My husband Steve is a baby boomer, architect and a problem solver. His hobby is building, tinkering and inventing. In fact, that’s how Ultimate Christmas Storage began, Steve designed our first Christmas ornament storage box and still does all our designs today. But you don’t know Steve, so let me share another story first, because most of you do know the name Christopher Radko.
The New York times dubbed Mr. Radko, The Czar of Christmas Present, with well over 18 million hand blown glass ornaments in almost as many homes, it’s an apt moniker!
In an interview with Melissa Parker of Smashing Interviews Magazine Christopher said, “For me, home base was always under the Christmas tree. I loved the magic fantasy of it, the blinking lights and the shiny ornaments. It was just something that really inspired me. It seeded in me this love for color and décor and put me in good stead when our 12-foot family tree finally did fall over.”
Apparently Christopher felt some responsibility for losing all of his family's Christmas ornaments when the family tree fell over and broke all the vintage ornaments. He tried to replace them but soon realized that those old European hand-blown glass ornaments could not be replaced.
“I set about looking for glass blowers to replace our ornaments and ended up having to design them myself. Back in the 1980s, everything was plastic and Styrofoam. Nobody was making glass ornaments. My love for Christmas from my earlier years helped inspire me, as I brought back some finely painted ornaments that I recalled growing up.”
Thankfully for my own family Christopher was successful - very successful - in making those gorgeous old-world ornaments available for all!
Around the same time Steve (remember him?) pulled out the old ornaments that he’d inherited from his Mother, and Grandmother and combined them with the newly purchased Radko ornaments. Maybe he was inspired by that sparkling Christmas tree or by watching his baby daughter’s joy around the tree, but he knew that he had to find a way to protect those shiny little treasures for her, forever. And the idea of creating Christmas ornament storage boxes was born.
Steve had noticed that some of his oldest inherited Christmas ornaments had a slightly dingy tarnish and brown spots. Researching this he found that the naturally occurring acid in most materials (especially cardboard boxes) would over time leach the vibrant colors and tarnish the silvered interior of the glass ornaments. The logical solution was to use an acid-free material, which he learned is used exclusively by museums and archives. There was also the problem of crowding. Fragile ornaments touching can easily cause breakage; individual cubbies would solve that. So, he designed a Christmas ornament storage box with removable trays and dividers that could be adjusted as needed to accommodate longer or wider Christmas ornaments and made it of a sturdy, acid-free chipboard. With the beauty of Christmastime decor in mind, he wrapped the Christmas ornament storage box in a gorgeous holiday print. That original print was called St. Nicholas and many of you still have that beautiful print with candy canes, roses, and Jolly St. Nick on a black background with gold foil running throughout.
Since that first ornament storage box, Ultimate Christmas storage has been very successful in helping clients preserve their ornaments and other treasures. I’m grateful and proud to say that we have many loyal customers all over the country that are still buying our Christmas storage boxes. Many buy for children and grandchildren, they buy them for newlyweds and Christmas weddings, for friends and family, I even have several realtors that buy them as housewarming gifts.
The common theme heard from all our customers is a desire to preserve and pass along precious ornaments which are considered invaluable family heirlooms.
For more information about our Christmas ornament storage solutions please contact us:
Office Line: 310-527-7100 Kathy's Direct Line: 310-625-6025
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