Longaberger® baskets are American-made baskets from the Longaberger® Company, which is based in Newark, Ohio. All Longaberger® baskets are made by hand by the company's skilled basketweavers and sold by independent home consultants or through the Longaberger® Factory Store in Frazeysburg, Ohio. The Longaberger® Company offers a wide variety of handmade baskets for decoration as well as storage, and even portable purse-like baskets for carrying items on-the-go. Longaberger® baskets are popular with collectors worldwide.
J.W. Longaberger was a basketmaker for the Dresden Basket Factory in Dresden, Ohio, from 1919 until the factory closed during the Great Depression in 1927. Basketweaving continued to be a hobby for Longaberger even after the factory closed, and he opened the Ohio Ware Basket Company when he and his wife were able to purchase the original Dresden Basket Factory in 1936. One of the couple's 12 children, Dave, became a successful business owner. Dave noticed that baskets were becoming popular in the 1970s, and he asked his father to make some baskets to sell in a local shop. The baskets were a huge hit, and J.W.'s Handwoven Baskets was born.
These handmade baskets became popular in the local market, and Dave experimented with different sales methods to expand his consumer base. In 1978, Dave saw that home shows led by an experienced representative were the most successful method of selling Longaberger® baskets. In-home sales consultants could talk with consumers about the craftsmanship involved in Longaberger® baskets, as well as share the company's proud history. Direct sales remain the Longaberger® Company's most successful sales method, and as of 2010, the company employed more than 45,000 independent home consultants across the United States (US).
Dave Longaberger passed away in 1999, but his daughter, Tami, remained as President of the Longaberger® Company. Tami introduced other home and lifestyle products to the company's lineup, and these products have helped the company grow far beyond baskets. While baskets still remain the Longaberger® Company's most popular products, the company also produces and sells pottery and wrought-iron products, as well as fabric basket accessories and specialty food items.
The Longaberger® Company has home consultants in every US state. Longaberger® baskets and other products are available through home parties and sales events, as well as through the company's website. The website also contains resources and information for those who wish to become an independent home consultant or host a Longaberger® home show.