Christmas Tree Hugger inventor Ryan Kenny always took Christmas very seriously. As a child, he wanted his trees to look perfect so Santa would be impressed. He even went so far as to sleep under the Christmas tree after decorating it! As an adult, Ryan's fascination with Christmas trees turned to consternation. When he and his wife got their first artificial Christmas tree, he loathed the cheesy, faux pine needle colored “trunk.” His complaining led his wife to urge him to fix the problem.
Like most people these days do, Ryan Googled for a solution. When he found none, his obsessive journey to invent the Christmas Tree Hugger began. Ryan started going into any store that sold fake trees and measured the circumference and height of the “trunk.” Next, he began experimenting with different materials an patterns for his idea. When he finally settled on a design, he applied for a patent. All he had to do now was get his product manufactured.
The first batch of Christmas Tree Huggers went to the backers of a successful Kickstarter campaign back in December, 2015. Once those were shipped, Ryan continued making and selling more and even landed on QVC during their “Christmas in July” promotion in 2016.
The product is fairly simple. He makes a bark-colored sleeve out of the same material used to make wet suits. To hug your tree, you simply wrap it around the base and fasten it with the Velcro fasteners. There's a dark bark and a birch bark version and they're fully reversible to reveal a candy cane pattern on the other side. The product is durable, good looking, and reasonably priced at around 18 bucks. Ryan's no Scrooge either: he donates a portion of each sale to Christmas Tree Santas, a group that gives away Christmas trees to needy families during the Christmas season.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, Ryan looks to the Shark Tank to get some added publicity and possibly a Shark as a partner. Will a Shark want to hug this tree?
My Take on Christmas Tree Hugger
As a kid, we always had real trees; we chopped them down in our back yard. They were cool because you'd have a decorated tree in front of a window which overlooked our little pine tree grove. It was like the Christmas tree magically grew inside our living room! Fond memories…..
As an adult, I continued to purchase real trees. The first year we moved to our new house with a cathedral ceiling, we bought a 16 foot tree – it was HUGE. When we took it down, I actually had to cut it up with a saw to get it out of the house! We continued with real trees until about ten years ago when we inherited my in-laws' fake tree. I like the fake trees because they're less messy and less expensive in the long run. Nowadays, the fake trees look as good as real ones (not so true during my childhood). Naturally, when we moved to Florida, we got a new fake tree which we decorate every year on the day after Thanksgiving.
I never really noticed the crummy looking trunk on our tree until I started looking into the Christmas Tree Hugger for the blog. I'll have to agree with Ryan, it looks bush league when compared to the rest of the tree as a whole. I prefer the dark bark version of the product and I'm hoping Santa puts one under our tree this year. Merry Christmas!
Which Shark Hugs a Tree?
With approximately 10 million artificial Christmas trees sold each year in the USA alone, there is a big market for the Christmas Tree Hugger. Couple that with the tens of millions of fake trees people already own, and the market grows exponentially bigger. The Christmas Tree Hugger is a perfect product to sell alongside the artificial trees in any store.
This is why Lori will bid on this product. It fits her “hero” criteria: big market, small price. She could blow this up overnight. If every major retailer who sells artificial trees (Home Depot, WalMart, Bed Bat & Beyond etc) had Christmas Tree Huggers for sale, Mr. Kenny would be an instant millionaire. This product has Lori written all over it and I think Ryan is going to be her next “hero.”