History and Goals
Leanin’ Tree greeting cards have been an American tradition since 1949. That’s when Ed Trumble, founder and Chairman, started selling Christmas cards through the mail to western farmers and ranchers.
|The first Christmas cards sold in 1949 were created
by co-founder Bob Lorenz.
Strapped for cash, Ed and co-founder Bob Lorenz started their business in Colorado by trading art for advertising. While Ed managed the business side of things, Bob, an aspiring young western artist, created a painting for the cover of Western Livestock Magazine. In return, the two entrepreneurs received a full-page ad to promote their Western Christmas cards - all four of them!
The response was overwhelming and the business was officially launched. Bob and Ed literally filled their first orders from shoe boxes stored in a one-bedroom apartment. To make matters more challenging, their first-year profits were nearly wiped out when the local card printer misspelled "Christmas"!
|Pictured at Leanin’ Tree’s Boulder, Colorado headquarters are are Ed Trumble, Lynn Trumble, Tom Trumble, Jane Trumble, Nancy Trumble Fox and Tim Trumble.
A lot has happened since 1949. Ed Trumble purchased full ownership of the company in 1965 after the untimely loss of Bob Lorenz to cancer. The Leanin' Tree greeting card company has flourished as a family-owned operation ever since. Ed remained active as Founder and Chairman of the Board until he passed away at age 94 in 2018, while his children are active in the day-to-day business. Tom Trumble is chairman, Jane Trumble is Senior Vice President of Product Development, Nancy Fox is Vice President of Celebration Greetings Product Development.
Leanin’ Tree has grown from four Western Christmas cards to offer over 3,000 unique greeting cards in a multitude of themes for everyday occasions and major holidays. From our headquarters in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, we now ship over 20 million greeting cards a year.
The large majority of these cards are sold through thousands of retail outlets across the country. International distributors and direct catalog sales account for the remaining portion. Making this possible is a dedicated workforce of over 200 full-time employees.
Leanin’ Tree’s product mission for more than 60 years has remained unchanged: To bring the best in art and words together in a way that touches your heart. This simple mission is accomplished with a lot of hard, yet fun, work.
First, we comb the country to find the most talented independent artists we can. The relationships we build with these gifted artists are critical since Leanin’ Tree does not directly employ a single artist. Only by working with independent artists and photographers can we bring you the quality and variety of art that we offer.
You just bought a blank card for a friend’s important occasion. You’re hoping that if you stare at it long enough you’ll come up with something clever or heartfelt to say. It’s not always easy, is it? Now try doing it 8 hours a day. That’s exactly what our verse writers do. They start with an inspiring work of art and then add just the right words to touch your heart. (Now, we realize that you write great stuff. That’s why we sell blank cards. The versed cards are for all those other guys.)
- Leanin’ Tree shall continue forever.
- Ownership and management of Leanin’ Tree shall remain closely held within the Trumble family, and Leanin’ Tree shall avoid long-term corporate debt.
- Leanin’ Tree recognizes that without customers, there is no company. Customer satisfaction is Leanin’ Tree’s primary objective.
- Leanin’ Tree shall strive for excellence in all that it does, continually improving our practices, products, and services.
- Leanin’ Tree is in the happiness business. Leanin’ Tree shall produce products that are positive, uplifting, and life-enhancing.
- Leanin’ Tree shall practice commonly accepted principles of business management.
- Leanin’ Tree shall seek to provide a healthy, productive, energetic, and enthusiastic work environment reflecting a high regard for the value of the individual.
- All employees shall be competent and properly trained for their job, and shall be treated with professional respect.
- Leanin’ Tree shall seek to provide a maximum degree of satisfaction on the part of all employees in their assigned tasks.
- Leanin' Tree shall be a responsible and constructive member of the community.
- Leanin' Tree shall practice ethical and honorable behavior, and in all that Leanin' Tree does, God’s will and love shall be exemplified.
Leanin’ Tree is about transforming a simple piece of paper into something magnificent that brightens your day, lifts your heart, or makes you smile. All in all, it’s pretty straightforward and "down to earth". And that’s the way we like it.
Leanin’ Tree is also down to earth about the earth. Like most companies, we use precious resources to bring our products to you. To minimize this impact we print all our cards and envelopes on recycled paper. We have operated a comprehensive corporate recycling program for years that includes printed office scrap, office paper, ink cans, printing plates, phone books, low-mercury fluorescent light bulbs, metal banding, steel, aluminum, glass and plastic bottles, corrugated paper and computer components. Leanin’ Tree is a Certified Green Printer with the Printing & Imaging Association of Mountain States, a recent Silver Award recipient in the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program, and a member of Boulder County’s PACE Program (Partners for a Clean Environment). We also donate to a tree-planting organization to compensate for carbon emissions from our manufacturing process. Since the year 2000, wind-generated electricity has been used to power the lights in the Leanin’ Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art.