Christmas Tree Rental is a new twist on an old service concept. Entrepreneur Scott “Scotty Claus” Martin brings his Christmas Tree rental business, The Living Christmas Company, to the Shark Tank in episode 409, on Tuesday, December 4. ABC picked a good business to highlight the holiday themed Shark Tank, appearing on Tuesday during the 8 PM time slot for the first time; what better way to get viewers in the mood for the holidays than a Christmas Tree Rental service?
How Christmas Tree Rental Works
The Living Christmas Company is the latest green business in the Shark Tank, literally and figuratively. Christmas Tree Rental is a new concept based on a service tradition that dates back as long as there have been Christmas Trees for sale: buy a tree, get it delivered. Scott Martin, a landscape architect by profession, was a Christmas Tree delivery guy for a nursery in Manhattan Beach, CA when he had an epiphany. He loved wearing his Santa hat (The Living Christmas Company has a silly hat policy) and singing Christmas carols as he delivered trees to area families; he was delivering a tree and a dose of old-fashioned Christmas Spirit. What bummed him out was seeing discarded Christmas Trees on the curb in the weeks following the holidays, waiting for a trip to a landfill.
Back in 2007, Scott decided he'd make for a greener Christmas by delivering live trees to area folk and picking them up once the holidays were over. Local veterans hired for seasonal work handle the deliveries, so Scott's doing his part for those who have done the part for the rest of us. No trees get chopped down and discarded in the process, so the business is about as green as you can get. There is even an adoption option: for a fee, you can adopt a tree and have it delivered to you each and every year. Scott and his Christmas Tree rental elves care for the tree for the remainder of the year. The service is very popular in the LA area and has gained momentum. The live trees cost a little more than a cut tree, but about the same as an artificial tree. The convenience of not having to lug a tree home on the car roof is a big selling point as is the feel-good environmental aspect.
Do Sharks like the Christmas Tree Rental Business or will it get the ax?
The concept of a Christmas Tree rental business is sound, and The Living Christmas Company has the proof. While growth has not been explosive, it has been steady and Christmas Tree Rental could really catch on in our increasingly eco-conscious society. At issue is the local nature of the Living Christmas Company: they may be doing big business in LA, but what are the prospects for growth? This will most likely be the Sharks‘ biggest objection. If Scott Martin can demonstrate the Christmas Tree rental business can be duplicated, he will garner some interest.
The biggest thing Mr. Martin and The Living Christmas Company have going for them in the Shark Tank is the timing of the business being aired. Surely ABC wouldn't air a segment where Christmas is sent packing; one of the Sharks will make an offer just to keep the Christmas spirit alive. The question remains, which one of the Sharks will be “the Shark who saved Christmas?”
The Living Christmas Company website is pretty slick, it has that “I know I am going to be on Shark Tank and get a huge amount of web traffic” look to it. They are even selling “Eco – Christmas Ornaments!” Whether the Sharks opt to get into the Christmas Tree rental business or not, The Living Christmas Company better be prepared for a bunch of orders. They'll need elves on overtime in the coming weeks! I can tell you two things for sure about The Living Christmas Company: I am “in,” and Merry Christmas!