Life Made Better at Dresden & Company
Baskets have been made in Dresen for over 100 years. It’s America’s basketmaking capital. When Longaberger’s most recent owner ceased operation in 2018, Jim Lepi decided he wanted to keep the basket legacy alive in his hometown. He felt the basketmaking tradition needed to be quickly preserved or it would be lost forever.
There’s a new company in Dresden making baskets these days. Lepi founded Dresden & Company in 2019 using former Longaberger employees as basket weavers. He has been around Dresden almost his entire life, supports his hometown, and constantly gives to the community. To Lepi, Dresden is a magical place.
Lepi surrounded himself with people who knew the basket-making business. They decided to make a line of baskets with a modern farmhouse style as many homes today were using that decorating venue. Their goal was to have products that were American-made. Today they feel that 95% of their materials come from America.
However, Dresden & Co isn’t just for baskets. They offer handcrafted baskets, but also an exclusive pottery collection, a line of gourmet food items, home accessories, and an assortment of apothecary products. All these items can be purchased online through their catalog or through over 150 individual proprietors, who have their own websites and media pages in nearly every state in the nation.
The skilled group of weavers at Dresden & Company has many years of weaving experience – many from 30-40 years. It’s exciting to know that some of the younger generation is becoming involved in the company as well. They take pride in designing products that are beautiful as well as functional. Their Workshop is a busy place.
Tour their Workshop to watch them weave those delightful Dresden & Company baskets. Everyone seems to be enjoying their work. Not only do they weave the baskets for Dresden & Company but there are many other companies that hire them to weave their baskets as well.
It all begins with large sheets of wooden veneer, some the thickness of a sheet of paper. These are then cut into strips by a pre-programmed cutter. Next step is to stain the wood before its name is burned into the strips. Handles are soaked in hot water so they can be bent to the correct shape by machine.
Protectors are also made at the facility with different thicknesses as needed. The plastic is heated until the protectors are formed. The protectors fit the baskets perfectly and are food-grade safe.
Every basket is unique since it is handcrafted by a skillful artisan. Beauty shines forth from the maple hardwood used. Each basketmaker uses their full name and date to sign their completed work with pride. Lids can be personalized to commemorate a special occasion.
There are a variety of sizes and shapes for every possible use. Bakery Baskets can be used on the table for rolls or muffins. They might also be used on the buffet for silverware or napkins. Versatility makes them extra desirable.
A special Arlington Basket has been created to help the children of our country’s fallen service members continue their education. A portion of every sale is given to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation for this purpose. The Arlington Basket is green and white on the outside with the white depicting the tombstones at Arlington among the green grass. Inside the basket is a patriotic red, white, and blue.
Dresden & Company wants to sell products that are made in the area. Ohio Stoneware, one of America’s last pottery manufacturers, still produces magnificent pottery in nearby Zanesville, which was once the Pottery Capital of the World. Michael Kennedy and his creative staff have designed a special collection just for Dresden & Company called American Potters’ Collection. These pieces are fired at 2200 degrees and made to withstand daily use. And they are made right in their own backyard.
D&Co Kitchen Products will delight your taste buds as they originate from businesses around the state and across America that have the desire to create unique products. Each of their fifty items contains high-quality ingredients that make perfect treats for visitors or a great gift for a friend.
A line of apothecary items has been developed with lotions, liquid soaps, and candles available. Amazing scents of lavender, crisp apple, and rosemary highlight their selection, which is all made in small batches right here in Ohio. All apothecary items contain 100% natural plant extracts and essential oils for great quality and scent.
Most of these products can be viewed at their Welcome Center, which is located in the old Popeye’s Restaurant building. When you enter the center, glance down at the floor and you will see the tiles that have been maintained that say Popeye’s as a greeting.
While all these great products are at the heart of Dresden & Company, they believe the most important things they can provide are reliability and service excellence. Being locally owned and operated, they will be close to the business and give of their best.
Visit their Welcome Center at 416 Main Street in Dresden or walk down the street to 305 Main Street where you can see the weavers making baskets. You’re sure to be impressed. Now is a great time to join their team as a proprietor. It’s a great opportunity to show your love for American-made products.
This is just the beginning. They are constantly developing new products with a high level of quality and durability that their customers will love. They want to see life made better for everyone involved with Dresden & Company.
Plan a visit to Dresden & Company at 416 Main Street, Dresden or check out their products at http://www.dresdenandcompany.com.