GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — Decorating your home for the holidays can be a nightmare, and climbing ladders and overloading outlets can be downright dangerous.
“A lot of my clients came to me after falling or injuring themselves while decorating their home,” said Kelly Fitzsimmons.
As WBBM Newsradio Lisa Fielding reports in “Made in Chicago,” taking those tasks off your hands is where Kelly Fitzsimmons and her crew at Light up Your Holidays come in.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports
“It’s a whole process doing holiday lighting, people really find it to be a nuisance so we do everything. We put it up, we maintain it, we take it down and we store it for them,” said Fitzsimmons.
When WBBM Newsradio visted, she was working on Lori Carroll’s Glenview home.
“The first thing we did was talk about a plan. We’re doing the outside and we’re also doing the interior, ” Carroll said.
From Chicago bungalows to Lake Forest estates, Light Up Your Holidays has professionally designed and decorated hundreds of homes for nearly a decade. Fitzsimmons says she learned the trade from a handyman friend.
“I launched the business throughout the North Shore, the western suburbs and the city,” Fitzsimmons said.
Fitzsimmons says she was always creative as a child and knew that this business was made for her.
“I’ve always had this natural creative drive as well as an entrepreneurial drive,” she said.
She says more and more people are handing over decorating duties.
“They love the result, they love the feel but they don’t want to have to deal with the headaches to get that result. It’s about elegance, it’s about that classic, traditional holiday feeling, holiday look that really people take pride in,” Fitzsimmons said.
With 100 clients, November through January, she says, is intense.
“This is probably one of the most difficult businesses to be in because it’s just a short season. It’s very intense. It’s like cramming a year long business into three months,” Fitzsimmons said. “We don’t sleep during this holiday season.”
One of her biggest projects is Candy Cane Lane in Lincolnwood.
“I did a 55 foot tree in all multi LED C9, the big two inch bulbs. We had a big cherry picker and it took us days to do,” she said.
Fitzsimmons says there’s just something about elegant decorations that make Christmas more merry and bright.
“The whole essence of this business and of holiday lighting is the feeling. The entire neighborhoood gets to benefit from the feeling,” she said. The whole community loves to participate or is encouraged to participate and it sends this magical feeling about the essence of the holiday.”
Carroll says she’s never going back to the “do it yourself” mode.
“We could never get this look ourself. It’s just gorgeous,” she said. “I’m getting compliments left and right.”
Light Up Your Holidays also decorates for Heartland Alliance free of charge.
Fitzsimmons is an Interior decorator and painting contractor during the summer.
For more information, you can log onto lightupyourholidays.com or call (773) 398-7551.