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You Can Now Buy a Handful of Dead Autumn Leaves for $19.99

Not everyone has access to the beautiful autumn foliage that grows in the American Northeast. Which is why there’s a legitimate business that sells three perfectly preserved New England autumn leaves for about $20!

The idea belongs to Boston entrepreneur Kyle Waring, known for trying to ‘Ship Snow’ to warmer places earlier this year. Kyle’s latest seasonal venture is called ‘Ship Foliage’, which according to his website, preserves and ships “gorgeous fall foliage” across the US. 

“All leaves are collected from New England, and undergo a unique preservation process,” the website adds, revealing that their foliage experts (Waring, his wife, and their two Italian greyhounds) hike all over the Northeast in search of the perfect leaves. This is called the collection phase, during which each leaf is hand selected and branded ‘Grade A’ foliage. They venture out every weekend around Hamilton and Manchester-by-the-Sea, and at scenic spots like Lincoln, Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington, and Lake Winnipesaukee.

Photo: Ship Foliage

“I inspect every leaf to make sure that there’s no holes from bugs eating the leaves and also to make sure there’s no rips in the leaves,” Waring told The Guardian. “I make sure the color of the leaf is a really strong, vibrant color that someone would enjoy and kind of resonate with the foliage in the fall.” He ends up using only about 10 out of every 100 leaves he collects.

Then, these leaves are put through a week-long preservation process. They are soaked in a glycerin and water solution for three days, and then dried out for another three to four days.

Photo: Ship Foliage

“The process enhances the foliage color contrast and also preserves the leaves for years to come. Each bundle of leaves is color balanced, 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green or mixed leaf. Leaves are approximately 3’x6′.” Handwritten notes are included in each bundle, which can be customized for free.

According to Waring, the price tag of $19.99 is justified given the amount of time and effort that goes into picking and preserving each leaf. And his idea has a fair number of takers – he received about 135 orders in just two days. Lots of orders are coming in from California, Florida, and South Carolina. And, surprisingly, a few are from New York as well. “I guess it’s the preservation process,” he said. “No one wants to go through that hoopla.”

Photo: Ship Foliage

Although he’s so far been successful in his endeavors, Waring’s friends and family believe he’s crazy for coming up with such eccentric business ideas. His first business was a gangster name generator, which he started at age 16. He then went on to start a T-shirt company, a college humor website, and a marketplace for game developers. But now, at age 27, he’s settled for selling snow and foliage.

And he’s still on the lookout for new ideas. “I’m always building something new and something quirky so I’ve got some ideas floating around,” he said. “Maybe I’ll launch something come spring.”

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