Wives are Always Right – How the Wendell August Ornament Came to Be

Wives are Always Right – How the Wendell August Ornament Came to Be

Posted by Will Knecht on Mar 23rd 2015

My Mom and Dad purchased Wendell August from the August family in 1978.  One of my Mom’s first ideas in 1978 was a new product concept,  She thought that we should create and sell Christmas ornaments.  My Dad, the savvy and successful sales and marketing executive formerly of IBM, didn’t think Christmas ornaments would resonate with Wendell August customers, so we didn’t make any ornaments in 1978.  The next year, Mom suggested again that Wendell August introduce Christmas ornaments to our customers.  She thought they would sell really well.  Once again, Dad considered the idea a dead end.  We didn’t introduce ornaments in 1979 either.  In 1980, Mom gave it one last shot.  She suggested once more that we make and sell Christmas ornaments. “Honey”, she said “I really think our customers would love a handcrafted ornament.  We should have the craftsmen make one. An American made Christmas ornament would be phenomenal!”  Out of exasperation (and possibly to get his wife/my really nice Mom off his back), my Dad agreed.  We would make an ornament for the 1980 Christmas season.

That year, our first ornament was created by our artisans and introduced.  It was a simple Holly design and we expected to sell maybe 100….we sold thousands.

As they say, the rest is history.  Wendell August was forever changed.  That ornament started an amazing tradition among families and friends, companies and organizations across America that continues to this day.  What started as one ornament now has blossomed into many new ornaments annually and established Wendell August as a go to place each and every year to buy special, American-made Christmas ornaments.  The centerpiece of it all continues to be our limited edition annual ornament.

We’re now known for much more than just our ornaments.  Our specialty lies in creating gifts for life’s special moments:  important weddings and anniversaries, the birth of the newborn, and the unique “Just Because” moment.

However, it all really started with a wonderfully smart woman and her persistence.  I salute my Mom and Dad, Connie and Bill Knecht, for their incredible entrepreneurial spirit and for creating the foundation for the American Made revolution we champion to this day.  My Dad, who passed away in 2004, made very few bad decisions as he worked so hard to make Wendell August all it could be.  In fact, as a proud son, he is still my hero.  Probably his biggest regret was not listening to my Mom sooner on the Christmas ornamentJ!  This is a great lesson for all husbands: our wives always ARE right!

Visit our site for Annual Ornaments

- Will Knecht