What’s your excuse for not following your dream? It better be a good one as Dave Longaberger had three big excuses not to be successful, and overcame them all.
Born in 1934, Dave arrived in a poor family, stuttered so much that people had trouble understanding him, and was afflicted with epilepsy. School was a difficult proposition and he was 21 years old before an adamant Dave graduated high school. After all, he spent three years in fifth grade.
During his school years, Dave always worked at some job to make extra money. He shoveled snow, mowed lawns, ran a movie projector at the theater, and delivered newspapers. Since he was always making money some way, his family called him “the twenty-five cent millionaire”.
Dave’s determination was stronger than his education, as he began early in life to try opening his own businesses – a small diner, a local grocery store, and a basket company to sell his father’s baskets.
During this time he discovered three principles for success in business:
- Listening to others
- Having trust in others
- Maintaining a sense of humor
Using these three principles, he started a small company making baskets like those his father had so successfully made in the past few years. That business, Longaberger Baskets, created a web of home consultants that promoted personal service and high quality.
Then came Longaberger Homestead, the company’s main retail hub. Here you can browse through a gigantic showroom filled with everything Longaberger.
One interesting feature is the Longaberger Museum, which shows its past, present and future. Beautiful handcrafted baskets of different shapes and sizes are on display. There are no two baskets alike as each one was hand made and thus has a special touch.
Their baskets of the future are shown in the Couture Collection, which started in 2014. These are not ordinary baskets, but works of art as each is handwoven with intricate patterns.
Perhaps you would like to make your own basket. Knowledgeable weavers are present to guide you through the many steps and help you when it just doesn’t seem possible. Creating your own basket would be quite a treasure. One woman said, “My family wouldn’t believe it if they saw me making a basket.”
The best way to make certain you see everything would be to take the Heritage Walk, which leads you to the museum, apple basket, workshop, reconstructed home, Crawford Barn, and the Dave Longaberger Memorial Garden.
This is a transition time for Longaberger after selling about a year ago to its new owner from Texas, but Dave always said that everything is subject to change. However, Longaberger Homestead is still a first class showcase. More vendors inside give more variety, thus attracting more visitors.
Longaberger Homestead would be a great place to have a little fun while picking up some beautiful gifts for springtime. Like Dave said, “Every day should be at least 25% fun.”
Longaberger Homestead, located between Newark and Coshocton, Ohio, can be reached off OH-16 north of I-70. Take the Old Riley Road Exit near Frazeysburg and you will be able to see the Homestead at 5563 Raiders Road.