The phrase ‘kitchen table start-up’ evokes images of small and cosy home-run businesses. Twilight Trees may have started with a single tree to rent but just a few years later, with 8 staff sat round the kitchen table and the garden housing 26 shipping containers, it became clear that Susie Reid Thomas was on a mission to change the landscape of the events industry, one tree at a time; ‘I would drive past the National History Museum and think, one day my trees will be in there’, by 2018 they were.
The turning point in the business’s history came a year after its inception; ‘I had been renting out a small handful of LED Cherry trees for about a year. It had been a real hustle and I was juggling two small children at the same time but the name was getting out there. One day a call came in from Burlington Arcade and they commissioned a 30 tree installation with a multi-year contract. Twilight Trees decorated Mayfair’s eminent arcade that year and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since. That was 9 years ago!’
As the business went from strength to strength, momentum was shattered in 2020 when the events industry came to a standstill. With quick innovation and remarkable determination, the company pivoted its offering and started creating high-end floral dividing screens. This was an overnight success and not only allowed Twilight Trees to survive but against all odds, thrive.
In 2022 Twilight Trees, now manned by man and wife team Susie and Andrew, moved to a series of expansive farm units just outside of Winchester. Passionate about nurturing local talent, Twilight Trees have set about sourcing and training as many local people as possible and now employs 20 members of staff including two under their new apprenticeship scheme.
Twilight Trees’ reputation for both service and quality has led to the company supplying artificial trees for over 300 events each year. They are preferred suppliers at venues such as The National Gallery, The Ned, Coworth Park, and Kew Gardens and have worked at venues such as The National History Museum, Kensington Palace, the V&A and were suppliers to the first event held at Balmoral Castle. Clients include names such as Google, Amazon, Netflix and Disney and the bespoke service stretches worldwide.
Twilight Trees has a strong focus on innovation and creativity all while ensuring that the service is inherently sustainable. With rented trees used time and time again, and many new designs being made from foraged fallen trees, sustainability is a key focus. Andrew Reid Thomas, comments: “We are a proudly carbon neutral company. We audit and offset our carbon footprint across all of our events, travel, shipping and the running of our business. In 2023 we offset 68.04 tonnes of CO2 by supporting a global portfolio of verified carbon reduction projects and we also plant trees monthly through TreeApp.’
As the company looks ahead to its next ten years, Twilight Trees is full of ambition. With its creative energy, enthusiasm, and supportive team ethos, Susie and Andrew are certain that the next decade will realise even bigger dreams, as they continue to create the spectacular.