Cover image for Longaberger : an American success story
Longaberger : an American success story
Longaberger, Dave.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperBusiness, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxii, 234 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TS910 .L66 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Dave Longaberger was one of the most remarkable entrepreneurs of his generation. His vision, his unorthodox business methods, and his belief in people resulted in the creation of one of the largest and most successful private companies in America.

Longaberger: An American Success Story is Dave's fascinating firsthand account of how he created and grew his company into the largest basket manufacturer in the United States, employing thousands of people, revitalizing his community, and inspiring everyone involved with a commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and a unique management philosophy.

As Dave himself admits in this moving and compelling memoir, he was an unlikely success story. In addition to having epilepsy and a stutter, Dave suffered from a learning disorder, finally graduating high school at the age of twenty-one. Yet, he ran two profitable businesses, a restaurant and a grocery store -- which, to the horror of bankers and friends, he then sold in order to finance his struggling basket company.

Dave was a business maverick who only let adversities make him stronger and more versatile. He became renowned for his managerial skills -- and his sense of humor. More than once he started a food fight at a company event or launched a wild idea -- like the basket-shaped headquarters building -- that just happened to work perfectly.

This engaging story shows how Dave Longaberger shared his life and unconventional business sense to create what is now the $1 billion-in-sales Longaberger Company. Join him on his journey as he takes his own unique route to success. Learn about the many original and highly unusual management practices that not only contributed to the strength of the Longaberger enterprise but can make any business run more profitably. Follow Dave's example and develop the entrepreneurial skills necessary for business success.

Longaberger: An American Success Story is an affirmation of the American values of independence, hard work, and business ethics. Inspirational as well as informative, this is a moving portrait of an enterprise and an entrepreneur, both of whom are loved and revered by the thousands of people whose lives they have enriched.

About The Longaberger Company

From a bare-bones beginning with a handful of part-time employees in 1972, Longaberger today, under the leadership of president and CEO Tami Longaberger, employs some 8,700 people and inspires some 70,000 independent sales associates across the United States. The Longaberger Company has a sprawling campus of office facilities, production plants where basket makers create more than 40,000 high-quality baskets every day, and tourist attractions in and around central Ohio.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Longaberger Co. is a family-run business that makes well-crafted baskets, pottery, and collectibles and has a large, intensely devoted customer base. Its corporate headquarters in central Ohio is a perfect example of the "build-it-and-they-will-come" philosophy. A $30 million seven-story "replica" of the company's classic market basket, it attracts a half-million visitors each year, who also buy the company's products in the shops and village that Longaberger built. Veteran business writer Shook helps Longaberger tell his story. Dave, who suffered from epilepsy, did not graduate from high school until he was 21. In 1973, he decided to revive his father's defunct basket business and built it into an enterprise with 7,000 employees and sales approaching $1 billion. Early on Longaberger, who died of cancer last year, brought in one of his daughters to help run the company. She had graduated from Ohio State in marketing and the two often clashed, but Longaberger had been grooming her from the start to take his place. His story emphasizes the success of his "follow-your-gut," hands-on approach to management. --David Rouse

Publisher's Weekly Review

The son of a basket-factory worker, Longaberger saw a market for fine handcrafted baskets in 1973, as the popularity of handmade crafts began to take hold. By 1999 (when Longaberger died of cancer), he had built a billion-dollar corporation employing 8,000 people. Longaberger, who graduated from high school at 21 and had learning disabilities and a severe stutter, certainly did not fit the profile of the typical CEO, yet from the evidence he was an exemplary one. He proudly proclaims that he learned about customer service and sales from driving a bread delivery route and running a restaurant and grocery store. Following his own vision, he built the company from its smalltown roots in Dresden, Ohio, at the same time that he developed a unique direct sales network. Engagingly folksy and self-deprecatingly funny, he champions facing adversity and growing stronger from it. The feel-good story of a very likable man applying his talents and making a big difference to his town and his family (he groomed his two daughters to succeed him) should engage readers on its own. Meanwhile, those searching for humane models for running a successful company will benefit from the 18 straightforward management principles that emerge from his success. As the man who believed a job should be at least 25% fun (it was a corporate policy), Longaberger, consummate salesman, also can't stop himself from saying that his favorite sport was basketball. (Mar.) Forecast: The arresting jacket cover photograph of the corporate headquarters built in the form of the popular market basket is perfectly attuned to the Longaberger philosophy. The planned 25-city radio campaign and 15-city NPR syndicated feature should help draw attention to the book, resulting in a basketful of sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. xix
1. Everything I Know About Business I Learned from My Mom and Dadp. 1
2. Earning My Master's Degreep. 17
3. Six Weeks Ago I Couldn't Even Spell "Entrepreneur"--Now I Is One!p. 29
4. How The Longaberger Company First Beganp. 52
5. Tell the Storyp. 73
6. Growing Up with My Daughtersp. 100
7. Hard Timesp. 119
8. Every Business Is a People Businessp. 136
9. Having Visionp. 157
10. The Gift of Givingp. 178
11. Eighteen Management Principles That I Live Byp. 189
12. Only in Americap. 215
Appendix Important Dates in Longaberger Historyp. 217
Indexp. 223