About Us

We have had the pleasure of meeting many people since we started our "Christmas Journey" a number of years ago.We have been asked many questions and so here is a brief summary of the beginning of Twins Feather Trees.

We are identical twins and we look alike to people who don't know us well, but to friends and family there is little confusion. Except on the telephone... we sound exactly alike. And for convenience purposes we've been known to change names at a moment's notice. So being a twin has its advantages.

We also think alike. Many times we'll come up with a new color or idea without telling each other. We'll both be thinking it is our own original idea - and then we find out we both had the same idea. When this happens, we know we have a winner. So we think alike and we look alike. But enough about this "TWINS" thing. On with the history of our company.

We saw our first feather tree in a friend's apartment. It was a small green tree. We were told of it's early 1900's German origin and although we knew nothing about antique Christmas Collectibles - a spark was kindled. We wanted a feather tree and the search began. That was in 1981. About six months later we found a 45" tree with tin candle holders in a white turned base for $30.00 and a 35" tree in mint condition. Over the next few years we found a wonderful colbalt blue 4' tree with a red/blue holly stencil and a number of other trees that today total around 15 antique trees. But it was in September of 1982 that we found the tree that would propel us to a new career.

We had been at a antiques flea market since dawn and it was now midday. We decided to take one last stroll around before leaving. Then in a booth was a small feather tree, about 24" tall and in perfect condition for $2.00. As we carried it to the van we were hounded to sell it. Perhaps there were more collectors than feather trees. Looking back at that event we feel we were 'guided' to find that small tree so late in the day.

In October of 1983 we made our first tree. We reproduced the flea market find. We figured out the feather work and asked our dad to help with the rest. He is a carpenter and cabinet maker so he worked out the details. He made bases for the trees, both square and turned, just like the antique originals. He even matched paint colors. We wanted everything about our new trees to be as identical to the old ones as possible.

Once we achieved the look we wanted we were ready to take the trees and other items to a show. That was in 1984. The first shows were disappointing but then EARLY AMERICAN LIFE magazine did an article on feather trees in 1985 and mentioned us. We were the first people in this country to reproduce feather trees. Home decorating magazines started to include feather trees in their holiday issues and Christmas collectibles becmae very popular. Several other publications including

The feather tree was once again celebrated and given its rightful place in decorating.
Our seasonal trees were also beginning to catch on. Although we introduced the blue
patriotic tree, the pastel trees and the black Halloween tree in 1989, they didn't become popular until a few years later. In 1996 we took the patriotic tree a step further by incorporting a red/white/blue feather mix for the branches. We also added orange feathers to the black tree for a more festive look. People wanted to decorate for the holidays throughout the year, using the feather tree as the backdrop for their

In 1999 we celebrated the 15th year anniversary of Twins Feather Trees and our journey has been an exciting one. Since 1981, we have met many people who have shared our passion for antique Christmas collectibles. We now have seven people helping us make our holiday items... four have been with us since 1987. In addition our family helps too.

Our dad's woodworking background and artistic instinct have been so helpful that the list of things he has done is endless. Our aunt (our dad's sister) makes the Moravian
stars and our mom works on much of the correspondence. Karen's son Alex paints many of the santa boots and hands. We are very much like a cottage industry.

Each item we make is handmade in Cincinnati, Ohio. We personally make sure every tree, santa and holiday decoration is authentic to the German original. Our goal is to make the highest quality holiday reproductons available today but with the olde world charm and antique look of a century ago. We've been told our items could go on the auction block and we're complimented.

Each year we do a number of presentations, signings, and shows throughout the country. We also offer classes and we have a Christmas open house in Cincinnati each year in December. It's always a festive occasion and everyone is welcome.
Perhaps at one of our events we will meet you and it will be a joy to discuss Christmas collections and traditions and of course the beautiful and graceful feather trees.

We hope to talk to you soon ... The Twins


Twins Feather Trees, Inc.
Karen Shields and Sharen Bauer
The Original Feather Trees - since 1984
1755 Hanfield Street
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Telephone/Facsimile: (513) 681-9357
eMail: twinsfeathertree@mindspring.com

© 2001 Twins Feather Trees, Inc.
All photos and text are the property of Twins Feather Trees, Inc.
and may not be reproduced without permission.