Desiree Williams enjoyed taking a tour of her Calgary backyard on Wednesday, showing off a space heavily decorated for Halloween.
Williams filled it with carved wooden figures painted to look like characters from the animated film The nightmare before Christmas.
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It is a project sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were supposed to go to Disneyland, but COVID hit, so we couldn’t go,” Williams said, “so we decided to bring some of it home.”
Creating the display was a family effort.
“My husband cuts everything in the wood. I draw it, I paint it, ”Williams said. ” Everything is handmade. “
Williams now creates scary scenes for other people, creating a gargoyle, a Demogorgon from Strange things and a Cheshire Cat and other characters from Alice in Wonderland.
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Williams switched to making garden figurines after years of working as a graphic designer.
“Because of COVID, where I worked, because of the restrictions, they had to shut down, so that took that out,” Williams said.
The pandemic has also ended a constant side business of selling handcrafted panels through his company Kokua Design.
“With the Christmas markets closing last year, it was a huge success,” said Williams, “and it was a huge, huge part of our business.”
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Williams is now making up for lost revenue by selling his custom designs.
“We’ve already had Christmas orders because we’re cut for Halloween,” Williams said. “I couldn’t be done with Halloween anymore, so once that is done, we’ll go straight to Christmas. “
Williams says his new opportunities might not have arisen if the pandemic hadn’t happened.
“Due to COVID, I had all this extra time, which I wouldn’t normally have, that turned into this,” Williams said.
“I’ve always said that I wish my dream job was at Disney, as an inventor I like to create it all, so you don’t even feel like it’s job. I absolutely love it.
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