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    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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"I really enjoy positioning people for growth and success within the company."
Why I Work For Winston Flowers

By Joe Donahue
Director of Events & Garden Design

  • With Winston Flowers since: 2003
  • Favorite season: Autumn
  • Describe your floral style: Textural
  • The most exciting part of my day at Winston Flowers is: The uncertainty of what a day may hold. In my position, there's always a new challenge or opportunity… and I enjoy coming in each day to find out what's in store.

For me, Winston Flowers is a family business in every sense of the title: my Mom used to manage the Hingham shop, I met my wife (a designer) here, my brother is a fellow coworker and my sister helps during the busy holidays. I initially landed a part time job with our delivery department while studying Business Management at UMass Boston… and what started as a summer gig has turned into a completely unexpected 11 year career. In 2005, I came on full time in Delivery & Dispatch, splitting my time between the Design Studio and Winston Flowers & Garden as a driver. A few years later, I was approached to join the design group—serving as a liaison between delivery and design as the Design Operations Coordinator. That's where I really took advantage of every learning opportunity, working side by side with our events team on the delivery and installation details so that each event went off without a hitch.

I really enjoyed the challenges and pace of that kind of work, so from that point I became the Assistant Design Manager, where day-to-day oversight of the department was added to my responsibilities as well. I began handling our complex operations for major holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and winter holiday installs. I thrive on logistics, trouble shooting, and love a good operational challenge—I get to do all of this constantly in my job.

Several years ago, I was promoted to Manager of Operations, and then again to my current position as Director of Events & Garden Design. In this role, I oversee all aspects of our special events and garden design installations, making sure these go off without a hitch, and the client is happy. But, what I love most about my role is managing my teams—I love seeing them succeed and I enjoy positioning people for growth and success within the company.

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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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"I’m doing exactly what I love."
Why I Work For Winston Flowers

By Theresa Larivee
Design Manager

  • With Winston Flowers since: January 2010
  • I always… let the flowers choose me! When arrangements are left to interpretation, I like to start with a really special flower and work from there. I tend to use the natural direction of each stem and focus on pulling out unexpected colors within the flowers by the way I select the other colors and blooms to complement and enhance each other.
  • Favorite season: Late spring into summer. It is full of fantastic, colorful flowers and textures like poppies, peonies, ranunculus, cosmos and then dahlia!
  • Describe your floral style: I like a gardeny, organic, asymmetrical style.
  • The most exciting part of my day at Winston Flowers is: Having access to such amazing product is incredible. I’ve worked in the floral industry for over 8 years now, and still every season we get a flower or variety that I’ve never seen before.

Let me start by saying: I love my job. I got my start at the Massachusetts College of Art where I studied the practice of printmaking. It’s actually not uncommon to find printmakers in a process-oriented role like floral design. While in school, I used my days off and weekends to introduce myself into the floral industry by working for some small florists in Back Bay, which is when I began to develop a strong passion for flowers. After graduation, I set my eyes on growing my talent and hoping to create a career in the industry. There was only one place I really wanted to be: Winston Flowers. It was about five years ago when I took a chance and applied for a design position at the Newbury Street location. I remember thinking how disappointed I would be if I didn’t get the job. Because I didn’t have direct design experience, I was hired as a Sales Associate; in that role I spent time focusing on customer service, but I also was able to regularly learn from the store designer and have focused training at the Design Studio. Within three months, I was promoted to Design Sales Associate of the shop and was thrilled to design while also working with the customers… it was the best of both worlds. I greatly enjoyed the client experience— from greeting customers and making them feel welcome, providing expertise and design, to packaging up and having them leave the store happy— I loved that whole process.

After a year, I was promoted again to Assistant Manager of Newbury. It was a welcomed new challenge as I learned and developed important managerial skills, and eventually I became the official Manager of that store. I really enjoyed my role, but there wasn’t as much time for me to design and create… So when the role as Design Manager of Winston Flower & Garden opened up, my manager immediately thought of me for the position. And that’s when I stepped into my dream job. Now, all day every day I am able to lead a wonderful team while expressing my creativity and sharing my artistic outlook with others. That leads me to what I love most about Winston Flowers: encouraging management that sees the potential in their employees and helps them achieve their goals. Being the creative and amicable person I am, I honestly never pictured myself as a retail manager. But I’ve learned that having a strong, positive attitude and a knack for encouraging others is just as important as being authoritative in a management position. I’m thankful to my manager for helping me see that and allowing me to develop my own management style.

Most people in the company would probably describe me as passionate… it’s hard not to be! I’m doing exactly what I love. It is wonderful to have a career in a great company with great benefits and the opportunity to be creative every day. As many art school graduates know, that is a rare combination. Winston Flowers also supports me as an artist outside of the floral world. Every day, I leave feeling fulfilled and refreshed with the energy to go home and develop my own art— I’ve even been able to contribute drawings and designs for company posters and invitations. Most recently, I hand-painted the custom packaging for our new holiday gourmet collection. It was so exciting watching the collection debut and knowing I was an integral part of the overall visual aesthetic.

Last on the long list of my favorite things: Winston Flowers is a successful business that is still clearly run by a family. I think it’s so important how involved and interactive our owners are. It’s also rare to work somewhere with such cool opportunities— like designing for glamorous events and high-profile clients… it’s exciting, to say the least. This is just a great place to be.

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