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In Conversation With The Christmas Decorators

In our first interview for this regular business feature, we’re in for a treat with some sparkling conversation from Ali and Paul Chester of The Christmas Decorators – a firm based in Kempsey, Worcestershire.

The Christmas Decorators specialise in the design and installation of interior and exterior festive lighting and Christmas decorations for businesses and residential properties. They also specialise in creating a perfect winter wonderland for weddings and fabulous themed Christmas parties.

The Worcestershire and Gloucestershire branch is run by the husband and wife team – both of whom have a love of Christmas and take huge pleasure and pride in the happiness they deliver to their customers.

So, onto the ten things we want to know more about:

My alarm goes off…

A – Ha!

P – When Charlie (the couple’s 5 month old) decides to wake up, then we do too! We don’t need an alarm! My day starts around 5.30/6am when Charlie and I get up. Ali does the early morning feed so it’s my turn at this time.

How did you meet?

A – Aww! We met at Whittington Primary School when we were both teaching. I was new and Paul invited me along to their Christmas party. I think he wanted to share the taxi costs!?

P – Ha ha! We didn’t actually share a taxi in the end did we?! We did build a solid friendship though, staying as mates for years before we got together.

I'm responsible for

A – I manage all of the decorations, including the purchase of items as well as stock control and audit.

P – I’m more customer-facing as the main point of contact for the business. I’m no salesman; I’m a teacher, but I like to chat! I’m not into the big sell and have a happy, friendly approach to business.

A – Christmas is a happy time and we’re happy and chatty in our work.

How do people find out about you?

P – Usually from social media and often #WorcestershireHour. Our website gets a lot of traffic too, especially at this time of year. In fact, we usually start receiving calls from companies in September and our residential trade picks up in November / December, as you might imagine. The split between the trade currently stands at 87% commercial, like hotels and large businesses, and the remaining 13% are residential properties.

A – The ‘in’ colour this year is baby and pale pink, and creams and champagnes although there are around 80% of our customers who remain enjoying the more traditional red and gold colours that are much-loved.

I got the job

P – We were both looking for new opportunities after years in teaching; Ali had 11 years’ experience and I’d been teaching for 5 when we began searching for our next venture. It was a lifestyle choice and, after asking ourselves what we’d actually like to do, we stumbled across the idea of a franchise. We attended the Franchise Exhibition at the NEC and saw The Christmas Decorators …

A – and both felt the buzz! This is now our third Christmas. We’ve already achieved such a lot and new decorations come out annually, so I am super excited for the future too.

My typical day…

P – Every day is different and this is one of the reasons for our lifestyle choice. As our work is so seasonal we enjoy downtime from February – July. In this time we meet up with clients, network, manage stock checks and prepare for the busier periods. We also take holidays and now that Charlie’s here, we’re enjoying our time with him.

A – Charlie was 7 weeks early so I spent some time in hospital.  We’re now ramping up to our busiest time of year so I’m sorting out last year’s trees, rewiring baubles and getting head of the game.

 A – The ‘in’ colour this year is baby and pale pink, and creams and champagnes although there are around 80% of our customers who remain enjoying the more traditional red and gold colours that are much-loved.

My typical day…

P – Every day is different and this is one of the reasons for our lifestyle choice. As our work is so seasonal we enjoy downtime from February – July. In this time we meet up with clients, network, manage stock checks and prepare for the busier periods. We also take holidays and now that Charlie’s here, we’re enjoying our time with him.

A – Charlie was 7 weeks early so I spent some time in hospital.  We’re now ramping up to our busiest time of year so I’m sorting out last year’s trees, rewiring baubles and getting head of the game.

 A – The ‘in’ colour this year is baby and pale pink, and creams and champagnes although there are around 80% of our customers who remain enjoying the more traditional red and gold colours that are much-loved.

After Work......

A – There isn’t any after work really at this time of year. We eat when we can; sleep when we can …

P – I’m looking forward to healthy home-cooked food, sometime in March!!

What’s on your wish list?

A – That’s easy. It’s pretty chilly on top of a cherry picker, putting up lights in the dark and the rain. It’s all worth it though when you see people’s faces …

What I want to be when I grow up…

A – I always wanted to be a teacher and work with kids …

P – I wanted to be a fireman until I was about 14 and then I wanted to be a teacher.

A – Mind you, this kind of job didn’t exist when I was younger. I always loved Christmas: a week full of celebrations, lots of visitors and family times, board games, charades, and then Boxing Day you got to do it all over again!

P – My recollections are slightly different: my Mum was a nurse and usually worked on Christmas Day. I caught the Christmas bug later in life, enjoying my tradition of drinks with mates on Christmas Eve and watching sport on Boxing Day. I guess we can all make our own traditions these days and I know we’ve already begun to buy things for Charlie to make his first Christmas special: a new board game, a panto perhaps, and a Christmas Eve box … it’s  such a wonderful time of year!

 

The couple are so Christmas-crazy that their wedding theme was also fantastically festive – if you have the Christmas bug and want to contact Ali and Paul at The Christmas Decorators (Worcestershire and Gloucestershire) head to www.thechristmasdecorators.co.uk or call them on 01905 814026.

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