Chapter 10. Making Things Right: A Consultant's Story of Longaberger Values

One of the many luxuries Longaberger has enjoyed since our founding in 1973 is our customers' loyalty. Scores of stories have ascended to my seventh-story office about men and women who bought their first basket decades ago, only to shepherd their child into Longaberger as she grows and prepares to leave for college or establish her own home. It's a wonderful evolution, really: Mother sharing with daughter, passing on treasured heirlooms along with new pieces made for today's modern home.

It's not just the beauty and practicality of our baskets that foster allegiance and fidelity. Our customers also appreciate the craftsmanship displayed in our American-made ware. Like a growing number of citizens, these customers value quality products made by hand by U.S. workers. During these times of high technology and computers and mass production, handmade sets us apart and makes us unique.

Basketmaking has been in our family for over 100 years, handed down much in the same way that we expect our baskets to be. We use the same basic techniques today that my Grandfather J.W. knew so well and taught to his kids decades ago—the ones I have learned myself and that my own children have come to know. There's a history in what we do—a sense of legacy and Americana associated with Longaberger baskets that you won't find elsewhere.

Part of our success lies in the fact that we educate and instruct our Basketmakers on these techniques ...

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