Felicia Events sat down with Brian Miyake, owner of Tree in a Box, to talk trees, weddings, sustainability, and more.
Felicia Events: Tree in a Box is such a unique concept. Tell us a little bit about the company. How did you come up with the concept?
Brian Miyake: Tree In A Box was the idea of founders Kristine and Arthur Akins in 1991. Living in New Mexico at the time they unsuccessfully tried to plant greenhouse grown trees on their property. Realizing they needed a better way to acclimate the trees to the climate and altitude, they decided to grow their own trees from seed. They had great success growing trees to plant on their property and so much fun nurturing each tree they wanted to share the experience with others and Tree In A Box was born.
Kristine and Art’s daughter was the first princess of trees, growing up appreciating the environment and learning about the importance and beauty of trees. She enjoyed the title for 18 years before going off to college and passing the title on to the young daughter of new owners Brian and Carrie Miyake. Having been friends with Kristine for over five years, she turned to Brian when health conditions prevented Arthur from continuing on with the company. New owners Brian and Carrie took over Tree In A Box in 2014 and the company moved to its current location in Vancouver, Washington.
Tree In A Box sells the finest grow your own tree from seed kit. Each kit is complete with a peat pot, soil pellet, seeds, and a 32 page information and instructional booklet. Kits are packaged into the smallest possible packaging, only 2 ½” wide, tall, and deep, to avoid waste and for compact shipping. Tree In A Box currently offers eight varieties of trees in their tree growing kits. Each kit is easy to use, designed to be "add water only" and grown in a sunny window.
FE: In an era when people are concerned with sustainability, gifts like this are welcomed. How do you stand out among other sustainable, earth-friendly gifts?
BM: In a time where it is everyone’s responsibility to be sustainable, Tree In A Box stands out by offering products that are completely biodegradable, organic, recycled, or recyclable. We give brides a green alternative to the typical wedding favor. A gift guests will enjoy for years to come and serve as a reminder of the happy occasion year after year. While other gifts and favors are earth-friendly and green, Tree In A Box favors create oxygen for the earth.
FE: What options can you offer a couple looking for a unique favor for their wedding?
BM: Tree In A Box tree growing kits make excellent wedding favors that can be customized to commemorate the big day. Besides being used as guest favors, Tree In A Box tree growing kits can be used as table markers, seating assignment place holders, and more. Tree In A Box tree growing kits can be dressed up further by adding color coordinating ribbon or tulle for an even more unique favor.
FE: What comes in the wedding seal kit? How much customization can a couple do with that kit?
BM: Tree In A Box wedding seal kits include any one of our eight standard tree species kits with the seal placed on the top of the kit. Wedding seals typically include the names of the bride and groom as well as the wedding date but can be personalized with any wording the couple selects. Tree In A Box offers six standard seal styles as well as a custom seal the happy couple can personalize with a photo. Seals come in two sizes and lettering can be color coordinated to match the couple’s wedding colors.
FE: The carbon footprint calculator is very neat. How did you come up with that? How much carbon does a tree in a box actually offset for an average wedding?
BM: We really liked the idea of calculating your carbon footprint and there are a number [of calculators] on the Internet, so we had our web developers code in the variables we thought were most common for weddings. Weddings and other significant events can be a major planning challenge. One negative aspect is the carbon footprint created by your event. Airplane flights are by far the biggest factor in your carbon footprint as well as vehicle travel, trips to and from the airport and general driving in preparation for your event. Planting trees from Tree In A Box can help offset this.
A single yard tree is so effective it can absorb up to 1.25 tons of carbon dioxide over its normal lifetime. Two mature trees provide enough oxygen for a family of four.
FE: Anything else you'd like to share?
BM: Tree In A Box guarantees each kit will spout at least one tree. If for any reason you cannot get any of the seeds in your kit to sprout we will happily send you a new set of seeds. In addition to our grow your own tree from seed kits, Tree In A Box also offers a specially designed tree kit to celebrate the birth of a baby, a grow your own Christmas tree kit, and a Baby Tree Gift Kit that is perfect for any new mother-to be.
For those who are short on space or live in a condo or apartment, you can still enjoy Tree In A Box tree growing kits. All of our tree species can be grown as a patio sized or bonsai sized tree by simply growing them in a smaller sized pot.
Not sure which type of tree to select? Visit our growing zone page to determine your growing zone and match it up to our list of ideal growing zones for each species we offer.
Thanks, Brian, for chatting with us. Learn more about Tree In A Box here: http://treeinabox.com/