Modern Christmas Tree

Traditional Christmas trees in those nostalgic images of the holiday are usually freshly cut evergreens, decorated with heirloom ornaments and festooned with homemade popcorn and cranberry chains. But if you grew up as the grandson of a Colorado engineer who designed A-frame cabins and had a playful sense of humor, your childhood memories would be very different.

Matthew Bliss spent many Christmas holidays at the home of his grandfather, Lawrence “Bud” Stoecker, who first fashioned his own tree out of cardboard, tried using Masonite board, and then settled on Plexiglas. Bud Stoecker was an engineer with an “inner artist” and he not only made the tree, but also kept meticulous notes on the ornaments and light patterns he created so they would not be repeated and the tree would look different every year. The trees were crafted from concentric rings and hung from the ceiling. One of Matthew’s fond memories is lying below the tree and looking up at the lights and ornaments, almost like looking into the night sky.

In 2007, Bud and his beloved wife, Lollie, were packing their possessions to move into a retirement home. Matthew was given the tree to keep as a family heirloom. Sadly, only a few years later Bud Stoecker was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This prompted Matthew to consider sharing his grandfather’s unique design with the public. At that time, he was working as a mortgage banker, but he enlisted several friends with web and photography skills and hired RMI Plastics in Denver to make the trees. Matthew first displayed them at the 2011 Denver Modernism show, and they were a hit.

modern christmas tree shark tank 3

Since that time, the trees have been sold to Disneyland Hotels, Google, Red Bull and other corporations for display during the Christmas holiday, as well as to individuals with more modern tastes. The tree was staged and photographed in 2014 at the Sleeper House in Genesee (where the Woody Allen movie, Sleeper, was filmed) and in late 2015 at the iconic Stahl House, overlooking Los Angeles, providing a spectacular panorama of lights to complement this unique tree.

The updated version is made of acrylic rings, and crystal ornaments of different shapes and colors are available. They come in large and small versions, as well as table models. The company’s website provides video instruction on hanging the tree, but a special stand is available if hanging it from the ceiling is not an option. The tree is collapsible and comes with a custom-made bag for easy storage.

Matthew didn’t just create a business from his grandfather’s legacy. For every tree that he sells, he donates $50 to the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He estimates that he has donated more than $15,000 so far. There is a great variety of artificial Christmas trees available for those who want something different and more modern. But it would be hard to find many that have such an appealing and unique back story and that help support such a worthy cause.

Learn MoreBuy from Amazon

Shark Tank Air Date: 12/3/17 – Season 9 – Episode 13

 

modern christmas tree shark tank 2

modern christmas tree shark tank 1

- Advertisement -

LATEST PITCHES

Yellow Leaf Hammocks

When Joe Demin took some time off to backpack through Thailand, he expected an adventure. He did not expect that the trip would change...

The Mad Optimist Soap and Bath Products

If you ever wanted to make your own soap, but after looking into the process figured it would be too difficult, think again! ...

Dreamland Baby Weighted Blanket

Tara Williams and her husband Rob needed sleep. So did Luke. At six months old, Luke still was not sleeping through the night. It...

RollinGreens Plant Based Wings and Tots

Ryan Cunningham and his wife Lindsey decided to start a food truck business. Ryan, Executive Chef, had worked as a personal chef (known as...

mcSquares Dry Erase Whiteboard Tiles

Anthony Franco has built and sold five successful companies, and amassed an impressive number of awards in the process: 74 technology awards, 62...

Salted Restaurant Delivery

Jeff Appelbaum is the founder and CEO of the Salted Restaurant Group. Restaurant groups are nothing new. There is Darden Restaurants that owns Olive...