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History


America in 1883. Chester Arthur was President, having succeeded in the ill-fated James Garfield, victim of an assassin's bullet. The big news in New York was the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, confounding skeptics who had dubbed it "Roebling's Folly." The forces of law and order were slowly but surely taming the wild, wild West. As the hordes of immigrants flocking to our shores attested, America was universally recognized as the land of opportunity. Many avenues to fame and fortune were open to young men blessed with ambition and an infinite capacity for hard work.


Such a young man was W.C. Redmon. His career may have been less spectacular than that of railroad barons or the Wall Street plungers. But he carved no small niche in the business community. The fact that the company he started from scratch is still prospering a century alter is a testament to his vision. In 1882, young Redmon was making baskets at a small factory in Peru, Indiana. The following year, when only fifteen, he decided to go into business for himself. No doubt the townspeople deemed it a foolhardy venture for one so young with neither capital nor experience. But William Redmon was to prove them wrong. Working nights, he began his own basket-making operation in a hay barn outside of town. His only employee was a girl named Mary Laywell who five years later was to become Mrs. William Redmon. Together they wove baskets for such commonplace items as eggs, tomatoes, and clothing. The baskets sold for 50 cents a dozen. Needless to say, profits were small, but not small enough to discourage the young people. Slowly but surely the enterprise grew, despite more than a few setbacks. A new plant, located in Denver, Indiana, was wiped out by a fire during a Fourth of July celebration in 1906. The plant was uninsured, but William refused to give up. He rebuilt the business literally from the ground up and by 1911 had opened a new factory at the present Peru location. Over the years, the Redmon Company introduced a variety of new products, including fiber reed furniture and even a line of jams and preserves. Some proved unprofitable, while others failed in the uncertain economic climate to two World Wars and an Intervening Depression. At William Redmon's death in 1943, his three sons took over the business. Though the reins of leadership changed hands, there was no change in the basic Redmon philosophy: To provide products that fill a definite consumer need -- practical products, useful products. As the founder himself once put it. "We aim for the basics." Underlying this idea was the notion that practical products should be sensibly priced- well within the reach of average people, especially young families. These consumers may be price-conscious, but they also expect honest value for their dollar. That's exactly what Redmon has always sought to deliver: "The best possible product at the lowest possible price." Today, instead of feed baskets, Redmon makes infant furniture and bassinets, infant and toddler scales, organizational products, toy boxes, shelves and hampers and much more. As that list indicates, all our products are practical items that fill basic needs, not only of our consumers, but of the dealers who serve the housewares market. Since Redmon products are built to last, the Redmon name is recognized as a guarantee of quality and good value. And that reputation pays off for Redmon dealers in consistent sales and profits. In the design and development of Redmon products, we strive for the optimum combination of utility and eye appeal. Our latest example of this is the Unhampered Hamper, a new twist to an old idea. Its success has exceeded our most optimistic expectations, proving again that there is always a market for products that are attractive as well as useful. We will soon unveil other new products that meet the same marketing criteria, and we have equally high hopes for their acceptance. The Redmon Company has undergone many changes since 1883. It's a far cry from a few people making baskets by hand in a barn to a working force of almost 200 in a 120,000 sq. ft. factory. The world is a different place now, more complex and more hectic, with a different set of challenges. But people still have many of the same basic needs they had a hundred years ago. We, the fourth generation of the Redmon family, are resolved to meet those needs, inspired by the example of our founder, William Redmon. He had a dream one hundred and twenty years ago and made it come true. It's an American success story that we hope will continue to inspire our children's children in 2083.