COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Longaberger Company will expand to Australia next month, the first time that the 40-year-old American basketmaker has done business outside North America.
The announcement was made today by Longaberger CEO Tami Longaberger at the company's annual sales convention in Columbus, OH. Longaberger is celebrating its 40th year anniversary of crafting handmade American baskets, fine vitrified pottery and other home decor items. Five generations of the Longaberger family have been in the basketmaking business.
"We're taking the first step toward one of our dreams, which is to someday be a global company and bring American craftsmanship to families around the world," said Ms. Longaberger.
"There are 196 countries in the world. Longaberger currently sells in two of them. There are seven billion people in the world and 95% of them live in markets that have never even been told about Longaberger. It's time to start changing that," she added.
One of Longaberger's sister companies in publicly-traded CVSL Inc. [STOCK SYMBOL: CVSL] is Australia-based Your Inspiration At Home, which sells an award-winning line of hand-crafted spice blends. That company's founder and CEO, Colleen Walters, attended this week's Longaberger convention as a special guest, as did several of her company's top sellers.
CVSL chairman John Rochon said that the launch of Longaberger in Australia and the mutual support by the two companies is an example of how CVSL direct selling companies will work together to grow and make use of cooperative synergies.
"The Longaberger sales force now has an open door to recruit and grow their businesses in Australia, just as the Your Inspiration At Home sales force has an open door to enter the North American market. Each company can benefit from the other's presence and familiarity with the new market. There will also be practical ways to make good use of common resources in every new market we add," Mr. Rochon said.
"We know that families in Australia will absolutely love our hand-crafted baskets and our vitrified, Woven Traditions pottery," said Ms. Longaberger. "We make each individual basket and each piece of pottery with great care and skill, using traditional methods that have been passed down for generations. We know that Australians will appreciate that.
"Entering Australia is the first step in bringing Longaberger's American style and our unique hand craftsmanship to the world. We're thrilled that being part of CVSL gives us that opportunity," said Ms. Longaberger.
"Our friends in Your Inspiration At Home will be helpful to us there, just as we will be helpful as they bring their wonderful spice blends to North America. It's a mutually-supporting relationship. We're thrilled to explore all the unlimited possibilities," said Ms. Longaberger.
Also at the Longaberger sales convention, the company reported that it is well ahead of schedule in its "Project Eagle" effort to transition to an all U.S.-made product line. "Last year at this time, half of our line was U.S.-made. Today it is two thirds. By next spring it will be 85% and by early 2015, we will be 100% U.S.-made," reported Ms. Longaberger.
About CVSL (www.cvsl.us.com)
CVSL Inc. is an innovative public company pursuing a strategy of growth in the direct selling, or micro-enterprise, sector. Each company maintains its own separate brand identity, leadership and product line, while achieving efficiencies through sharing of back office resources and best practices.
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SOURCE CVSL Inc.