Amy Lewis from Kewanee sells custom Christmas trees

It’s been a tough year last year, but a woman from Kewanee has found a way to turn her slump into an exciting new venture.

“I was looking for something that I could focus on, something positive that would help me get out of my funk,” said Amy Lewis.

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She once jokingly told her husband that she wished she could decorate trees all day. His response to her: “So why not you?

“It just happened from there,” she said. “I found something that gave me joy while also making others happy. I know it sounds cliché, but I’m not really doing it for the money. I honestly do it because I like it.

Following her husband’s suggestion, Lewis began to formulate a business plan. This year, she started her own business, “The Tinseled Tree by Amy,” a Christmas tree rental business in which Lewis designs, rents and delivers ornately decorated trees right to his client’s doorstep.

When not decorating the trees, Lewis works full time as a mortgage lender and retail manager for the Galva Community State Bank branch. She worked for the bank for 10 years. Lewis’s husband, Chad, owns Lewis Auto Body, and the couple have two boys, Brendon and Marshall.

Before launching her tree rental service, she admits to being a little worried about being able to achieve such a business model in rural areas.

“I tend to be torn between keeping it as a hobby or letting it evolve,” Lewis said. “The demand is there. I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

Since this is Lewis’s first year in business, it’s still trial and error, she said.

“My model can change over time. ”

The operation of his rental business is that the client can visit the “The Tinseled Tree by Amy” Facebook page. All the details are there, she said, and they can also see the trees available on the photo tab where there is an album dedicated to each tree pre-decorated with price, availability and size. Prices range from $ 60 to $ 120 and include local delivery, full tree installation, and post New Years pickup. A deposit of 50% is requested when ordering, the balance on delivery.

“We start delivering trees on November 20 and will continue throughout the season. The idea is that guests can just relax and enjoy the vacation with one less thing to worry about, ”Lewis said.

But if the idea of ​​renting a tree doesn’t appeal to customers, Lewis offers another service: Christmas decorator rental.

“I am also delighted to respond to these requests,” she said. “The client and I discuss their budget and style preferences, and then I’ll take it from there. ”

While the business seems perfectly suited for a creative personality, Lewis said she doesn’t see herself as creative. Instead, she said she had two things going for her – she’s an observer and she adores Christmas.

“Whether it’s storefronts, social media posts, or good old Google, I’m always looking for inspiration,” she said. “I do all my decoration at home in my garage where I also installed my photo background. My husband says it looks like Christmas threw up in his garage. He’s not wrong. But hey, it’s seasonal, right?

And Lewis said she liked the season.

“I’m the nutcase who plays Christmas music the day after Halloween. I can’t say I’ve always been good at decorating, but I’ve always had a passion for it. I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas.

His hope is to continue to increase his tree inventory as demands come in, but like everywhere else, supply issues worry him.

As rental inquiries come in, Lewis said she has noticed her clientele are diverse and include people who rent their trees for a variety of reasons. Some have busy schedules while others love the trees but not the hassle, she said. Others want a change of scenery every year without spending a ton of money. She also looks after businesses, as well as people with disabilities.

Lewis said she and her mother also strongly believe that every child should have a Christmas tree, so each year they try to find two or three families they can help.

“If anyone needs help or knows someone who has it, ask them to contact me,” Lewis said.

If Lewis was worried about how such an endeavor would be received by the community, his mind was reassured. She spent most of last season testing the idea and seeing if there was even a demand for the service. She is happy to hear that he exists.

“To my surprise, it was extremely well received. I got a lot of interest, especially from the Quad City area. Although I would like to diversify, I’m not quite there yet, ”she said. “For now, I am staying local.

“The Tinseled Tree by Amy” will continue to rent trees until the week before Christmas. More information can be found by visiting the company’s Facebook page.

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