Beyond sales, Hello Holidays is a brand with a mission of empowerment. We want to assist those creative souls out there with an eye for style and the passion for bringing joy through decor. This is why we started the Merrymakers- to help connect aspiring decorators not only with clients, but with ideas, techniques, and community. Whether you're interested in becoming a Merrymaker yourself or are just curious as to how it all works, we interviewed a few of our successful Merrymakers from across the country to get a synopsis of what it takes to be one.
merrymaker job skill requirements
While some of our Merrymakers do have a formal education with a degree in interior design, and that certainly helps, not all do. Experience in decorating is appreciated, but where do you start? How do you know if this is right for you? Our Merrymakers outlined four major job qualifications that they feel are requirements to be successful in this industry.
1. Having a sense of style-
Can you put together outfits that are on trend or decorate your home well? Do people go beyond simply complimenting you to ask you to decorate/style for them? Have you decorated your friends' or family's homes either for a holiday or remodel? If you answered yes to all three questions, you definitely have a sense of style. To keep up with the latest trends and stay on top of your game, Amanda Hymel, Houston, suggests following interior designer blogs, Instagram pages, and of course, Pinterest. She also said that she likes to go to home interior stores and check out the throw pillows-they give insight into the season's popular colors and textures.
2. Being personable-
Helping another person's vision for their home come to life requires people skills. You have to be able to mitigate combining what they want with what looks good, even if it would not be your personal choice. Listening to clients and being able to pick up on their personal style is crucial to being able to see the details required to decorate every inch to perfection. Crystal Wilkins, from New Jersey, summed this qualification up with: "If you can dream it, I can theme it! I treat all my clients like family: creating an atmosphere that is comfortable where they can truly express their vision. Then, it's showtime! I take that vision and splash it with some Christmas Magic, and poof-your vision has been brought to life."
3. Being creatively organized-
No matter which Merrymaker you talk to, designing the perfect tree is a process. It involves getting to know your clients' preferences for themes, colors, and what decorations they already own that they want featured in the design. All of our professional tree decorators organize this information to create a vision board that takes individual budgets into account. Autumn Cavender, Nashville, said "Often I will suggest ribbon, sprays and ornaments that will add more of a dramatic effect to their existing holiday decor. The one thing I always suggest is high quality ribbon. I believe that’s a must." Having this creative plan for decorating means that Merrymakers show-up prepared to finish the job professionally and create "...a setting that helps their decor tell a story."
4. Having time-management skills-
As your own boss, you will have to plan your own schedule. Clients expect you to show up on time and to finish the job to satisfaction in the pre-agreed upon allotted time. You have to account for driving time (clustering locations on the schedule helps). You need to have an idea of a reasonable amount of decorating time which is impacted by number of trees, size of trees, whether they need to be decorated all around or if they are in a corner, and whether or not there are banisters and mantels that need decorations. Lori Stowers, Dallas, says that she opens her scheduling books in August, but some returning clients have already booked the more popular weekends in November. She says that last minute jobs are more expensive because the rush to fit them in her schedule is a lot more stressful than the clients she had more planning time with.
While some of our Merrymakers started off with an Interior Design business, most of them did not. They came from diverse backgrounds and career experiences. The most important things in this industry are: the desire to help bring Christmas Magic through decoration to others, the willingness to learn, and the work ethic to put it into practice. Hello Holidays' staff is here to help and give you the community support to help you navigate being new. Here's our advice to help you get started:
Practice: On your own tree, play with ribbon techniques and decorating ideas. Invest in quality materials that will elevate your tree to a quality that others will want to emulate. Hello Holidays has tons of tutorials on our TikTok and Instagram pages. You can also follow our Pinterest boards to help with design ideas.
Start Small: All of our Merrymakers started off by decorating trees for friends and family. This gives you the freedom to experiment with design ideas, timing, and decorating structure without the stress of perfection. You can learn from helpful constructive criticism and feedback from people who care about you and want you to be successful.
Build a Portfolio: You have to be your own biggest fan and promoter. You need to document your trees on a social media platform where people can see pictures of your work and read client reviews. Seeing is believing in this very visual industry.
- From Crystal Wilkins: "If you love it, do it. It's the best decision, even if you are nervous. Go for it: practice makes perfect and you will get better techniques and become more time efficient. Amanda Ware and Hello Holidays encouraged me so much, after they linked my Instagram to their website, my DMs blew up! I quit my full time job at school and it was the best decision I've ever made because I am doing something that I am passionate about."
- From Lori Stowers: "Don't think about it too much and just do it. If your family encourages you, and you love putting rooms and outfits together, you can do this. You don't have to start with it all, three rolls of Hello Holiday ribbon makes an impact. It looks brand new every year and you can add to it. I would have never done this without Amanda Ware's help. Believe the people that have faith in you from the beginning."
- From Amanda Hymel: "Have fun with it. When you love what you're doing, you do not work a day. It's also important to know your worth: clients may not realize how much work it really is, which is why I am more picky about who I work for- I appreciate quality clients so much. Don't feel bad about charging for your service: adjust if you need to, but do not work for free. If I am going to be away from my family for nights and weekends, it needs to be worth it."
- From Autumn Cavender: "The most important part of any business is the ability to listen to your client and having a passion for what you are doing. When you are finished with decorating and you step back and see the finished product, it should be about the quality of work you have done and not how much you may have made. By designing a vision board, your clients will know what they are paying for and by explaining to them that quality products really do make a difference, the finished product will be one you can both be proud of. Also, one must have the ability to find products within their client’s budget that will not only make them be proud of their decor but will provide you with the satisfaction that you provide great customer satisfaction."