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. The home visits stopped in 1998 as an increase in two-income families meant fewer people were home to accept visits. Welcome Wagon began greeting new homebuyers through the mail with a gift of an attractive, customized gift book.
I can remember when we bought our first new home in the early 1970’s hearing a knock at the door and finding the Welcome Wagon lady on my front porch with a basket of goodies and a book of coupons. Over the years, and many moves later I don’t even recall the last time we heard from the Welcome Wagon. Just to clarify, that is not me in the picture. My hair color is lighter and I have smaller feet. The man with the paint brush is Michael however. 🙂
Here at the Buck ‘n Run Ranch we didn’t get anything from the Welcome Wagon when we moved in last year, but that doesn’t mean anything. Everyday we get a big welcome from some of the most lovable, endearing, and ridiculously silly creatures on earth. I try to remember how lucky I am and appreciate everyday I have with my Welcome Wagon.
Here they are.