Welcome Wagon was founded in 1928 by an insightful marketing man in Memphis, Tennessee, 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.
Welcome Wagon's personalized greetings and community information have touched the lives of over 75 million households, including American Presidents such as Kennedy, Nixon and George W. Bush as they moved into the White House. 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.
In 2009, Craig Swill and Steve Goodman, veterans of the marketing and publishing industries, acquired Welcome Wagon and brought with them their experience and expertise leading Welcome Wagon into a promising future.