The Welcome Wagon

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When we were young, the idea of the Welcome Wagon seemed very different. If memory serves us correctly, someone actually did come to our door with a basket of goods and coupons for the neighborhood. As with most things, the Wagon has turned to the web…

After receiving our small packet of printed tips, lists of resources, and of course a slew of coupons in the mail, we went online to see what else the Welcome Wagon had to offer. Including four main tabs Local Pages, Special Offers, Home & Garden Ideas, and Living Well, the web has helped the age-old “wagon” develop new ways of being an ever-present welcoming resource rather than a one-time appearance.

Here’s a bit about the Welcome Wagon’s history:

Welcome Wagon was founded in 1928 by an insightful marketing man in Memphis, Tennesee, Thomas Briggs. Mr. Briggs was inspired by stories of early Conestoga “welcome wagons” that would meet and greet westward travelers, providing fresh food and water for the journey. He created Welcome Wagon to embody this same spirit of warm hospitality and welcome. He hired “hostesses”, women who were friendly and knowledgeable about their neighborhood, to personally deliver baskets of gifts supplied by local businesses to new homeowners.

Over a cup of coffee, hostesses would tell new home buyers about local civic and cultural activities in the community while handing out gifts and coupons from local businesses. This hostess network expanded across the country until, aside from Briggs and just a handful of males, Welcome Wagon became one of the first all-woman companies in the US.

(Re-published from 04-11-2008)