It’s Christmas Eve. By now, if you celebrate Christmas, you’ve sent out party invitations, decorated your home, hung the lights, and perhaps, bought and adorned your real (or artificial) Christmas tree. As I used to remind my parents, “You can’t have Christmas without a tree.”
We know, however, this saying isn’t true; Christmas is about much more than a tree. But when someone forgets to set up the tree, or its needles fall off prematurely, we’re tempted to buy another one before the relatives arrive. Christmas trees are important and today, during the holidays, there’s one for sale on every corner. But this wasn’t always true.
It all started when a businessman, Mark Carr, saw an opportunity to serve his community.
Before 1851 the United States was a rural society. Most Americans could easily cut down and carry home their own trees. But, for those who lived in New York City, it was nearly impossible to access trees of any kind. Carr realized this and travelled by sled to the Catskill Mountains nearby and collected several bunches of evergreens. He hauled them back into the city and sold every single tree from a vacant lot. The Christmas tree market was born. Today in the U.S. nearly 40 million are bought and sold each year.
During this holiday season remember, sometimes it only takes one creative idea to launch a new industry. Always be looking for new opportunities. There are people to serve, problems to solve, and profits to make.
Money really can grow on trees. Even on evergreens.
Written by Justin Stephens. Edited by Andrei Duta. This article first appeared in Andrei’s Newsletter.