Author Archives: Thomas "Mac" Harman

About Thomas "Mac" Harman

Mac founded Balsam Hill in 2006 after discovering his brother-in-law was allergic to real Christmas trees. He enjoys travelling the world in search of inspiration for new tree designs, and to hand-pick the finest home décor to share with his customers. Mac was honored on the Silicon Valley Business Journal's prestigious "40 under 40" list, and was selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 Award.

Thomas "Mac" Harman | CEO of Balsam Hill

Fall is in the Air

Yesterday was my official start of fall  – as I drove home, I noticed that a huge number of leaves had fallen off the trees that lined my street.  Ever since I moved to California, fall leaf season has just not been the same.  Many of the trees are evergreens and many more trees keep their leaves throughout the year.  However, there are certain species of trees that still drop their leaves in our area and that is in full force now.

As much as it was great to see the change to the season, those of you who have had the opportunity to see the fall foliage turn in New England know just how special fall can be.  In fact, a good friend of mine got in touch over the weekend with a short message – “I’m in Vermont near where you used to live looking at the foliage – any tips on where we should visit?”  Speaking of which, if you are ever in or near Bennington, Vermont, make sure to visit the Blue Benn Diner – it can’t be beat.

It is amazing how many colors can develop in a leaf.  The bright yellows, the crimson reds, the many shades of orange – it is truly an experience to witness fall foliage at its finest.  For the four years I lived in New England, there were some incredibly striking days where the colors were vibrant, the sun was shining brightly, and the wind was strong enough to constantly blow more leaves off the trees and send them tumbling across the landscape.  It is one of the most beautiful things in nature, and the perfect accompaniment to the fall treats of hot apple cider and an apple donut or fritter!

Thomas "Mac" Harman | CEO of Balsam Hill

Fall Frenzy

Labor Day Weekend is upon us, our unofficial marker that another summer has come to an end.  School is back in session or returns back on Tuesday, and in our American culture it is the start of what I believe is the most productive time of the year.

Have you ever noticed this annual pattern?  In January, the new year begins and there is a long period of normalcy through May – social calendars are normal, productivity is high, and there are some scattered three day weekends every other month or so.  Then, the summer hits and everything changes.  Sunshine lasts all day, school is out, workplace productivity drops as there is always someone on vacation, summer employees flood the workplace, summer hangouts get busy, even traffic patterns change.  For some of us, it’s the best weather of the year and we spend as much time as we can outside.

In late August and the first few days of September, it seems that everyone is cramming in one last long weekend or one more family vacation trip.  While we don’t shut down as a country like France does in August, it certainly seems like a pretty sleepy month.  However, once we get to the end of August or Labor Day weekend (depending on when local schools return), the “fall frenzy” begins.

All of a sudden it’s mid September and there is a half-year left of things to accomplish at home and at work, but there are only four months left (and really just three if you factor in all the end of the year holidays).  I think this makes September through Thanksgiving the most productive time of the year.

There’s renewed energy to finish projects at home, to get tasks done at work, to learn more and achieve more in school.  Then by Halloween, the wakeup call comes that the holidays are almost here, and we have even less time to get all these things done…making November an incredible frenzy of activity before the holidays are upon us.

In our business at Balsam Hill, the fall frenzy is even more exciting.  Our new products are all in stock, our team is geared up for another great season, and the majority of our sales season is ahead of us.  We hope that your fall season is productive and fun, and we hope that you’ll enjoy this fall as much as we do.