MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you’ve ever ordered a wreath from a Boy Scout, odds are it came from a family business in Ham Lake. At the Mickman Brothers’ in Ham Lake, Christmas comes in October.
“Every single wreath is going on somebody’s mother’s front door,” Mickman Brothers owner John Mickman said.
This real-life version of Santa’s workshop churns out thousands of wreaths every day that are shipped out to spruce up homes across the country.
“One at a time and each one is hand-crafted it’s a Herculean effort,” Mickman said.
The brothers go through piles and piles of material in just two days, about two semi truckloads’ worth.
“There’s only one way to do it. My grandmother showed me how to do it when I was a little kid and that’s the way we still do it here,” Mickman said.
The grandmother in question was Yohanna Talofson, who they said learned how to make Christmas wreathes from her mother in Norway in the late 1800s.
The business has grown a bit since then. Yohanna did about 5,000 to 6,000 wreaths per year, and the brothers say they’re doing half a million. But the small details remain inherited from their grandmother.
“It’s the simple things that we learned from our grandmother … putting glitter on the white-tipped cones, that’s because of my grandma,” Mickman said.
Many of their perfected wreaths are sold for a cause. They service about 2,500 organizations in 49 states. The brothers themselves have taken up reforestation as a cause of their own.
The Mickman Brothers’ wreath business seems to be evergreen, vibrant, colorful and growing by the year. And it all spurred from two brothers who never outgrew their passion for making the seasons bright.
“I can’t imagine not going through October, November, December without making Christmas wreaths,” Mickman said.