The Christmas Tree Brooklyn story
On Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine, the dense, old-growth forests of native firs, spruces and pines, cold mountain streams and fresh air provided a pristine, natural playground for siblings Dan and Morgan Sevigny. Growing up on the edge of Acadia National Park gave the pair a deep appreciation for and familiarity with the lush evergreens that covered their island home.
Morgan, always a sporty, outdoors-type, grew up to be a personal trainer with her own gym in Brooklyn, NY. Dan worked in internet marketing and decided to join his sister in New York City in 2012.
Walking around their Brooklyn neighborhood that year, they noticed the sidewalk Christmas tree vendors setting up and decided, on a whim, that they could do the same thing, only better. And cheaper.
[Pictured: Dan getting Christmas trees ready for delivery]
That impulse has turned into a thriving seasonal business that has the brother and sister putting their lives on hold from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, taking online orders for fresh, premium Fraser Firs and delivering them the same day to customer’s doors throughout New York City, with no additional delivery charge, for up to 50% less than their competitors. It seemed like an apt side business for Dan, born on Christmas Day.
“Buying a Christmas tree in New York City can be a painful process,” says Dan. “Not only do New Yorkers have to go out in the cold to pick out a tree from a salesperson who is likely overcharging them due to their own high rent, they have to either drag the tree home by themselves or pay someone to do it for them. Not with us. We operate online and from our locations in Brooklyn, and the money we save on rent and staff we pass on to our customers. And delivery is free because it should be. They already paid for the tree, they shouldn’t have to pay twice.”
That first season, the duo found a Canadian grower that provided the quality trees they were looking for. Since then they have visited countless tree farms to maintain the high standards of the Fraser Firs they sell, opened two additional tree lots and hired extra delivery personnel to keep up with demand.
After the holidays, Dan will go back to being a marketing consultant and Morgan will go back to working with clients at Pura Vida Urban Fitness in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. Although Christmas Tree Brooklyn has been an unqualified success for the pair, operating a seasonal business is not for the faint of heart. Dan says he wouldn’t recommend doing it without the support of your closest family and friends.
Offering the public an alternative to overpriced, picked-over sidewalk stands in congested mid-town Manhattan was foremost in Dan’s mind that day in 2012.
“Christmas Tree Brooklyn takes the hassle out of buying a Christmas tree in New York City,” he says. “The holiday season can be stressful. People want ease, convenience and simplicity – that’s what we give them.”