Company History

Founded in 1949

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.

First Leanin' Tree Christmas Cards
The first Christmas cards sold in 1949 were created
by co-founder Bob Lorenz.

Starting on a Shoe String, In a Shoe Box

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"!

Employee Owned

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 flourished for decades as a family-owned operation until it became fully employee owned in late 2021.

From Colorado With Care

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.

Our Simple Mission

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.

Start With Art

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.

Words Make it Work

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.)

Down to Earth

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.Earth

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 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, metal banding, steel, aluminum, glass and plastic bottles, corrugated paper and computer components. The company is a 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.