A family who dress as elves to sell Christmas trees are at the centre of a “turf war” — claiming rivals tried to sabotage their festive business.
Donna Stevenson, 42, and husband Jim, 46, have seen their business boom after they started dressing in festive costumes to deliver firs.
But yobs stole and vandalised a number of their advertising banners in a suspected attempt to hide their contact details last weekend.
The couple, who own and run Elfy Trees in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, believe bitter competitors might be behind the wrecking spree.
And they have now hit out at the vandals who tried to spoil their Christmas.
Donna said: “We dress up as elves every day in the build up to Christmas and deliver trees in the costumes. The kids love it every year.
“We spent a lot of money marketing the brand this year and we were very excited at the response we have had from it.”
“Unfortunately not everyone has appreciated it. Our banner has been taken and the contact details for our advertising board has been spray-painted over.
“It might be some kind of turf war, I suppose, with our competitors.
“There is no need for this kind of malice, we are a small family business trying to do a good thing for our community.
“These vandals or competitors should be ashamed of themselves.”
Donna and Jim, 46, run Elfy Trees with the help of their son Scott, 25, and adoptive son Jordan Grant, 19.
Customers can buy Christmas trees directly from the shop or have them delivered to their homes.
And the family’s colourful Christmas costumes have only helped increase their popularity.
Donna said the vandalism caused upset but she hasn’t reported the incidents to the police as she believes they have more important matters to deal with.
She added: “We know there are others in the area selling trees and we have all worked alongside without any ill feeling or problem.
“We believe there is enough business for everyone and we all get the customers we are meant to have, we believe in Karma.”
“Our business has grown from strength to strength.
“I think that it probably could be that people are coming into our shop instead of going elsewhere, and that some people are upset about that.
“We don’t have any proof of that, obviously, but I think if it was vandalised by kids, they would have messed up the whole sign. They wouldn’t have just scrubbed out the contact details.”
The couple have now taken to social media and posted pictures of the vandalism to their Facebook page in a bid to shame the yobs.
Donna added: “We shared it on our Facebook page and since then people have come in to the shop to show their support for us.
“Local people have also been sharing it on Facebook and are keeping an eye on the signs near them so I’d be surprised if it happens again.”