The Toledo Christmas Weed Frenzy of 2018 (Our most popular shirt ever)

by Molly Joyce

In December 2018, Alyssa Emrick spotted a weed growing at the intersection of Secor and Alexis. In the holiday spirit, Alyssa and her family were inspired by this weed with its "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" vibe and decided to decorate it!

What started as a weed with some Christmas décor from a nearby Walgreens turned into an iconic Christmas must see. 

In the days and weeks that followed, more and more people contributed to decorating this weed. Lights, ornaments, tree skirts, everything!

And it didn't stop with decorations. The Toledo community rallied and left gifts, scarves, shoes, non-perishable food and more for people in need. 

To say the least, this weed went viral! From being a gathering place for Christmas carolers, to having its own Facebook page, to even being featured in holiday cards, this weed was officially famous. 

Toledo, Ohio doesn't make national news very often. When word of the Christmas Weed spread, we showed up in the Washington Post and NPR. The positive attention showed the generosity and optimism that exists in Toledo.

We at Jupmode wanted to join in on the fun, so we created our own Christmas Weed Collection to sell in our retail brand. This consisted of t-shirts, hats, and ornaments.

Would you believe us if we told you this shirt is by far our most purchased item? We sold 3,000 Christmas Weed shirts in a months time. It was a wonderful Christmas!

We knew the Christmas Weed was popular but we were not prepared for the amount of people lined up at our store multiple days in a row to get freshly printed Christmas Weed shirts. When we say freshly printed, we mean it! We brought shirts straight into the store and handed them to customers while they were still warm from coming out of the dryer.

Our little store on Adams Street saw more traffic in those weeks than ever before. We had everyone from retail to shipping to graphic designers helping get shirts tagged and out to customers. 

In order to handle the demand for one specific shirt, we had a dedicated employee at the front of the store ask each new person that walked in if they were here for the Christmas Weed shirt. If they were, we immediately handed them the shirts they needed. The line of people ordering shirts wrapped around our store.

christmas weed t-shirt crowd at jupmode store in toledo

One reason the shirt was so popular was because we donated proceeds from the sale to local shelters. The idea to do this came from the Emrick family. 

Our donations were split between four organizations - St. Paul's Community Center, Cherry Street Mission, Family House, and Rebekah's Haven.

The charitable aspect of the shirt showed the true spirit of Toledoans!

Now here we are in 2020, a year of many uncertainties and hardships. When we saw someone brought back the Christmas Weed (and we reprinted the shirt!), we were elated! Now more than ever people need some extra positivity and holiday cheer. 

While the Christmas Weed is fun and exciting, we know there are many great Toledo Holiday Traditions. What is your favorite thing to do to celebrate the holidays? Comment below, we'd love to hear! 


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