Longaberger

A real woman decorates!
From the Better Half

Weaving Dreams coverWeaving Dreams: The Joy of Work, the Love of Life
Longaberger
2010

Submitter: It’s about the rise of a woman-owned business that is now bankrupt. It’s condescending and sexist.

Holly: Submitter had to explain to me what was awful about this book. I knew Longaberger was a basket company, and I’ve seen pictures of their cool building. I received a lovely Longaberger basket as a wedding gift in 1996. I had no idea that they went bankrupt last year (May of 2018).

I just checked, and my library has a copy of this book on the shelf. It has three total circulations since 2010 when we bought it, and the most current was in 2016. It’ll be on our weeding list very soon, probably.

This book was written by the woman who was CEO from 1999 to 2015 when she resigned. I’d weed our copy for lack of use, mostly, but also for relevancy. The company no longer exists, and the author wasn’t associated with the company for three years before that.

13 comments

  1. That building is remarkable! What egotism. I wonder what has happened to it — the Wikipedia article linked said that its new owners put it up for sale year.

    1. Still stands proud, tall, and empty in Newark, Ohio. You can’t miss it. I have recent pics of my car on front of it.

    2. It got sold. Still empty. I got so excited the first time I saw the handles in the sky before I actually saw the building.

  2. I toured the building in 1998/1999. It was beautiful from the inside out. I have alot of Longaberger products including a dozen baskets and a complete set of pottery. Their products were handmade in the USA. I purchased them because I thought they were well made.

    1. i bought a Longabarger basket at a party about 20 years ago. small, rectangular, with a wooden divider. really good quality and I love it.

  3. Living in Ohio, those baskets were a really big deal for a few years. I went to one Longaberger basket party; the baskets were pretty expensive. I had one basket, which I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do with, but my neighbor had a houseful.

  4. I have been to the building and went thru the factory,it was a really nice place that made quality baskets. wonder why I see so many of there baskets at garage sales, and on line going so cheap.

  5. The products were high quality handcrafted made in the USA in clean slave free working conditions. It’s a shame they disappeared. I toured the basket and pottery factory and the textile factory. You will be hard pressed to find the quality of products once handcrafted by Longaberger artisans on the shelf of any store today.

  6. My mom has a ton of Longaberger baskets and their ceramic dishware. She actually went on a few tours in their basket building and did a thing where you could make your own basket. It sounded pretty cool!

    It’s a shame they went out of business since their products were actually high quality. (And now if you break a dish, you can’t replace aside from getting lucky on eBay.)

    Apparently the company went under since the last heads of the company (the CEO who wrote the above book and I think one of her sisters???) tried to diversify their products too much beyond baskets and pottery, like purses, jewelry, and other stuff that a million other companies are already doing (and are probably doing better since they’ve been in the game for longer).

    Apparently the public’s changing tastes and the recession lead to a drop in sales and last year, the company suddenly “ceased operations” before closing up entirely.

    And it looks like Longaberger vacated the basket building before closing the company. This is from the Longaberger Wikipedia article:

    “The company stopped paying property taxes on the building at the end of 2014. Workers moved out in 2016.

    In December 2017, the building was purchased by Steve Coon, a Canton, Ohio–based developer who owns Coon Restoration, and his partner, Bobby George, of Cleveland. By November 2018, the pair had put it up for sale.”

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