Modern Christmas Tree entered the Shark Tank with their bright and festive company that creates unique, contemporary acrylic trees. They come with an LED light, chandelier crystals, bulb ornaments and a mirror ball on an ornamotor.
We interviewed Matthew Bliss, who started the company to pay homage to his grandfather, who designed the original prototype in 1966. To date, they’ve sold close to 2,000, all over the world and on nearly every continent. He’s also created custom trees for the Disneyland Hotel, The Ritz Carlton, the Four Seasons, galleries, convention centers and malls.
As for the future of the Denver-based business, besides growing their line to include new designs, sizes and styles, they are looking to establish facilities in Europe and Australia.
Here’s what else he told us about…
Paying Tribute to His Grandfather
My Grandpa Lawrence “Bud” Stoeker designed a Christmas Tree made of concentric rings in 1966. It was the tree we grew up seeing every Christmas Eve spent at their house. I was a family favorite. When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I decided to pay tribute to him by updating his tree and showing the world. His signature is engraved on every tree I make. What started as a tribute turned into a full-time job in 2014 with interest seen all over the world.
Experience With Kickstarter
We did a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise interest for a seasonal product in the off-season. Although it was successfully funded, it didn’t generate the interest we had hopes. Had we done the campaign in the fall/winter, I think it would have resonated better.
Advice to Future ‘Tank’ Contestants
Watch every show you can and write down every question that the Sharks ask. Draft great answers based on those questions and study them! Practice, practice, practice. Stop watching the show a couple weeks before going on the show/taping.
The Nerve-Inducing ‘Tank’ Experience
I was very nervous the week before the show. I arrived on Sunday in LA and was sick to my stomach every day until Thursday when we shot for the show. I felt a calmness over me as I waited in my trailer to go on. I became very nervous when I walked onto the set. My throat was so dry. I couldn’t drink enough water.
Other holiday products from Shark Tank: