What is the significance of a Tulip Tree?



 The Origin:

Joshua Pennekamp moved to the United States when he was just a boy. He moved to the Mid-West from The Netherlands, and lost everything he knew to be familiar. One day he discovered the North-American Tulip Poplar - a tall deciduous shade tree that grows leaves and spring flowers in the shape of tulips! After seeing this, he knew everything would be alright, the Lord would establish him here, and make him grow. It became his symbol of freedom. When he started his business, with the mission of helping small, American, ethically sourced, cottage-manufacturing industries and businesses that could make beautiful things for everyone, he knew right away which symbol he wanted as his logo. It wasn't until later, that he learned the historical significance of the tulip tree.


Roots of Freedom

The historical significance and symbolism of the tulip tree transcends the passage of time and human culture. At the founding of this great nation, tulip trees were often designated as gathering places in towns and cities across the colonies to discuss the philosophies and ideas of God given rights and freedoms that would lay the foundation of the laws that create justice, and liberty for all. These trees, dubbed “Liberty Trees,” became the rallying ground of free speech. They were so great an image of resistance against tyranny that they were sought out by the invading armies to be destroyed. Tyranny and the human desire for justice and liberty are a universal struggle, and not just limited to the United States. Symbols of hope are powerful. 

George Washington, after returning home to Mount Vernon after the Revolutionary War was so fond of the beauty of the tulip tree that he himself planted one in his own garden in 1785 at the age of 56. It can still be seen today, greeting visitors to this day, throwing a cool shade in summer, an array of yellow and gold leaves in the fall, and miniature tulip flowers in the spring. George Washington was quoted to have once said “Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” Which we believe falls right in line with our vision and mission statement. 

“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”
George Washington, Planter of Tulip Trees

“The moment I saw it, I knew God was going to establish me here in this land and grow me into His will and purpose.”
Joshua Pennekamp, founder of the Tulip Tree, August 2019


Our mission:

"Building roads between the people, promoters, designers, and the makers, with excellence and diligence, to promote the cohesion of service, and satisfy the human need for a clear conscience, and mindfully designed products."

Our Vision:

"Matching discerning consumers with mindful products."


Our Style 
Some have asked us what our style is, and what our look is. Is it Western? Is it Urban? 1920's? Is it Preppy? Our outlook on style and design is this: while everyone is trying to cater to a certain genre, our group of people, we believe our values are for all people. Our leather goods harken back to the days in America where every major city and small town had a boot maker, shoe maker, upholsterer, and a saddle maker. Whether you were a rugged cowboy on the frontier, a classy lady or gentleman roaming the streets of San Francisco, Chicago, or New York, you would have approached a smalls shop in your area to commission beautiful pieces of everyday art you could carry with you or give as a gift. Those shops on Main Street America all produced similar things with similar tools and techniques. They made things for people looking for the same things: beauty, functionality, craftsmanship, durability, longevity, and design. We support the individual, and their freedom to choose their own style. You know best who you are, and you know best what fits your fashion tastes. We don't need to tell you what you are, you already know what you like. Good style never goes out of fashion. Buy things that last and serve you, and your community. We are here to serve that. 



More detail:

What inspired the logo of The Tulip Tree? Joshua Pennekamp, founder and owner of The Tulip Tree, USA was first introduced to the tree variety in 5th grade during a science fair project. At the time, he had recently immigrated from The Netherlands - where the tulips grow. He was in the midst of a depression - having lost his whole life moving to a foreign country where nothing seemed familiar, until he saw a shape so familiar - a leaf in the shape of a tulip! How wild a thing this was! Only the maker of heaven and earth could leave a note of encouragement with His signature in such a way. When everything was falling apart around him, the God of heaven reached down to encourage a 10 year old boy, who could not write or read English, who was mocked for his accent, and who had lost all friends and hope. From that day forward, he knew everything would be okay. This symbol of hope eventually led to the creation of the brand that makes the products you can now enjoy today.
Soli Deo Gloria.