• Staff Stories

    Hear from the people of Winston Flowers

"Sometimes you don’t know how creative you are until someone gives you a chance."
Why I Work For Winston Flowers

By Karim Chuory
Assistant Manager of Gift Collection

  • With Winston Flowers since: 2002
  • Favorite season: Summer
  • Describe your floral style: When I’m designing, my work is versatile— I can do anything the client requests. Personally, I like designs that are textural, organic and a little woodsy.
  • The most exciting part of my day at Winston Flowers is: Working with my colleagues, sharing silly stories and having fun.

I came to the states from Morocco in 1994, with no experience and no English— never having touched flowers before. When I arrived in Boston, I worked for another florist and spent my days cutting flowers, sweeping the floor and doing general maintenance. But during that entire time I was watching everyone around me, I’d observe and then create designs on my own time to show to my manager. That’s how I realized I have a knack for this.

In 2002, I applied for a job at Winston Flowers because of its reputation. I was hired as a designer and focused on weekly arrangements, grand hotel pieces and custom orders. I was trained directly by David Winston and our Director of Operations, so from day one I was learning the Winston Flowers signature style. About five years into my career here, I was approached to manage our gift collection— the beautiful designs featured on our website— and my job shifted from a strictly design role to more of a managerial role. Now I participate in the design and production of each collection. It was a challenge to adjust to being a manager, after you’re a part of a team for so long and then suddenly you’re overseeing everything. But I’ve discovered that I love teaching! Now when we hire new designers, they shadow me and I help them transition into our company.

Sometimes you don’t know how creative you are until someone gives you a chance. When Winston Flowers gave me the chance to manage the gift collection, I found that I really excelled and my designs were brought to another level. I also get to work with the most talented people and we have fun. We blast music, are surrounded by beautiful flowers, and enjoy being creative—even in the busiest times. From no English and no experience with flowers, to me today? That is why it is called the American dream.

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"Being at Winston Flowers feels like being part of the family."
Why I Work For Winston Flowers

By Walter Rosario
Delivery Associate

  • With Winston Flowers since: 1994
  • Favorite season: Christmastime. I like seeing the company busy… it means we're doing well! If the company is doing well, then I'm happy.
  • Describe your floral style: My favorite is my wife and daughter's favorite: classic red roses in a low, compact style.
  • The most exciting part of my day at Winston Flowers is: When my day winds down at 2pm. I like knowing I gave it my best all day long, and now I get to go home and see my family.

Back in the early 1990s, I worked maintenance at The Mall at Chestnut Hill. Winston Flowers had a shop there back then, and that's when Ted Winston saw me working around the mall and decided he wanted me to work for him! He contacted me and offered me a job. I spent several years doing maintenance and flower cutting before taking a short break; after that, Ted contacted me again and told me he was opening a shop in Hingham that he wanted me to be a part of. I was back on board, and was doing everything in the new store— learning the ins and outs of the retail world. When I spent a brief stint in the Design Studio helping with paperwork and filing, I got to see how it ran and I was really impressed with the operations. I watched the delivery team, specifically, and realized I wanted to be a part of that. I approached Human Resources and asked if I could switch departments and try out delivery, and they said yes. I trained my replacement in Hingham and started on the delivery team immediately after!

I am a people person so this is absolutely the right fit for me. I like being the face of the company and getting to know our clients. I was promoted to Assistant Manager of the delivery team but switched back to being a regular driver because I like getting out there and making the client deliveries so much! Now, I’m one of the right hand men for our Delivery Manager on Mondays-Fridays. Everyone always says I am a human GPS, I know everyone and everything, everywhere. And when I deliver, I’m always smiling and I treat everyone the same way. Everyone gets VIP treatment.

Being at Winston Flowers feels like being part of the family; the owners are great and I know them well. They are supportive, and in return I give them 100%. I work really hard for them and I am very proud to do so.

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"This is a place that positions you for success."
Why I Work For Winston Flowers

By Caitlyn Bransfield
Workplace Experience Manager

  • With Winston Flowers since: 2010
  • Favorite season: The fine line between late summer & early fall
  • I always… start my day by walking through the flower coolers.
  • My floral style: I love more natural, garden-like arrangements… using seasonal blossoms and textures in whites, ivories and greens. For color, I like to see a touch of a soft peach, blush pink or butter yellow.
  • Favorite thing about Winston Flowers: That every day is different. Our flowers are constantly changing with the seasons. Plus, we bring in unique varieties that can’t be found anywhere else… it’s always so fun to see what our buyers have found!

When I started at Winston Flowers I knew next to nothing about flowers. In fact, I made flashcards so that I could study the different varieties until I became an expert! But that’s getting ahead of the story. Before Winston, I started my career in sports and lifestyle PR in New York City— and though I loved the event execution, I knew PR just wasn't for me. After a quick move to Charlotte for that same firm, I relocated to Boston and started working at Longwood Events in 2008. In my time there I moved from Customer Relationship Manager to Corporate Sales Manager and finally to Business Development Manager. This solid experience in the world of events prepared me for my next step: a career with Winston Flowers.

In August 2010, I accepted a position as a Wedding Specialist, where I helped our brides with floral selections for their big day. With flexibility and encouragement from the company, I became a Wedding & Events Manager soon after; I loved fostering relationships with our hotel and wedding venues and selling corporate and nonprofit events to our clients. While still keeping some of my wedding responsibilities, I shifted my focus slightly again as a Residential Services Manager and began working with clients on in-home events, garden design and interior & exterior plantings. That was around the same time that I began working as Ted Winston’s part-time assistant.

Through all of these varying responsibilities, Winston Flowers has encouraged me to experience a variety of roles to find the right fit. I am happy to report that in mid-2014, I was promoted to Workplace Experience Manager, and I know without a doubt that this is exactly what I am meant to do here! I had always wanted something more, and now I know that what I do every day has an impact on the happiness of the 250 people in my workplace! How great is that? In this role, I have a constant ear to the ground— making sure our employees are happy, fulfilled and engaged. It is my job to promote a culture of wellness and work/life balance at all times. A typical day for me ranges from monitoring our health and wellness initiatives, to crafting better recognition and rewards programs, to starting projects that enhance workspaces for our retail stores and studio. I have always seen my work at Winston Flowers as a career, not just a job. My friends tell me that I talk about work too much… but what can I say? I love it. This is a place that positions you for success and makes you feel like part of the family. I couldn't be happier that I am now in a role that allows me to make sure that everyone around me is feeling that same exact way

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"Our brand is my favorite part of the job."
Why I Work For Winston Flowers

By Matt McKenna
Creative Director of Garden Design & Retail

  • With Winston Flowers since: 2003
  • Favorite season: Autumn
  • I always… want my designs to be reflective of my client’s personality.
  • Describe your design style: Bold, simple and single variety.
  • Favorite thing about Winston Flowers: Tackling a blank-slate project. I love working with residential clients who have brand new spaces and trust us to make them beautiful.

My time at Winston Flowers started in our former Boylston Street shop with an art background and zero floral experience. As a Sales Associate there, I was really able to get my bearings in all aspects of the industry. From client relationships and sales, to floral design and merchandising, I learned pretty quickly that I loved the creative design element the most. I was encouraged to pursue that interest, and after some time I took a new position as a Visual Associate. I spent my days absorbing as much detail as possible about creative display and set-up. For several years I learned the ins and outs of retail and our seasonal cycle before becoming a Visual Manager; this meant gaining the increased responsibility of working directly with the Creative Director in all aspects of design—not only for flowers, but also for the Garden Center. It was my job to make our vessels, containers, floral and plant elements fit cohesively and reflect our brand vision. With the skill-set that I’d formed from growing in all levels of the business, I was later identified as a candidate for the Lead Visual Design position of the Garden Design department. My passion for and understanding of our product came from working in the stores every day and it served me well in a role where I needed to know all of our various containers, how to fill them and where to place them for our clients. As Lead Visual Designer it was my goal to make each installation by our team a strong representation of the Winston brand. Around that same time, David Winston began inviting me on buying trips to vendors around the world to select the upcoming container trends for retail and garden design; I had a knack for knowing what our clients wanted from years spent working in their spaces.

Now, as the Creative Director of Garden Design, I'm lead the direction all Garden Design projects. I’m also able to work closely with David to select unique product that continues to drive and define the Winston Flowers identity. Our brand is my favorite part of the job—Winston Flowers encourages creativity and exploration within a well-established identity of uncompromising quality.

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