Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Good News for Longaberger Basket Lovers


It’s summer, and heat is about all that is really happening here, and everyone is already writing about it or announcing it, so I thought I might just tell you during a recent visit to Ohio, we went to Dresden, Ohio. For Longaberger basket collectors, you already recognize that name: a handmade basket company originally formed in 1919.

My friend really wanted to see how it looked today; being that the company had closed its wildly popular basket making business. Some of you might even remember that the company built its headquarters in a seven-story office building that looked like a giant basket with two, two-ton handles across the top in Newark, Ohio. It was mentioned in newspapers across the country.

When Dave Longaberger died of kidney cancer, his daughters took the helm of the business, but seemed to change the direction their father had been going, and slowly the business died. Dave was from a very large family, and they all helped, but without the genius of Dave Longaberger, the business just couldn’t survive.

The location of the original business was Dresden, and the manufacturing building was located in Frazeysburg, Ohio, which then spread out into other surrounding areas. Dresden had many Longaberger shops, and multiple gift shops that spun off the master business, including restaurants, packing companies, a department store, hotels and bed and breakfasts, dress shops, purses, jewelry and more.

Many businesses died after Dave left this Earth, but others tried to survive. I’ve been back there a few times, and they are making a valiant effort to keep their heads above water, but with so many darling store fronts still visible but closed and the streets looking deserted, we felt they couldn’t hold on much longer, BUT… We arrived and found a new life beginning to emerge! There were only a few shops left from the past, loaded with lots of stock and baskets and parts, and a new shop that just opened two weeks ago! The owner told us that the businesses are working on a comeback, and the Longaberger basket weavers of old are forming a new company and beginning to make baskets again, now under a new name: Dresden & Company.

The Longaberger daughters are planning to pull together a new business before the end of the year. The community is excited and very hopeful. They are distributing a registry and visitors guide called Destination Dresden and have formed an organization called Dresden Community Association,

During July the Dresden community held a Dresden Homecoming, and the big event for July was the Dave Longaberger Legacy Dinner at The Virtues Golf Course in Nashport, Ohio. I understand they had hundreds of people attend from as far away as California! There were speakers, shopping, music, and more. The merchants were saying it was thrilling to see so many people in town.

Coming up next is the Dresden Melon Festival on August 3rd, an all-day event at Dresden River Park. A fun fact: Dresden village was established in 1817.

Why am I writing this? Because so many people come from Ohio, and some of those, and others, are basket collectors and interested in knowing what happened to that company, and probably even more interested to learn that it might be resurrected. I was a collector and supporter and even sold the baskets for a while. I still use them in my little country designed home to give it warm and welcoming feeling.

11 responses to “Good News for Longaberger Basket Lovers”

  1. Gayle Ann says:

    I expected some of the weavers to start a small business aimed at repairs. I found a badly damaged one at a thrift store, and purchased it simply to use for splint repairs. Given that all their properties are up for sale, cheap, they might have some success, although they might have to change the name slightly unless they want to purchase it, which would, in my opinion, be foolish. Longaberger Sisters, etc., would be a cheaper way to go.

    Being from that area, I wouldn’t blame it all on Dave’s death. There were many factors, chiefly bad management, that went into its demise. A business that was sustained on people allocating around $75-$100/month on a basket purchase was doomed to demise, combined with expansion financed through debt, and a complete dismissal of the secondary market didn’t help. Hopefully, those lessons have been learned, and any resurrection will take those lessons to heart.

    That said, I love my baskets, and use them almost every day. They produced a great product. It will be nice, especially for that area, if they do indeed reform the company in some form.

    • Cindi says:

      I have a collection that I would very much like to sell as a whole. Would you be interested in taking a look at some pictures?

  2. Denice says:

    I am so hoping they can bring back the wonderful quality of the original baskets. I was a Longaberger consultant for almost 20 years and I love my baskets. Is there a way to keep up with what is currently happening??

    • Beth Sova says:

      I love Longaberger!!! I was a consultant

      years ago and still love it.

      • Carolee A Jacobsen says:

        Hi Beth,

        I am looking for some history on the JW Miniature collections. Did they all come with their original boxes, certificates of authentication, etc? Do you know of a resource for me? Thank you!

  3. Connie Krieger says:

    I have a longaberger basket with 2 handles and one of the handles needs a new attachment(screw). Can you send me one so my husband could repair it or do I need to send it for the repair?

  4. Ricarda Randall says:

    I have several Longaberger baskets that are in need of repair. I live in Columbus GA
    Very thankful for some advise.

  5. Jane Hines says:

    The baskets sold on QVC are not at all like the previous baskets . Thin and colors are off . Ordered pie basket and after 2 weeks the handle just popped out . Barely had one tack nailed on . These baskets should not be called Longaberger baskets.

  6. Denise says:

    I was also a consultant for several years. I still love my baskets and all my dishes are Longaberger. I was fortunate to go to their 25th anniversary convention. It was an awesome experience that I brought my mother and aunt back on a bus trip out there. We had a blast!! We stayed in one of their hotels and got to enjoy everything longaberger & making a basket. I was so sad to learn when they closed for good. I actually had one of the new colored mugs ordered, which I never received.

  7. Donna Dedinsky says:

    Hello. I’m looking for a Longaberger crafter who can repair some leather on baskets that I love. Can you suggest a contact?

    • Nancy Huntington says:

      Did you have any luck getting help with leather repairs? I have several baskets that the leather needs repair.

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