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Christmas Wreaths

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by Whitey4, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I am going to try this and see how it goes. I have plenty of capacity (time to spare) after Thanksgiving, and have been collecting pine cones at my mowing accounts all fall. I purchased some wreath rings here:


    I will make some sample Balsam wreaths and sample pine cone wreaths and offer them to my regular accounts. I may try to get some Christmas tree sellers to carry them on consignment. I intend to sell them at Home Depot prices, but with more greens and higher quality.

    I have made my own wretahs before... and they look better than anything I could buy.

    Question for the Christmas tree guys.... how should I approach the vendors around here? How much in % do you guys want for high quality wreaths? Are they on consignment, or do you buy them for working stock? How much of a markup do you want?

    Thanks in advance....
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    We buy our wreaths from Holiday Bright Lights in Omaha, Nebraska. For a Christmas installer, I am looking for a consistant product that will give the customer value for 6-8 years before relighting, then another 5-6 years after that before the foliage fades. The issue I would have with a local handmade wreath would be availability and sellability. I sell wreaths from $249 for a 4 foot flat up to $799 for a 7 foot 3-d. 3 kinds of mixed foliage and pine cones, bulb covers and 5000 hour lights. These wreaths are extremely durable and substanstial in weight and appearance. This is what it takes to make a decorating statement on a 4-5000 square foot home.

    I see your market as primarily door wreaths, as most homes we do have a handmade wreath at the door. You need photo's that installers could carry with them and show the handmade quality. You would need probably a dozen or so diffferent designs to have folks choose from. I would expect and installer to double your price or more to make it worth thier time.
  3. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    I think he is talking about making real wreaths. I know our HD's sell real wreaths as well as fake wreaths. I get asked every now and then if we carry real wreaths, which we don't.

    I would make up a real wreath and take it with you and go and talk to the different tree lots and see if they are interested and if they want to buy them from you wholesale or work on consignment. I bet they are going to want to sell a 20in real wreath for $20 and want to only pay about $10-14 for it.
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I plan on making 24" balsam green wreaths and 12" pine cone wreaths. The wreaths that are comparable and available on line run about $39 plus shipping.


    Another site:


    This is about what Home Depot charges in this area as well. I want to retail them at the same price, but higher quality, more greens, large bows, more ornaments and decorations.

    These are meant to be door wreaths... and so are the 12" pine cone wreaths. For my own customers, I will offer custom made 36" wreaths as well.

    My cost will run bout 12 to 15 bucks a wreath... so selling retail at $20 is out of the question. In this area, you might be able to buy a mistltoe for 20 bucks, but not a wreath!

    Sounds like once again, regional markets and the prices vary widely... just like mowing does. Here, mowing is dirt cheap, things like wreaths get a much higher price.

    Thanks for the replies... anyone else?
  5. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Why would you sell better quaity wreaths for the same price?
    We make 24inch wreaths from blank wreaths, use LED's.. and get $50 for them. Better quality than the $40 HD wreaths, so we charge more.

    People will pay more for nicer things.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Mine will not include lights... and neither do the real (greens) HD wreaths here. I figure I can be at the HD price, but my competitive advantage is in the quality. I always do something to differentiate anything I do from the next guy. For another 2 bucks in materials, my wreaths will be better than HD. Being it's my first year in this endevour.... I don't want to be "just as good" as HD... I want to be better.

    I always want to be better than my competition. Whether it be service, quality, or custom orders... anything but price. At $40 for a 24" wreath, I match HD here, and I offer higher quality. I will off course offer lights on request. I hope to get some custom orders for 36" wreaths as well.
  7. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    I'm just saying, don't sell yourself short. If you have a better product than HD, than sell it for more money.
  8. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Went to the HD today. They had a bunch of balsam wreaths still unpacked, with no decorations. Here is the kicker.... they sell their wreaths... well it's not quite honest. Their "24 inch" wreaths are on 18" rings. Apparently, they label them as 24's AFTER the greens are on the ring! The wreaths on 24 inch rings are called 36 inch wreaths!

    These so called 36 inch wreaths, just greens on them, are marked at $19 and change. These are actually 24 inch wreaths.

    Learning as I go here.... I got my rings today via UPS. I'll make up my samples this weekend, and see where that takes me.
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I think the industry pretty much rates thier wreaths by foliage and not rings. HBL is mixed on this- the 36 and 48 inch noble wreath is rated by the foliage and the "3-d" series is rated by the ring or frame. if you go on the internet anywhere and order a wreath, I would expect the 36 inch wreath to be about 36 inches based on the foliage. Most "60 inch" or "72 inch" wreaths are not rated by ring, but by foliage.

    So I'm not too sure HD is trying to rip off the public by calling a wreath one thing and the rings are another.

    I do believe if your wreaths are awesome and decorated you can sell them at a premium price.
  10. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Thank you David. As I mentioned, I have made wreaths before, but never for resale. I figured you order a 24" ring, that is a 24 inch wreath. I obviously have no clue as to how things work in this seasonal product market for retail sales.

    My intent is to use 30% more greens than HD stuff, and with more decorations than their wreaths have. I think from an artistic standpoint, mine will also be more attractive. I will use glass bulbs, real holly bunches, large bows, silver and gold flake spray painted cones, etc. I seem to recall from last year they were at about 42 bucks at HD for a 36 inch decorated wreath (based on the size with greens). So far, only undecorated stock was in the store.

    I have even less market info on the 12 inch pine cone wreaths. I don't even know if I should poly them to last for 5 or 6 seasons, or just sell them without a poly spray coat. I have no clue as of yet what the market price might be.

    But... I like to do this sort of stuff, and it seems like even if I don't make a ton of $ I will still make some, and enjoy doing it. After this year, and learning what I can, I can make it more of a business endeavor than an experimental hobby, which is what it is at this point, until I learn more.

    I do appreciate the replies fellas..... Thank you.

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