Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is a Start on Answering Your Questions About My Holiday Decorating Business

I am going to begin to answer some of your Christmas questions.
This will probably be in several parts, so hang with me and I will try and answer every question.....

1. Do I decorate real trees or "artificial " trees?
Out of the 70 plus trees I (we) did last year, we did 3 real trees. Those were at houses that are just meant for "REAL trees"...old restored homes that have perfect spots for HUGE trees.. That was the not the case when I started doing trees 17 years ago. Now they make artificial tress that look so real, that are pre-lit and can be left up so much longer than a real tree. Pre-lit trees have been upgraded 100% in the last five years.
I have always loved a real tree for the smell, but the ones we did last year, absolutely did not smell. I think they must use so many preservatives in the trees that you no longer get that strong Christmas tree smell. Besides I make up a special concoction to spray on my trees, so I can make any of them smell "fresh"!

2. What is my favorite theme for a tree?
Umm, that is a tough one as I have done them all. I could tell you the ones I like least but I won't as that might be your theme.
Two of my favorites trees are old fashioned trees filled with ornaments collected over the years and then new ribbons and balls that add a classy look...
Another one is an iced fruit filled tree (straight out of Southern Living) filled with sticks, heavy ornaments and tons of iced fruit.
During the season I will be showing you some of these. That leads me to another plus for artificial trees.. the sturdiness of the limbs.
You can get that perfect look and I am really partial to the perfect look. I really like the showroom look tree...one planned out and one that has the more different kinds of things on it, the better.
THAT leads me to a great TIP!...write these down as I may forget to say some of these again. THE MORE DIFFERENT TEXTURES and SHAPES on the tree, the fuller the look you will get. One of my pet peeves is a skimpy tree. This is a remark I hear often from my clients, "Do you think you could get one more thing on that tree?" and the answer is always yes...
OK before I go any further, I better warn you, I like a LOADED TREE. Let me see if I can give you a little example of a limb....off one of my trees

I have collected exquisite ornaments from sample sales and I have a small fortune invested in one of my trees. BUT, you do not have to....you can pick up balls and ornaments from places like Hobby Lobby, Michael's, T.J.Maxx, Big Lots, and many other places and get the same look...throughout the season I will try to show you things that I have found. The key is knowing what to buy and what to mix. ANOTHER HINT...I use NO hooks, and have no drop on any ornament, I wire everything to the limb. I will show you this later, but you will be amazed at the difference it makes. I also do several whimsical trees for kids and for the top of staircases and they are so much fun...especially in the new green and red.

3. What is in this year?
Glitz and more Glitz...But I always say do what you love.

4. How did I grow my business?
I started with 3 houses about 17 years ago and they were friends. They had seen my trees...that was back in the day when I did a tree in every room (those days are over)
Then it was just word of mouth and as of today my schedule is 80% full for this year with everyone having a date. That is all I have worked on the past few weeks. The scheduling is one of the hardiest parts of my jobs... So many things go into that, as many houses have 2 and 3 large trees, several mantles, staircases, and on and on. So some homes require me along with 5 elves to work 2 days to finish one house...and some days it seems like we will NEVER finish. We do the first house the first day in November and we do not take a day off until the middle of December. We work Thanksgiving Day, 7 days a week...and it is grueling. There is no way I can get sick, or at least too sick to work, plus there are always those days we have light problems. (this is when there is a great temptation to cuss and many times we give in to that temptation) JUST FOR THE RECORD!
If we miss one day, it messes the entire schedule up.
5. How do I stay on top of things?
I study trees at market, I tear pictures out of magazines. I am always on the look for something different.
One person wrote that she loved Christmas but wanted to scream when she walked in a Hobby Lobby and saw Christmas in May. I not only want to scream, I want to lay down in the middle of the store and cry. It always seems like I just got my stuff all put up.
6. What do I use for tree toppers?
I am not a fan of toppers. We try to work the tree all the way to the top and then I use fabulous netting and ribbons to blend the entire tree. If someone has to have a star or an angel, maybe an heirloom, we work it into the front near the top. I will try to show you an example of that in days to come.

As you can see this could go on and on...I got through 6 questions and I had 60 plus questions. I promise at least 6 more tomorrow. I may think of a better way to answer them. Tonight I am just typing as I think of things. If you have an specific questions about anything I answered here, leave it in the comments and I will try and explain it better.


Tootsie said...

Oh I can hardly wait to see some trees!!! I love christmas...and start decorating right after the 11th of November and don't quit till Christmas eve!! I am so looking forward to some new inspirations from you!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh, me too! I love a loaded tree, too. Here's my question, and I hope you don't take offense: I cannot imagine not doing my own trees - hiring someone else to do them for me; are your clients people who are simply too busy to do their own, or not inspired, or...what? And do you have any energy left for your OWN tree?

Lea Liz said...

What a fun business!! I wish you cold come decorate my tree :) Can't wait to get some good ideas from you!!!!

Mimmy said...

More, trees, more trees (I say shouting at the top of my lungs so you can hear me. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I like to start it the day after Thanksgiving if not before. Since I've been down though, our decorations don't consist of much more than a tree, our Christmas village on the entertainment center, a decorated mantel and a few items that sit on the hearth. I too used to decorate ever room and put something on every door in the house. It's just impossible to do it anymore but that doesn't make Christmas any less fun.

Take care, God bless, and I'll have more to say about my Christman on your other posts. Maybe I'll do a post of my own as Christmas nears.

God Bless,

whimzie said...

This is going to be so much fun! So do your clients have you do all of their Christmas decorating or are you mainly about the trees?

Rebecca Jo said...

you have to be the coolest person ever!! What an amazing job!

Anxious to see the wiring thing!!!

Love Being a Nonny said...

I read this twice...all the way through. Can't wait for the next post...and pics!!!


Teresa, Good to hear from you. Glad you and the boys had such a great time, this past weekend. Sounds like you will be very busy, with your trees soon. Blessings, Audrey

Lisa said...

Can't wait to read more - what a fun job you have!


Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me said...

Your blog makes me so happy! Thanks for sharing the story on how you got started!! :)

The Tattered Cottage said...

The Christmas decorations and the trees lit with lights and full of ornaments is my absolute FAVORITE part of the holiday! I can't wait to see photos of your trees!! I'm always looking for new inspiration :)

Holly said...

Wow! That tree is really loaded! lol

The Retired One said...

This will be an interesting series..I haven't had much motivation to decorate much the last few Christmases..maybe you will get me enthused again!

Sheryl said...

wow, you are talented!!! this will be fun hearing what you do and love. (wish i could hear a few of your cuss words - ha)

so i take this to mean you will stop blogging in october!!!

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

Great tips. I must follow along.

Holly said...

What a very fun ands interesting job you have, friend! We have a topper that we made our second year of marriage. It is a giant pine cone from a tree in CA and it is loaded with gold glitter.

Rachel said...

Your job sounds like so much fun!! I can't wait to see more pictures.

Randi Troxell said...

very interesting... what a fun thing you do and plus... who doesn't LOVE Christmas!!!

you have such a lovely home here on the web.. hope you don't mind a new follower and if i stick around for a while... can't wait to read more from you!!

Heart2Heart said...


I have a quick question. When people hire you to decorate their trees, do you use the clients decorations or do you use your own based on the clients wants?

I love all your ideas and will be glued to your site everyday.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

JanMary said...

Thanks for sharing this.

I love decorating our house for Christmas, but I suppose the novelty wears off if it is your job!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Great tips, can't wait to see the pictures this Christmas. My SIL does the same thing during the holidays.


Melissa Miller said...

~Gorgeous tree Teresa!
You are so talented. :)

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Thanks for your sweet comment on my post over at Laced with Grace today.

...I had never visited before, I just LOVE your blog, so I had to follow along.

Joanne :O)

Terri Tiffany said...

wow! I have never met anyone who decorated so many trees and for a living! I am so impressed:) You are talking to the person who didn't decorate at all for three years until last year and then got a new tree and did some but hated to! I hate the whole process but love being in a decorated home. I can't wait to read more tips and ideas!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You decorate trees? Really? That's awesome. I'd sooner take a beating. Truly, mine looks like someone on drugs came in and had a fit with the hallmark ornaments. I could really use some tips! Yours look beautiful.

Christmas in August. Love it.


Small House said...

WOW!!! Your Chirstmas decor. must be amazing. I'm going to have to dig back in your archives!!! Have a great day.

carolinagirl said...

oh goody!!!! i am a big fan of multiple trees, but I ALWAYS have my real Fraser Fir!

i can't wait to follow your ideas.

Mid Stutsman said...

thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!
I love all the colors on yours and I especially love those precious pictures!!
Many blessings!

Maggi said...

What great tips! I have an artificial tree but it always looks so skimpy. I'm going to try and load it up this year! lol

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

These are great tips!! :) Thanks so much for the visit today. :)

Angie said...

Thank you so much for your prayers, I really appreciate them!

I could not believe when I clicked to go to your blog, and saw Christmas decorations, I LOVE it! I really needed something tonight to make me smile, and your trees and talking about Christmas decorations did just that! I love the idea about using ribbon and netting for the tree topper, I might do just that - as I am not a huge fan of toppers either!

Well thanks again for the prayers, and I am looking forward to read so much more about Christmas decorating tips!!!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm so excited to see pictures of the work that you do. I know that it's just beautiful and you have some tricks that I can definitely learn for the upcoming years.

Linda said...

Oh my word! THose trees are gorgeous! I am really excited to see what you are going to share with us. You are too kind!

Jerri said...

Hi Teresa.

What a wonderful business, decorating trees! And these photos are gorgeous! In December I'll be doing a series of Christmas posts for the entire month. I hope you'll stop by for that and maybe even some submit some ideas. =)

By the way, I got your comment. Glad you stopped by for the giveaway. I'll be hosting some more in the next few weeks that I hope you'll stop by for as well. And I know what you mean about the summer. It's been busy around here as well.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

This was fun to read and learn more about you through your business.

(still catching up on blog reading!!!) :o)

Blessings & aloha!