"I’m doing exactly what I love."
Why I Work For Winston Flowers
By Theresa Larivee
- 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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