Bottom Line // November-December 2023
MIRA members receive a 5% rebate on all orders!
By Epiphany Communications: Coaching & Consulting*
Launched in 1949 by Ed Trumble, Leanin’ Tree started out as a Western Design boxed Christmas card company. It was a family-owned business for 72 years. Today, it is an employee-owned business and has expanded over the years offering 3,000 greeting card designs and other ancillary products such as notepads, mugs, and magnets.
Ed Trumble named the company Leanin’ Tree because he thought there was a real Western flavor and folksy feeling to that name.
“We started to expand our everyday card line in the mid-1990s beyond Western cards to more contemporary designs,” said Diane Derenberger, Director of Key Accounts. “We offer regional designs, state-specific cards, humor and wildlife selections. We are well known for our humor cards.”
They are proud to say their products are made in the USA. “We have also been an environmentally conscious company, unmatched in the industry long before everyone else was environmentally conscious. It has always been front of mind for us. We use soy-based ink and recycled paper in the production of our products. Our manufacturing uses environmentally friendly processes as well. Leanin’ Tree has been awarded The Green Printer Award from the Boulder Colorado Community.”
Their cards are created, produced, and shipped from their facility in Boulder, Colorado. “We could have sent the work overseas, but we made the decision to keep these jobs at home – this way we support our schools, fire and police departments, libraries, and local communities,” as their website states. “It also allows us to ensure we produce the highest quality product around. In addition, we can react quickly to customer needs, adjusting production to ensure we ship what our customers need, right when they want it.”
They became an Employee Stock Owned Plan (ESOP) in December of 2021. Today 150 employees are with the company overseen by a board of directors made up of five people including two members from the Trumble family. All four of Ed Trumble’s kids worked in the business.
The culture of the company is one that instills unity. “We are a fun company,” said Derenberger who has been with the company for 26 years. “We don’t have a lot of employee turnover. Out of 10 directors, the one who has been with the company the least number of years has been with us for 22 years.”
“We truly have a niche in the industry,” said Denise Scalco, Senior Key Account Executive. “We have reps that offer in-store service as well as an inside-sales support team. Our displays are typically set up by the register featuring 150 to 500 different cards depending on the needs of the store.” This location drives incremental sales.
Leanin’ Tree’s customers consist of hardware, farm and feed, grocery stores, c-stores, and gas stations. They offer standard displays but can also meet the needs of each customer.
Leanin’ Tree works with various artists who often seek out Leanin’ Tree at trade shows and they have writers in-house. “Our artists are given royalties for their work, but they are not employed by us,” said Derenberger.
They value their MIRA membership. “Having the MIRA name behind us is important,” said Scalco, especially when we are prospecting customers.”
MIRA members receive a 5% rebate on all orders! Click here for more details.
“We get such great leads from MIRA,” said Derenberger. “MIRA offers us the ability to network in the industry.”
A survey conducted among independent retailers has voted Leanin’ Tree the best- selling greeting card company in the country for 18 Years in a row.
*Writers with Epiphany Communications: Coaching & Consulting are content creators for Bottom Line.