NEWELL, W.Va. (WTRF)
The Homer Laughlin China Company opened in 1871.
They introduced their Fiesta line in 1936.
“The intention was to give people something bright and colorful to lift their spirits during the Depression,” said Katie Bricker, director of marketing.
People loved it.
Now, 85 years later, they still do.
They bring out a new color every year.
The latest—Twilight—is a deep blue.
The most popular color now is turquoise, surpassing scarlet which held the top spot for many years.
Their tent sale, held twice a year, brings bargain hunters in by the thousands.
“They’ll camp out so they can be the first ones in line,” Bricker noted. “I was working in the tent this year and I met people from Missouri, Arkansas, Denver and Florida.”
But every day, people come to the Outlet Store.
“Both my daughters collect Fiesta ware and I need a birthday present for July,” said Nancy Shehata, a customer from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. “So this is the place to come.”
Their dog was there too, to make his own choices.
Fiesta now has a pet ware line, including dog and cat bowls and treat jars.
Fiesta is durable.
Stories are legion from people who dropped a dish, and damaged the floor but not the dish.
“The cup or the plate is still intact, but the floor can’t say the same,” said Bricker. “We’ve heard of people chipping and breaking tile and slate flooring!”
They have a decorated line for people who love the seashore.
“Our Coastal line has been really popular with people at the beach, or people who just want to be at the beach,” she noted.
Homer Laughlin’s food service operation has been sold—along with the Homer Laughlin name—to Steelite International in England.
Now their Newell operation is called the Fiesta Tableware Company.
The vibrant solid colors (there are now 53) can be mixed and matched, bought by the set or by the piece, to brighten up any space.
“I’ve been collecting the small disc pitchers in all the different colors that are produced,” said Nancy Shehata, whose kitchen is all stainless steel. “And they just liven up the kitchen a bit.”
The Fiesta Tableware Company is the largest pottery producer in the country.
The New York Times has called Fiesta “the most collected brand of china in the United States.”