Hello, today I am writing a blog about the Department 56’s Snow Villages first 20 years. It is important to me because we have a few of the Department 56 Snow Village Houses.
The foundation of Department 56 began with the introduction of six charming, lighted, ceramic buildings. These six items were the start of The Original Snow Village.
The original Original Snow Village designs were not sold buy Department 56 anymore in order to accommodate 12 new introductions as well as the appearance of the very first Village accessories.
The concept of The Heritage Village Collection was made. The first release was The Dickens Village Series, a collection of seven nostalgic shops and a church. All designed to capture the spirit of Christmas in Victorian England.
The New England Village Series and The Alpine Village Series were added to The Heritage Village Collection. That same year, the world of Snowbabies bisque figurines was introduced.
The Heritage Village collection continued to grow with the addition of the hustle and bustle of Christmas in the City and the inspiring Little Town of Bethlehem.
Department 56 reached $56 million in sales and found it necessary to expand into a new 150,000 sq. ft. distribution center.
The legend of Santa became a part of the Department 56 tradition with the addition of The North Pole Series to The Heritage Village Collection.
On June 25, they opened their new corporate headquarters at One Village Place in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Department 56 is bought by the New York investment firm, Forstmann Little.
In June of 1993 Department 56 completed an initial offering and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the name of DFS.
The year of 1994 brought the introduction of The Disney Parks Village Series and Snowbunnies.
Their first successful marketing program Homes for the Holidays encouraged new collectors to start a tradition for themselves.
With the growing popularity of coffee drinks, Department 56 was pleased to introduce a Starbucks Coffee Shop into The Original Snow Village.
They introduced their website which still serves as a definitive source for product and retailer information.