December 11, 2018

Shark Fight! How I Survived, and My Product Thrived, after Shark Tank
Ryan Kenny, Inventor of The Christmas Tree Hugger

(c) Trusted Counsel (Ashley) LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Announcer: It's time for In Process: Conversations About Business in the 21st Century, with Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon. Presented by Trusted Counsel, a corporate and intellectual property law firm. For more information, visit And now, with In Process, here our Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon.

John: Evelyn, today is our special Christmas episode.

Evelyn: Pretty interesting and fun. And I've been hoping that we could do this for over a year. So ... Since it was all very hush-hush last year, it was impossible to do.

John: Yes. Today we have Ryan Kenny, the founder of The Christmas Tree Hugger, and actually a business of which I am also deeply involved. I guess he is my other partner, but on the side ... On our side venture, The Christmas Tree Hugger, which is increasingly taking up more and more time as we get into Christmas season. And it has gone fantastic. Last year we were on Shark Tank, and Ryan's going to talk to us a little bit about his experience on that and sort of how he came up with the product and sort of the before and after and the process. So ...

Evelyn: And the drilling. How the drilling went.

John: How the drilling went, exactly.

Evelyn: Don't look scared Ryan. Don't look scared.

Ryan: It's all about the flash cards.

John: Right. Well, Ryan, welcome to the show.

Ryan: Thank you very much, guys.

John: So tell us, how did you come up with The Christmas Tree Hugger?

Ryan: Well, I have always had kind of an out there mind in space quirky personality. And I'm kind of a maker, always have been, ever since I was a kid. Worked a lot with cardboard at that age. But yeah, I was just looking at my tree one day with my wife and we sat down after getting our first artificial tree. And we both came from families that had real trees and real tree smell. Just for pure convenience factors we decided to switch it up and go the fake tree route. And after we got the thing set up, it looked beautiful.

Ryan: And then we kind of sat down on the couch and looked at the bottom and saw that there was this fuzzy, hairy, ugly green pole of an eyesore down at the bottom. And I kind of thought to myself, "Well, that's taking away from some magic. Let me go online and just grab something to fix that." And quickly saw that there is nothing available on the market to really do that. And I took it upon myself to makeshift something in the basement real quick to have it look better. And then just got some opinions from friends who came over. And I was kind of scratching my head thinking, "Well, if I'm getting some love from this thing from family and friends, maybe I should throw it up on Etsy and just see what happens?" So, did that.

Ryan: And then soon after that, started ... There were just all sorts of five-star reviews and people saying those key words, "Why hasn't nobody thought of this before?" So I kind of figured out I was on to something and just kept pushing it in my spare time and decided to take this to the next level in a way that was not just a homemade Etsy type of thing, but try to get some ... Get China behind it and maybe make something ... A more official type of product. And I did a Kickstarter just to get some funds, 'cause I didn't really want to spend too much of my own money on something that was a crapshoot. And got the money funded, got an order from China to test it out, I threw it out there for the holidays.

Ryan: And the rest is history. People just steadily have just been loving and loving it. We get nothing but five-star reviews pretty much across the board. And it's a fun little product. It's-

Evelyn: Okay. But is it made out of cardboard? Come on now, Ryan.

Ryan: Technically, parts of the packaging would be. But we went with ... We ended up picking neoprene. All about the wetsuits, too. I'm a big surfer, so I figured that's a nice material. It's flexible, you can print on it. It lasts forever. It's bomb-proof. So these things officially can be outside and inside.

Evelyn: And it's colorful, right?

Ryan: And it's colorful, yeah. We have reversible patterns, so you can go for that real brown bark feel, or it flips around and reverses to candy cane, all the models. So if you have kids who want to put that star on top of the tree, this is a nice little way to not have them get on the ladder and put something on the tree that they can be proud of. A centerpiece type of ornamentation. And then Santa's going to be face to face with it. So they get very, very excited. I've not yet met a child who wants to go with the bark pattern once they see the candy cane, it's all downhill from there.

Evelyn: It's all over.

Ryan: So, if you don't want candy cane on your tree, just be warned.

Evelyn: Don't show the kids.

John: So when you're doing the prototype, how many I guess iterations did you have to go through? Is that pretty fast? Or did it take a while?

Ryan: I did some paperwork and then I went to Home Depot and I grabbed some of that foam pipe insulation and started wrapping things around there. And there was some glue involved and I just wanted to see how realistic it looked from afar without being actual bark. And turns out it was pretty easy to kind of achieve that look, especially from a distance, 'cause most people aren't going to be, you know, inches from the thing. So once I figured out that I could do that, I just wanted to find the right material that was cost-effective to work with and get those bark patterns onto there. And something that's flexible, too, 'cause they do come in different sizes.

Ryan: And I will say I've gone to Walmart in the middle of the night in my pajamas and measured all the tree poles. So I'm very well-versed in what sizes they do come in and this thing will fit most of them. You can cut it, you can fold it, it has Velcro tabs that adjust. It's a pretty simple product, but try to think of as many ways as possible for it to be versatile and fit the average American's tree.

Evelyn: So what's your background? That ... It sounds like you have quite a lot of thought and experience with maybe design and putting things together.

Ryan: Yeah, my background is in advertising. I went to school for graphic design. And I've always been really good in art class and an out-of-the-box creative thinker, just breaking rules as much as possible without getting in too much trouble. And this just kind of fell right into that wheelhouse of, "Let me do something that no one's doing. Let me do something different. Let me not follow the norm and follow the pack and the herd." And even though it's a simple product, it just still ... I can't think of anybody else ... It makes sense that I invented this. If you knew me, you would know exactly what I'm talking about. Like, this product has to have been invented by myself.

John: What's great is whenever we need new packaging or new art or a new art, Ryan instantly comes up with it. I mean, it's ... He does it so fast and easily that it's invaluable.

John: So last year ... So you get the product up. You go on Etsy, sell some. You get it made. What happened after that? So after that first Christmas?

Ryan: So after that first Christmas, I got excited because I didn't expect any of that to happen. My intention was never to make this publicly available. It was initially just for me. And I started thinking, "This could be pretty big." We're kind of looking at a situation here where, it sounds silly, but it's the last remaining piece of real estate on a Christmas tree. And these things have been around for hundreds of years. And I'm looking at the bottom and I'm like, "No one's doing anything here. What should I do?"

Ryan: So I started making phone calls and it just became ... My commute, which is 45 minutes to an hour every day each way from the suburbs into Atlanta, I would take that time in the car and I would cross-check sources and find people on LinkedIn and look up their business addresses and kind of try to skirt through the reception desk at the 1-800 numbers and things like that and just ask for the people who are in charge of making these decisions in stores to purchase these items for the holidays.

Ryan: And the very first call I ever even did that with, literally the first call was with Kroger grocery stores. And I called them up and the lady ... The buyer who I was able to get on the phone with somehow just in the seat of my car said yes, she loved it. And she wanted to order for 130-some odd stores in the Southeast. And I was hooked. And I was like, "That was too easy." Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

Evelyn: So now you've become sales.

Ryan: Yeah. So now my car is a money-making machine.

John: So that was Christmas of 2016, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

John: And then last year I guess is the year that ... I mean, it started off with, what, QVC in July?

Ryan: Yeah. So that was last year, started off with QVC. I had had the Kroger opportunity and kept up that cold call mentality of just breaking through. I think when you go through the normal portals that these businesses want you to go through, a lot of times you're almost guaranteed to get lost in the shuffle, especially as a small business. So I just started repeating that, as I said, and I called QVC. Left a really long voicemail. One of those voicemails where you regret it so bad. You're just, "Wow, that was [crosstalk 00:08:43]-

Evelyn: Yeah. Too long. Too-

Ryan: Long. It's the awkward call after you've met a girl type of voicemail. And-

Evelyn: Babble, babble, babble.

Ryan: I was thinking to myself, "I blew it. Oh well. I tried." And they called me back within 20 minutes.

Evelyn: Wow.

Ryan: And we talked for several hours.

Evelyn: Wow.

Ryan: And just started making it happen after that. And that was fun because that was the first time I had ever been on anything TV-related. And I thought it was going to be the scariest situation of my life, but the people over there make it so easy and they're so fun to work with. And they have your back. So you can feel comfortable just doing a trust fall if you ever get into QVC territory. They're there to help you. They're there to make you succeed, unlike some other shows who are also there to cause some trouble. Stir the pot in maybe the not positive ways.

John: So can I tell you that on QVC when Ryan first went up there, I was so nervous because I wasn't in control at all. And, of course ... I mean, he was less nervous than I was. But me just watching, I was-

Ryan: Not true.

John: Just sick to my stomach watching him. But then he executed the first part perfectly. The host gave him a kiss on the cheek, and he acted like a pro. I mean, I thought ... When she first came in to give you a kiss on the cheek, I thought, "This could be-

Ryan: Yeah, a dangerous social situation. And public speaking is far from my wheelhouse. I tend to run as far and fast from it as possible. So I didn't know how that was going to work out, either. I thought I might possibly pass out. And I'd seen videos of people who passed out on QVC.

John: Yeah, don't [crosstalk 00:10:13] you should not have watched those videos [crosstalk 00:10:14]-

Ryan: So it was a mistake to watch that. But it went okay. It was not an out-of-body experience, excuse me. I remember kind of like watching myself from above, kind of weird. But it happened.

John: So you ... It starts in 2016 with Christmas. In July 2017, you're on QVC. And then, of course, Shark Tank, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

John: So how did this come about? How did Shark Tank come about?

Ryan: So I think I had put some vibes out into the universe, because I was planning to audition in Atlanta. And I had already started telling people that I was going to plan that, friends and family and even at a trade show I had been to, people had been coming up to the booth, asking a lot of questions and saying time and time after again, "You should go on Shark Tank. You should go on Shark Tank." So I was kind of reinforcing that and saying, "Yes, I'm planning to do that." And no sooner did I start saying that a lot than I got an email that was from the producers of Shark Tank. And just kind of mentioning how they saw my product online and they really liked it and they thought I had a good shot of getting onto the show. To which I didn't reply because I just assumed it was one of my good friends who was pranking me.

Evelyn: Spamming.

Ryan: And I almost didn't even give it the time of day. I thought about it a little more. And I was like, "Well, let me at least look up the number in the email and do some research." And it turned out to be pretty legit. So I called back and, again, great conversation on the phone. One thing after another. Just started making our way into the process of getting onto that show. Kind of skipped the line a little bit and made that easier. But it was exciting. It was really exciting.

Evelyn: Amazing.

John: Yeah. And so that was probably ... I can't ... I mean, that was pretty far in advance, because they're doing the holiday show, right? So you were specifically on the Christmas show?

Ryan: Yeah.

John: And that aired, what, early ... That was like December 7th?

Ryan: December 6th I think.

John: Right, yeah. But, of course, you have to prepare before then because they tape in advance. So you want to tell us a little bit about getting out there? Well, actually, let's back up for a second. You find out you're on Shark Tank. You know you're going to go on national TV.

Ryan: You hope.

John: You hope, actually-

Ryan: Yeah, nothing's guaranteed on Shark Tank.

John: Nothing is guaranteed. So you hope you're going to go on national TV. And, of course, the first thing we discuss is, well, the positive outcomes and the negative outcomes. Because the editing and ...

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, you have to surrender yourself to the editing process, which is tough.

John: Yeah. So what was the thought process behind that? I mean, was it ... Where you always 100% sure you wanted to do it? Or was there any hesitancy of-

Ryan: I was not [crosstalk 00:12:57]-

John: Well, maybe you shouldn't?

Ryan: Sorry. I was not a hundred percent sure I wanted to do it, but I was a hundred percent sure if I didn't do it I would always regret it.

Evelyn: Regret it.

Ryan: So I had to do that and I can't ... I honestly, I would do it again. I would do it every week if I could. I think it's, in our case, Kevin did not go easy on us. And I watched a lot of episodes before I went on there to see what he was capable of, and I think I got a Category 5 Kevin. But I did survive, and Mark Cuban was very nice. And everybody was very nice as well. And the publicity after it was incredible. You kind of have to do it. It is an opportunity you cannot pass up. Nor would I ever pass it up again.

Evelyn: You can't buy that.

Ryan: You cannot buy that. That is the Super Bowl of Christmas exposure in my opinion as far as I was concerned.

John: So how did you prepare for Shark Tank? What was the process?

Ryan: First off, I wanted to make sure I got on the show. And I realized that to do that I was going to have to make it as easy as possible for these producers to say yes and to keep me in the mix. Because at every turn there are things that can take you out. There are obstacles, there's competition, and I was really good about getting back to them instantly with what they asked for and then some at every opportunity.

Ryan: So I'd say if you ever get the opportunity to get on that show or possibly get on that show, don't cut corners. Don't be lazy. Don't be slow. Just go in and go hard and give them ... Just make their job easy. Because at the end of the day, if you're a producer and your schedule's upside down and you're trying to wrangle all sorts of different people who have never done anything like this before, you're probably going to lean more towards the ones who are making your life a little easier. So that was my strategy there.

Evelyn: So what kind of information was that? Were they asking you for financials on what you were doing? Or-

Ryan: Yeah, all sorts of financials and signatures and video submissions and responding to questions that they had. And just ... It was pretty layered-

Evelyn: Just a lot of [crosstalk 00:14:57]-

Ryan: And lots of different stages of that. Every time I thought it was over, another hurdle would resurface to-

Evelyn: Wow.

Ryan: Jump through. And I would just grit my teeth and do it and go big and get it done.

John: What about preparing for the show itself? The questions?

Ryan: Energy. And yeah, the questions, just ... That's kind of a tough question, actually. Because you just never know. You don't know where they're going to go with it. I'm sure they have some kind of pre-formulated plot ahead of time, but I just wanted to make sure that I was comfortable with the core basics. So as long as I had the answers to the numbers ... Which for me was the hardest thing anyway because I've never been a numbers guy, I've always been, "Look how well I do this character type of guy" ... And that was just a lot of memorizations for me, especially in a stressful environment. Even on my best of days, numbers are tough. But in a situation like that, I knew I had to study three times as hard as the normal person to make sure those things stuck in my head for that. And I'm glad I did that because that was the most stressful I've ever done in my life, being in front of those people on that stage with all those cameras whizzing around your head and lights in your face. And ...

Evelyn: Total distractions. So when you got out there, did you know for a fact that you would go on? Or you still were not-

Ryan: No.

Evelyn: Okay.

Ryan: And you have to plan for the future, not knowing if it's certain. So, you know, we found ourselves buying units. Not even knowing if we would see the light of day on that show, which was a gamble. And I don't like to gamble. But that was one of those situations where we had no other choice but to gamble. So we took the gamble, got on the show, and it ended up turning out really well and we got a ton of publicity. And it has not been an issue. And I'm so glad we did it. But ...

John: Tell us about the moments I guess when you're walking down that hall at Shark Tank. And you've ... When you first went sort of ...

Ryan: You mean the slowest moments of my life?

John: On camera? Yeah. The ...

Ryan: I think they call that ...

Evelyn: Will I ever get to the [crosstalk 00:17:00]-

Ryan: If you've ever seen Walking the Green Mile ... I had read that you need to be prepared for that because once you walk out, there was a moment of silence that felt like eternity between the sharks and the person about to present as the cameras are kind of setting up and getting their angles and adjusting their lights and things like that. So I was ready for that. I walked out there, which felt like the longest walk ever. And I'm staring at the sharks. And most of them weren't even staring back. Most of them were too busy on their smartphones just catching up on life.

Evelyn: Oh my God.

Ryan: It was no big deal. But I will tell you who did stare at me the whole time. Kevin. Kevin stared me down. And he was writing in his notepad. And the whole time standing there, which I think was about five minutes, but felt like an hour. I knew he was coming to get me. So ...

Evelyn: So do they know what the product is before you actually come out?

Ryan: No, they don't.

Evelyn: They have no advance knowledge?

Ryan: Yeah, no. No.

Evelyn: Interesting. Interesting.

Ryan: So ...

John: So you started off, you gave your speech, right?

Ryan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John: And then what was-

Ryan: Hand out those samples.

John: Yeah, handed out the samples.

Ryan: Cross your fingers.

John: Right. And then, of course ... I mean, the episode created a little bit of controversy, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

John: I mean ... Tell us a little bit about Mark and Kevin and how the show unfolded while you were up there.

Ryan: So Mark Cuban came to me rescue from Kevin, who out of the gates just started slicing up-

Evelyn: Ripping you apart.

Ryan: He was just slice and dice. And my main thing before I went out there was to maintain my composure and not fuel his fire with too many rebuttals and I figured if I kept the smile on my face and just shook my head and let Hurricane Kevin blow through, that I might have a shot-

Evelyn: Make it to the other side?

Ryan: At ... Yeah, yeah. Letting some other people participate in the conversation rather than give the editors all the ammo they need to make that episode just appear disaster for me. So I'm glad I did that because, like I said, he definitely played that role. And Mark Cuban did a solid. And he liked the product. I think he just ... He realized that it was just that, a product, and he's always looking more for a business opportunity and something that's like really scalable. But he did really appreciate what I was doing and thought the design was good and gave me a lot of compliments. And that felt really good to have that go down that way.

Evelyn: My recollection is that he really complimented the fact that you had taken the initiative to basically dial and get responses. That it made you a true entrepreneur to actually be that motivated and take it as far as you did.

Ryan: Yeah, step one, turn off the TV. Step two, get off the couch. Step three, pick up the phone. Yeah.

Evelyn: Yeah. Yeah, it was cool.

John: One thing that you and I discussed before hand was that we have to do Shark Tank, right? And then go out ... This ton of free publicity, it's going to be great. And it has been. It was fantastic. But we never thought that our company was really a company that needed investment or that's really investable for a couple of reasons. It's a niche product, it's a holiday product. It's super fun. It does well. We've been on all sorts of outlets, news outlets and shows. But I don't think funding was necessarily our goal.

Ryan: No. I mean, the goal was always publicity. So I think even if we had gotten a deal, it would have been hard to want to take that. And technically speaking, we actually have gotten some funding from a celebrity already. I didn't bring this up to anybody ... I don't even know if you know this ... But when I did my ...

Evelyn: Surprise!

John: Is there any breaking news on the podcast?

Ryan: Here we go. When we did ... When I did the initial Indiegogo funding campaign just to do the maiden voyage shipment of the first round that I just wanted to test out from China, I got friends and families and, you know, just people out there who saw it online. And one of those people was my uncle, who is the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. Who gave a pretty nice contribution to that cause. So-

Evelyn: Nice.

Ryan: SpongeBob has his hand in Tree Huggers. Maybe we should make one that's pineapple?

Evelyn: I think that's true. I think it kind of goes along with the whole squishy impact of the material.

John: Exactly. Yeah.

Ryan: I can't think of a better [crosstalk 00:21:17] character to associate with a cheery Christmas Tree Hugger than SpongeBob.

Evelyn: Thank SpongeBob.

Ryan: They're both so happy.

John: So after the taping, you know, come back. You know the show's in the can. Tell us a little bit about the lead-up to the airing of the show. Were you nervous?

Ryan: Yes. I think I was looking up the places where I could convert to a Buddhist and ...

Evelyn: Hide.

Ryan: Just get ready to change my life in a big way. I just had no idea what to expect because I know what happened in totality on that set. And I could see a million ways coming from an advertising background on how they could edit things in a way I wouldn't want them to. They actually did a really good job editing that episode I would say. Kevin got to say his piece, but I think because I didn't play into it too much, they really did kind of get the balance of that episode. And that Mark and some of the other sharks actually appreciated the product and appreciated the design and the idea, but just didn't necessarily think that it was investable. Which I actually don't entirely disagree with. So I was okay with that.

Evelyn: So was it edited down quite a lot? How long were you actually out there compared to what was on TV?

Ryan: I think I was out there for about 35, 40 minutes.

Evelyn: Oh, wow. Wow.

Ryan: And they give you 15, I guess, right?

Evelyn: Yeah. Wow.

John: On the lead-up to the show, you were in most of the commercials for that episode involved your clip in one way or another. I mean, it just dominated-

Evelyn: So you were the celebrity, really.

John: So then when we saw ... So you and I watched the show together, which was great.

Ryan: I was at his house.

John: Yeah, his wife and my wife, Frieda, who's excellent. She does so much for the business. And we all watched it together. And it turned out great. I mean, it really turned out ... The episode turned out great, the response turned out great. But I know I was like, "Wow, Ryan, you did a fantastic job." I mean, because when Kevin came at you, you sort of stood your ground, hit back. And then Mark Cuban jumped in and they just started fighting amongst themselves. So it was perfect.

Ryan: Yeah, I'll always wonder if Mark Cuban did that because I look so much like him, people say.

John: You do look like him.

Ryan: I think he may have recognized some common genes and was just sticking up for his own people. I don't know.

John: Didn't you mention that to the producers, but they didn't bite on it at all?

Ryan: Yeah, I don't know if I did, actually. I don't think I did. I was too afraid to bring that up with them.

John: That was-

Ryan: I definitely did not bring that up with them.

John: No, but forever I'll always appreciate Mark Cuban. He was fantastic. And that actually led to CNBC interviewing you afterwards, right?

Ryan: Yeah. And that was just ... That was pretty much a simple recap of how that went down. Yeah. But that was great.

Evelyn: So how did the orders go?

Ryan: The orders went great. I mean, I think the fact that that show airs so late isn't ideal for a holiday product. When that thing aired, a lot of people have already done their purchasing and we're seeing that now as we're going through the season now. We're actually doing really good out ahead of it. But yeah, it was great. We definitely saw a huge shark fin spike on our sales data on the website. And [crosstalk 00:24:49]-

John: Tell 'em how instantaneous it was as you're viewing ... You see it come ...

Ryan: My phone was crawling across the table from the vibrations. Just-

Evelyn: Oh my gosh.

Ryan: It started moving across the house and it's alive.

John: We get a notification every time there's a sale on the website. And so it just started-

Ryan: It literally didn't stop moving for like a day. It just ... It was just on autopilot.

Evelyn: That's awesome.

John: I don't think we'd ever heard the website ching that much. At first I think we were a little bit confused, right? What's going on?

Evelyn: Whoa, what is that?

Ryan: I thought we were under attack. I thought somebody was shooting.

John: And then you can visualize on your website, on the backend of Shopify where your customers are from. And we could see it go as a wave from East Coast all the way to West Coast-

Evelyn: Oh my gosh. Just the show [crosstalk 00:25:40]-

John: Time zones-

Evelyn: Started airing?

John: By time zone.

Evelyn: Wow.

John: Yeah, it was really cool.

Ryan: It was fascinating.

John: Yeah, it was really cool to watch.

Ryan: It's so interesting to get a backdoor view of all of that stuff.

Evelyn: Amazing.

John: So, were you ultimately happy with the way the episode turned out and your experience on Shark Tank?

Ryan: Yeah, I am. I think the fact that they balanced that episode and how it went, that made me happy. That's all I really wanted them to do. I wanted them to have both sides of the story that was that experience. And they actually did a really good job doing that.

John: But I feel like you sort of get the last laugh on Kevin, though, because ... I mean, this year ... Tell everybody where they can find the product.

Ryan: So you can grab it on, which happened shortly after the Tank. It has deals that show up on Zulily. We're on Wayfair. We're on Amazon. We are still on Etsy. We are on, which is a huge one for us. And, you can find it. And I think that's it online right now this year. We've done a lot of tests in the past. This thing is ... It's funny because it's such a short window to react on, being so seasonal. So year one was Etsy. And then after that kind of focused on some small Mom and Pop shops after a trade show. And then after that it was we got into a big box store. And then after that, this year, it's just been, "Let's just focus primarily online." So little by little we are dipping our toe in the water and finding what sticks best. And we do have some tricks up our sleeves for next year. We got some really interesting potential partnerships coming up, which I can't really go into too much detail about. But very exciting stuff. I think 2020 is going to be the big pop.

Evelyn: Wow.

Ryan: And I hope that this turns into one of those products, that even though it is so simple, it becomes part of Christmas iconography. And much like the top of the tree has the star, I would love for this to be something that is recognized by so many people that it's just, "Well, what are you going to get for the bottom of your tree this year?" And it's going to be The Christmas Tree Hugger. And it's just one of those things that it makes me happy knowing that this thing that I've made from nothing, this simple, simple product is now in thousands of thousands of families'-

Evelyn: Homes.

Ryan: Traditions. Every-

Evelyn: That's nice.

Ryan: Single year. And they can pass it on to their kids. And it's such a silly thing, but-

Evelyn: No, it's ... That's cool.

Ryan: I think about that sometimes, and it makes me really happy knowing that this is something that kids are going to remember and people are going to have in their family traditions.

John: Well, it's a wonderful product. It gets five-star reviews everywhere. Sells well. So, I mean, I think it's been a fantastic I guess ride for The Christmas Tree Hugger. So-

Evelyn: And it's patent protected, too, right?

John: Yeah.

Ryan: Oh yeah.

John: It is. So we have-

Evelyn: Always good to mention. We're an IT firm.

John: Anybody who's listening, it is patent protected. We did-

Ryan: Times 10.

John: So do you want to tell people where they can find you?

Ryan: Just go to But at this point, you just type in The Christmas Tree Hugger onto Google and you will see the stars and you'll see it popping up all over the place. It's rising to the top.

John: Well, Ryan, thanks for joining us.

Evelyn: Yeah, thanks so much. It's been very fun.

John: This is so much fun.

Ryan: No problem.

Evelyn: Very fun.

Ryan: Thanks guys.

Evelyn: And Merry Christmas.

Ryan: You too.

John: Okay. If anyone would like to read the show notes of this, please visit our website at and see Episode 84 and click the blog. Thanks everyone.

Evelyn: See you next time.

Announcer: This has been In Process: Conversations About Business in the 21st Century, with Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon. Presented by Trusted Counsel, a corporate and intellectual property law firm. Are you interested in being a guest on our show? Email our show producers at For more information on Trusted Counsel, please visit