How did we get our name?

My name is Quyen, I own and operate Mai’s Bonsai. My grandfather bought me my first bonsai when I was 12. It died and I never revisited bonsai. Several years later, I realized that I will inevitably lose my grandfather. As an effort to spend more time with him, I purchased a nursery plant, styled it, and put it in a pot for him. It died as well. As I began sharing bonsai with my grandfather, I became addicted to the little trees in tiny pots.

Bonsai has given me an escape from my daily stressors, an outlet to express my creative side, and an appreciation for nature.

I credit the gift of bonsai to my grandfather, Mai Tong, who has been a bonsai practitioner decades. For that reason, I felt that it is only proper to name the business after him.

Why start this site?

Bonsai is a beautiful and relaxing hobby that should be accessible to all. There are 2 main factors the inhibit the general public form enjoying the wonderful art:

  1.  People buy trees that ultimately die.  Trees purchased from hardware stores, furniture stores, mall kiosks, and road side stands are generally dead at the time of purchase.  The trees will generally be a juniper marketed as an indoor plant (they aren’t).  Once the tree inevitably dies, the individual will give up bonsai with the conception that it is too difficult.  People who get past this hurdle will look online for information and ask for advice from local hobbyists.  Unfortunately, a lot of that information is incorrect and will lead to a lot of frustration with sick plants.
  2. In Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and mostly all other parts of the world, the cost of bonsai is significantly lower than in the U.S.  This is partly due to the fact that we are far away from many sources for supplies such as tools, soil, and pots.  However, shipping costs are not high enough to justify this premium.  The retailers in America are drastically over-charging on tools, supplies, and trees.  My objective is to provide high quality tools at a low cost in an effort to drive prices down nationwide so that other retailers will be forced to charge a fair price.  Lower prices, more accessibility to bonsai.

Our Mission

We strive to offer high quality products at an affordable price. This means that we are making less money, but gaining high profits is not our primary goal. Our primary goal is to make bonsai accessible to more people. A couple of reasons we want to make bonsai more accessible is:

1. It’s awesome. Bonsai is a truly relaxing past time that allows continual enjoyment. One tree, if properly cared for, will out live its owner(s) and may gift many people the joys of owning and observing bonsai.

2. It raises environmental awareness. Like it or not, most people don’t treat nature very well; we create waste, use up resources and cause irreparable damage to the land that we live on. Sooner than later, we will run out of resources to sustain the people on this planet.

Our Values

1. We only sell quality products. For example, you may notice that we do not sell any low quality tools. Low quality tools will break after only a few uses and aside from making us look bad, it frustrates our customers. People who are frustrated are more likely to give up on the task at hand, and we do not want people quitting bonsai because the cost of replacing a cheap tool is getting burdensome. If well care for, the tools we sell should last a decade, if not a lifetime.

2. We take care of our trees. While this may sound simple enough, it’s not. Many if not most nurseries use substandard soils for their tree in an effort to reduce cost. We do not. We mainly use a blend of Akadama, lava, and pumice. The only exception to this rule is for pre-bonsai that have yet to make a complete transition into a with our soil mix. We take a lot of care to indicate the soil in which our trees are in so you can feel confident in the health of your tree.

3. Our customers are important to us. If you are having issues with a tree you’ve purchased, questions about your order, or for any reason, feel free to shoot us an email. We reply to all emails within 24 hours, generally on the same day.