and detailed testing using ASTM standards. This facility is also home to the Vacuum Cleaner Museum.

Tacony’s manufacturing (and the amount of jobs) continues to grow each year. In the past 2 years, Tacony has begun manufacturing Simplicity and Riccar premier canisters and heaters in St. James. Tacony also owns three other manufacturing facilities. Koala Studios are custom-built in Chicago, Illinois; Truvox products are manufactured in Southampton, England; and Tornado and Powr-Flite products are manufactured at the Fort Worth, Texas facility. Today, retailers of Tacony products can proudly tell customers that many products are made in the USA.

Tacony’s sense of innovation has stretched beyond the products it sells and manufactures to the products it actually develops. For 15 years, Tacony’s Research and Development Team has developed product concepts from the original idea to production. Tacony’s engineers create the design and mechanical tooling, as well as develop their own testing equipment for research and quality control. 

Tacony’s team of 12 engineers confidently competes with larger companies by creating exclusive, sought-after features that give retailers a clear advantage in today’s market. To date, the Research and Development Team has developed several dozen patents, including upright and canister vacuum technology like the revolutionary Tandem Air motor system. Tacony’s engineering staff works primarily at the headquarters in Fenton, Missouri, with additional engineers at the St. James, Fort Worth, Southampton and Suzhou facilities. 


The Research and Development Team works closely alongside the Manufacturing, Technical, and Marketing Teams. Together, they can identify potential problems, react to new industry trends and perfect products before they are mass-produced. In doing so, Tacony has the rare gift of bringing products to retailers with speed and the ability to quickly react to market fluctuations.


Tacony Corporation also maintains an “open door policy” that allows every employee, no matter what position, to feel comfortable sharing concerns and ideas with anyone in management or directly with Ken himself. Ken and the rest of the leaders of Tacony remain as accessible as possible to employees, retailers, and consumers. This extra effort and care has lead to a corporate culture that truly embodies Tacony’s corporate motto: Tradition. Trust. Teamwork.

In every step of the way, Ken Tacony has incorporated a sense of family into the corporation built by his father. One of the most significant corporate goals of Tacony Corporation’s mission statement is to “build long-lasting relationships that are based on trust and feel like family.” Tacony’s primary objective is to ensure that the retailer will always be served with quality products, prompt delivery and the best customer service in the industry. Ken Tacony understands that Tacony’s success is based on the success of its retailers, making independent retailers the #1 priority of Tacony Corporation.