For decades, the Longaberger name has been synonymous with American quality and prestige. The Longaberger Company offers a multitude of handmade baskets and collectibles that spawn a franchise of in-home shows and sales rivaling Tupperware and Avon. The female dominated corporation monopolized the Forbes Magazine’s 500 Largest Firms List in the 1990s.
David Longaberger, born in 1934 in Dresden, Ohio, was the champion for the underdog, as he grew up in a low income family. In his lifetime, he overcame the diversity of both epilepsy and a speech impediment to create a lucrative empire, the Longaberger Company. His philanthropist spirit led him to share his wealth with his hometown, by donating a portion of his profits to his community.
A great lover of history, Longaberger utilized his wealth to preserve the history of Dresden. His redoubtable prosperity and charitable nature saved a multitude of historical buildings. Among these buildings were the Dresden Woolen Mill, The Cox House, The Dresden Hotel, and the Prospect Place Mansion. Longaberger’s influence led citizens of Dresden to follow suit and begin their own restoration projects throughout the city.
After his high school graduation, Longaberger worked as a door to door salesman. He then worked within factories, and finally he landed an eight year gig as a salesman and delivery man for Dresden bakeries. His first business venture was the Dresden ice cream parlor, which led to his ownership of a grocery store. These companies brandished the name Popeye’s in reference to Longaberger’s own nickname.
The History of the Longaberger Collectibles
JW Longaberger’s unique style of basket weaving served as the driving influence behind the Longaberger Company. In the 1970s, David convinced his father, JW to construct a collection of woven, wooden baskets to present to a retail market. Impressed with the high quality of these baskets clients paid up to $10 or more for each basket.
In honor of his father, Longaberger launched JW’s Handwoven Baskets. This new business venture featured high quality baskets constructed of maple veneer, copper rivets, leather hinges, and a light stain. The basket weavers signed and dated each basket in the fashion that is a Longaberger Company trademark style.
Initially, the Longaberger Company lacked the prosperity of Longaberger’s previous business ventures. A reexamination of his business practices at the behest of his sales consultant, Charlene Cuckovich led Longaberger to a flourishing epiphany. Longaberger realized that the history of his family and the Ohio Ware Basket Company added a unique level of authenticity to sales pitches. He learned that the notion of a family driven from poverty through hard work and determination allowed customers to find reference and relate to this growing family business.
Longaberger followed up on this epiphany by performing in-home sales. This concept proved prosperous and, by the late 1980s Longaberger purchased the Hartville Veneer Factory to house the company. Today Longaberger is among the most profitable basket and collectible manufacturers in the country. Longaberger’s daughters, Tami and Rachel Longaberger Stukey, serve as the CEO and President of the foundation that now operates the Longaberger Company.
Types of Longaberger Collectibles
Longaberger TV Time Sort and Store Basket Combo
The Longaberger TV Time Sort and Store Basket Combo feature a woven mable design with divided sections. This basket option is perfect for dividing TV remotes and accessories. The basket is lightweight, and it features a warm, brown stain.
Longaberger Collectors Club Compote
The Longaberger Collectors Club Compote measures 13 inches round and stands 6.75 inches in height. The woven stand is perfect for freshly baked biscuits or rolls. The compote is also terrific for displaying imitation fruit arrangements.
Longaberger Napkin Carrier Basket and Protector
The Longaberger Napkin Carrier Basket and Protector offer plenty of space for dinner napkins or small picnic items such as silverware. This woven basket features a two tone maple construction with sturdy handles. The sturdy handles feature button style connectors providing for country style appeal.
Longaberger Trim Basket—Bread Red Star
The Longaberger Trim Basket—Bread Red Star is oblong shape, with a lightly, stained design. A red star band surrounds the top edge of this bread basket to add aesthetic appeal. The bread basket is available with a linen liner which contributes to the authenticity of the basket design.
Longaberger Halloween Treats Basket Combo
The Longaberger Halloween Treats Basket Combo features an oval shaped basket complete with removable liner and sturdy plastic lid. The basket comes with a handmade doily which showcases warm fall flowers. The bottom of the basket features a solid and sturdy oak construction to hold the basket securely in place.
Longaberger Basket Founders Market Basket Combo
The Longaberger Basket Founders Market Basket Combo is a top of the line Longaberger basket which brandishes the Longaberger name across its braided band. This large scale picnic basket features a leather-like weave which features a hard maple veneer construction. This basket features a solid oak lid that secures safely to the basket.
Longaberger American Work Combo with Lid
The Longaberger American Work Combo Basket features a solid maple veneer lid, leather side straps, and the traditional Longaberger woven design. These baskets are available in sage and light brown.
Longaberger Pottery Set
The Longaberger Pottery Set is available in a beautiful mint green. This set consists of three nesting bowls which range in size from 10 to 18 ounces. These bowls feature a vitrified china pottery construction. Around each bowl is a band etched into the Longaberger basket style. The bowls feature a smooth texture and are a lovely addition to any Longaberger collection.
Longaberger Small Oval Gathering Basket
The Longaberger Small Oval Gathering Basket features the original style of the gathering baskets created in the 1800s in the Ohio Basket Mill. This basket features a linen liner protected by a plastic coating. These maple woven baskets feature long sturdy handles for easy transport.
The Longaberger Company was founded years ago by Dave Longaberger, and started out as a company that specialized in baskets. Now, Longaberger not only offers beautiful, high quality baskets, but has added other products to its long list of decorative collectibles. Some of these products include dinnerware/pottery, wrought iron, purses, trays, and food items.
In conclusion, the Longaberger name reflects high-quality and prestige. These baskets and collectibles feature the unique woven style which was JW Longaberger trademark. An owner of these products holds a piece of family history idyllic to pass down throughout generations to come.
Many people are introduced to their first Longaberger baskets upon attending a “Longaberger Party.” Of course, since these hand-crafted Longaberger baskets are such high quality baskets, they soon convert a lot of the Longaberger Party attendees into Longaberger collectors. The good news now is that with the internet, you don’t have to wait until you are invited to a Longaberger Party in order to get your Longaberger products!