A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: TreeSleigh.com.

Share story

What: TreeSleigh.com, based in Federal Way

Who: Todd Miner, owner

Employees: four

What it does: The company takes online orders for Christmas trees and delivers them to customers, vacuuming up stray needles along the way. For an additional fee, it will pick up the tree after the holiday.

This isn’t engineering: And Miner likes it that way. He worked at a Seattle aerospace company for seven years as an electrical engineer but had another career in mind. “I wanted to have a Christmas-tree farm growing up,” said Miner, 35. “It’s always been my dream.”

Not quite a farm: TreeSleigh.com isn’t that farm, but it comes close. Each week, Miner places orders with a grower. When the trees come in, his employees deliver them from Tacoma to Marysville and as far east as Issaquah.

A range of prices: The average customer order is about $100. A Douglas fir starts around $75, and a tall noble fir can go for as much as $260.

Troubled start: Miner founded the company in March 2004. He had never worked in retail. Family members thought he was crazy. “They couldn’t understand why I would leave such a good-paying job to start something from scratch,” he said.

Second time around: With lessons learned, Miner hopes to deliver 200 trees this season.

Quote: “When people see us bring their tree to their home, their eyes light up. It’s almost like a relative of Santa Claus delivering their gifts to them.”

— Kim Peterson