I created the 12 foot skeleton of Home Depot
- Lance Allen is the Home Depot Holiday Decorator.
- He oversees all Christmas decorations for The Home Depot, including some of the company’s most viral products.
- That’s what her job is like, as Insider’s Heather Schlitz recounted.
This narrated essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Lance Allen, the Home Depot vacation decorator. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I love Halloween. I loved fall growing up – the haunted houses, the cart rides, the movies. Now I am responsible for overseeing product design, purchasing materials, moving inventory to stores, marketing, and creating the look of displays for Home Depot’s holiday decorations including this year’s Halloween decorations.
I swear I have the best job. What could be more fun than giant skeletons and animated characters? I love creativity and brainstorming to find the items that will create excitement.
I sneak around the stores to watch parents take their kids to browse the sets, because it doesn’t cost much to see the excitement on their faces when the Halloween and Christmas decorations are put up in stores for the day. first time.
I have a 7 year old son who loves to look at Halloween decorations. When I show him pictures of drawings, he will tell me that they don’t “look scary enough” or that I “have to change my eyes to make them more scary”. We work from home. so he gets a lot of insights.
Everyone was scared of the fact that we wanted something 12ft tall
For the 12ft skeleton, we were walking around a trade fair trying to pick out our favorite items. We saw an oversized torso, and it was a truly unique item that attracted everyone. It was really expensive. Our team kept coming back to it, and we knew we wanted to create an oversized whole skeleton, but the price was so that customers could afford it.
Everyone was scared of the fact that we wanted something 12ft tall. Everyone kept trying to pull us down and push something 10 feet or less, but we wanted it to be so tall that it would have the height of two adult men standing on top of each other. We haven’t seen anyone else in the market selling something this size.
The skeleton required a lot of engineering work. One of the worst parts was trying to put it in a box small enough for people to handle. The biggest concern was making sure it could fit in a standard pallet.
I love to see how creative people become with the 12 foot skeleton. You know it’s a fun product when everyone is having fun with that. Someone took the skeleton to the beach, someone was driving the giant skeleton home on this little Mini Cooper, and I saw another photo of the skeleton set up on an fire escape in Chelsea.
You never know where the inspiration will come from
I took my family on vacation to Maine, and took them through a few cemeteries with me looking for the best gravestones so we could create these items in design. Our tombstones were amazing this year, and they really replicate what you would see in a graveyard, so people can make their own replicas at home.
I also go to haunted houses for inspiration, and I sometimes go to several haunted houses every weekend. I’ve been through so many haunted houses it’s hard to scare me, but we always bring someone who we know will be scared because then we know if an item is going to click with customers.
I love putting stuff out of classic movies that people never get tired of. For Halloween, we’re watching “Hocus Pocus” and classic slasher things like “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th”. I watched them at least six times each.
The neighborhood looks forward to us putting on decorations every year
I have the normal 12 foot skeleton and the pumpkin head skeleton in my house. I have a whole hill covered with lighted lanterns, which look great at night, and I have giant inflatable ghosts and a graveyard. The bigger it is, the better it is with the decor scene at home.
At this time of year I have a lot of development work looking at changes to a product for the next year, photos of factories, and technical specs. I also work through marketing and calls with the companies we use to make our products. There are also financial reports on product performance, and we are using those numbers to make decisions for next year.
We’re almost done with all of our holiday decorations for 2022, but I’m keeping this a secret. What I like least about my job is holding back and not being able to tell everyone what’s coming.
I’d love to tell you, but we’re keeping it a secret to make it exciting. But no one will be disappointed in 2022, I promise you.