The Longaberger Company
|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, potentially preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (April 2014)|
Longaberger headquarter building, modeled on a giant Longaberger Medium Market Basket.
|Headquarters||Newark, Ohio, United States|
|Products||Baskets and other home products|
The Longaberger Company is an American manufacturer and distributor of handcrafted maple wood baskets and other home and lifestyle products. It was one of the primary employers in the area near Dresden, Ohio with more than 8,200 employees until 2003 when it was forced to start laying off employees. There are currently 340 full-time and part-time employees. Seventy of those still make baskets. Started in Dresden, the company is now headquartered in Newark, Ohio. A family-owned and operated business, the Longaberger Company was started by Dave Longaberger in 1973, and is currently led by John Rochon Jr. who is a CVSL director and son of the CVSL chairman. A combination of bad economic times and changing tastes in home decor combined to send sales, which peaked in 2000 at $1 billion, to about $100 million in 2012. Several rounds of layoffs have occurred.
Longaberger used direct marketing to sell products. The company had approximately 45,000 independent distributors (called Home Consultants) in the United States who sold Longaberger products directly to customers.
The Longaberger corporate headquarters on State Route 16 is a local landmark and a well-known example of novelty architecture, since it takes the shape of the company's biggest seller, the "Medium Market Basket". The seven-story, 180,000-square-foot building was designed by The Longaberger Company, and executed by NBBJ and Korda Nemeth Engineering. The building opened in 1997. The basket handles weigh almost 150 tons and can be heated during cold weather to prevent ice damage. Originally, Dave Longaberger wanted all of the Longaberger buildings to be shaped like baskets, but only the headquarters was completed at the time of his death. About 50% of the building has been listed for lease.
On May 5, 2015, it was announced that Tami Longaberger, who led The Longaberger Co. since her father died in 1999, resigned as chief executive officer and director of the company. 
In 1919, J.W. Longaberger accepted an apprenticeship with The Dresden Basket Factory. Although the Dresden Basket Factory closed as a result of The Great Depression, he still made baskets on the weekends. He and his wife Bonnie Jean Longaberger (Gist) eventually raised enough money to purchase the closed basket factory and start a business of their own.
One of J.W. and Bonnie's children, Dave, opened J.W.'s Handwoven Baskets in 1973. Starting in 1978, the company began selling Longaberger baskets through home shows using a direct marketing model. Each basket is handmade, signed and dated by the maker.
- Tim, Feran (April 25, 2013). (April 25, 2013). The Columbus Dispatch http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2013/04/25/longaberger-new-owner-seeking-more-direct-sales-companies.html. Missing or empty
- Sullivan, Mary Ann. "Longaberger Company Home Office". Art History Webmaster Assoc. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
- The Longaberger Company. "Longaberger Facts & Features". Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- Zurcher, Neil (2008). Ohio Oddities 2nd Edition. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59851-047-8
- Mallett, Kent (May 5, 2015). "Tami Longaberger resigns as company CEO". Newark Advocate. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- The Longaberger Company. "The History of The Longaberger Company". Retrieved 2008-01-08.
Media related to The Longaberger Company at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- The Travel Channel "John Ratzenberger's Made In America".
- World Collectors Net Longaberger Information and Message Board