For this Seattle-based holiday designer, every day starts with Christmas music, glitter and coffee.

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HOLIDAY AND FLORAL DESIGNER
Jennifer Walters

What do you do? I am a commercial holiday and floral designer. Employed by Botanical Designs, I am the lead designer in the holiday department. I design, create and sell large-scale holiday and fresh floral displays throughout Seattle and Bellevue.

Installations can range anywhere from a 21-foot stag or an entire high-rise building to tabletop displays. I use artificial and natural materials depending on the project, focusing on style, color, scale, technical aspects, dimensions and safety.

How did you get that job? I started in the floral industry 25 years ago, doing floral, display and holiday design work ever since. From small shops to wholesalers to large-scale holiday displays in Palm Springs, my creative career (and education) has taken me to many locations, and now I get to be back home in Seattle doing what I love. It has been an amazing and creative journey.

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What’s a typical day like? Christmas music, glitter and coffee start my day. Every day is different (a reason I love my job). I meet with clients in our Georgetown showroom or I am onsite to spec a property. In our warehouse I can be found on a 14-foot ladder, making 10-foot arrangements, doing research or building presentations at my funky desk (adorned with string lights, props and plants).

What’s the best part of the job?
The creative process, having an idea and then seeing it come to life! Clients usually want something unique and different, I get to create that for them, using a variety of elements (fabricated metal, enormous branches, fresh flowers, fiberglass, etc.). It is always different and exciting. Designing and creating on such a massive scale, for a temporary installation, is both challenging and rewarding.

What surprises people about your work? That this job that actually exists, year-round! A 35-foot, lit and decorated tree shows up overnight, and most people think elves [did it]. It is a large-scale operation, lots of planning, prep work, multiple vendors, more planning and a great install team for set up.

One thing that really surprises people is that I decorate my home (during our busiest time) and still love it!

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