Christmas in July

Alex Ayers – Life of an Intern at Karin’s Florist – Blog #3

I thought it was a little early to be getting excited about the holiday season, but it was Christmas in July at Karin’s. There were boxes of Christmas merchandise ranging from large light up Christmas trees to glass ornaments all waiting at the front desk to be priced, inspected for damage and marked as received. Though I was initially confused, Maris explained to me that preparation is key to running a business, so getting the Christmas merchandise prepared for the holiday months was a very important task. She also said you can only return damaged products to the seller if you notify them within a timely manner, so it’s best to look over your order before that deadline.

So, on one July day, me and Amy, who was a partner of mine in completing this task, felt the spirit of December in mid summer. What kept going through my mind was how there was one thing missing; besides the fact that when I stepped outside it was eighty degrees. What I really needed to complete the experience was Christmas music. Sadly, the other employees didn’t get the same dose of Christmas glitter as me and Amy, so we were the only ones feeling the holiday cheer. But, in the end it didn’t matter. I had Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer playing in my head all day long.

On the topic of changing seasons, another interesting job I was able to help with was switching the window decor from spring to summer. Decorating windows is a tradition Karin’s Florist keeps up even as other stores have stopped. Business wise, it helps attract people to the store, but I think a bigger reason we do it is because people admire it, and there are so many gifted people at the florist that their creative juices must spill over somewhere. That place seems to be window displays.

My task while working on the window display mainly focused on the logistics of moving things around while the creative aspect was shouldered by two designers. Like the start of a puzzle, I couldn’t initially tell what the designers were trying to create. However, when everything came together, I saw the picture. It was something I could never do alone, but maybe that’s why I’m just an intern.

Even though I am an intern, the two designers I was working with did give me my own creative venture. I was asked to decorate a fake tree that looked a little bare and spruce it up. I saw this as my design tryouts! I thought, who knows, maybe I have an artistic side that has never been able to express itself. So, I got together my tools: zip ties, wire cutters and the leaves I was to attach to the tree. After feeling like Tarzan because my head and half of my body was in the tree for about an hour, I finished. It was a masterpiece. Designer status here I come! I then asked Brian, one of the designers, to tell me how it looked. I felt a little nervous with my creation under inspection, but with hands on his hips and a calm demeanor Brian said, “Good job, it looks nice”. It was slightly anticlimactic in my mind; I’ll just have to think about ways to go above and beyond next time to fully utilize any inner artist I have.

Decorating windows and getting bedazzled with glitter is certainly not what I was expecting this summer. I thought the world of business was going to be professional with little room for fun, joy and creativity. Maybe in other industries this is true, but at Karin’s, fun, joy and creativity seem to float in the air. I’m hoping to get the chance to try my hand at a creative venture again. I’m also excited to see what other jobs I get myself into because most of what I’ve done has made me rethink my expectations for what day to day life at a successful business looks like.