Founded in the fall of 2004, Jason and Renee started as a small vendor selling lucky bamboo arrangements at local farmer's markets in San Diego. They would try their best to fill the 10 x 10 booth with as many plants as possible. Despite San Diego's reputation of sunny skies, it rained nearly every Sunday during the market. On some days, Jason and Renee would be lucky to sell a single item. However, their persistence was rewarded as the little shop quickly gained popularity with the regular market shoppers.
After getting requests from many of the market shoppers to create a website, Jason and Renee launched EasternLeaf.com at the end of 2004. With his technical background, Jason designed and coded an online store overnight and launched it the next day. They received their first online order 5 hours later.
The first shipped order did not go quite as they had planned as the pot arrived shattered. They reshipped the item and learned their first lesson. Since then, they developed their own custom packaging in which nearly all of the trees are now packaged.
After operating out of their garage for two years, Jason and Renee moved to their first warehouse in 2006. At first, the two thought they would never be able to fill the 1,200 square foot facility as they only had three pallets of inventory. One year later, they had outgrown it and needed to move.
Over the next two years, Jason and Renee continued to add more products to the store, expanding their selection of bonsai trees, lucky bamboo, money trees, orchids, and other natural Zen related products.
In 2008, Jason and Renee moved to a larger warehouse. Similar to the previous warehouse, the two thought they would never fully utilize it. Four years later, in 2012, Jason and Renee had to purchase a large nursery property to meet with the demands of the business. As popularity grew, Jason and Renee expanded their production to starting plants from cuttings and seeds. In 2021, an additional two acres of land was purchased to continue growing and developing specialized species of trees including maples, junipers, pines, and various broadleaf trees. Eastern Leaf continued to grow and quickly established itself as a trusted source for quality bonsai trees, lucky bamboo, money trees, orchids, and zen gardening items.
On July 2023, Jason and Renee finished construction on their new garden center, which encompasses both their online operation and nursery. Their hope with the new retail garden was to provide an inviting experience to visitors interested in bonsai and various other plants. At the garden, visitors are able to see trees at different stages of development, from raw material to finished bonsai trees. Visitors can also hand pick trees to be shipped out to friends or back home if visiting from further away. Jason is also available at the nursery to share his knowledge with visitors.
Jason is very active in the bonsai community. In 2014, Jason was elected to the board of the Golden State Bonsai Federation. In 2015, he became the editor of GSBF's quarterly bonsai magazine publication. Locally, he has served as an officer for Kofu Bonsai Kai, one of Southern California's largest bonsai clubs. He was also a founding member of the Chino Bonsai Club. Jason holds demonstrations regularly at bonsai clubs, garden organizations, botanical centers, and museums throughout the country. Jason continues to share the knowledge he learns through his blog articles and videos. He also contributes to various bonsai publications including Bonsai Club International and GSBF. In 2017, he helped establish a bonsai school in Chino. In 2019, Jason started the Eastern Leaf Community, a place for enthusiasts of all levels to come together and collaborate on bonsai techniques and tips in a friendly and welcoming environment.
In 2021, Jason published Bonsai Pocket Guide: A Beginner's Journey, a book dedicated to helping beginners and new enthusiasts start their journey into the art of bonsai. With over 10,000 copies sold within its first year, the book has been praised by many bonsai clubs and communities as a comprehensive starter guide to bonsai.
Jason continues to be involved in the bonsai community through hosting bonsai club events, tours, and demonstrations at his nursery. He also participates with the California Bonsai Society in inviting visiting artists from the world to spread the art locally.
Eastern Leaf was fortunate enough to have their products appear in various magazines and publications including Better Homes & Garden, Naturally Danny Seo, Architectural Digest, Vogue, Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living, Veranda Magazine, Las Vegas Journal, Domino Magazine as well as an appearance on the television show Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
Eastern Leaf has also served numerous fortune 500 companies, helping many of them promote an eco-friendly message. Eastern Leaf's products have also been widely distributed at corporate events, grand openings, weddings, and parties.
As the company, warehouse, nursery, and staff grew, the values remained the same; to provide everyone a simple and enjoyable shopping experience with individual personalized service.
We invite you to browse our store as well as call us for any questions regarding any of our products or comments you might want to share with us. We would love to hear from you.
Eastern Leaf, Inc.
3826 Riverside Dr.
Chino, CA 91710, USA.