Last year, a woman from Bear, Delaware decided to do something different with her Christmas tree decoration. Instead of the traditional Christmas tree design, Eileen Pearsall chose to order a black mannequin and build the tree around it like a dress. Her inventive Christmas tree decoration quickly became a viral hit, prompting the 52-year-old to create three new versions – with those photos being shared more than 90,000 times, something Eileen finds “quite exciting.”
Her designs are without a doubt festively gorgeous but at the same time, they carry a much deeper meaning for Eileen. As she explained to Metro.co.uk, “Over here in the US, #blackgirlsrock was just starting to grow on social media. So, last year I wanted to inspire our African American girls. I wanted to show the beauty of the deep melanin skin.”
Eileen’s inspiration for her project was a very personal one. In December of 2018, she was diagnosed with cancer. But she is now living cancer-free – and this is her method of appreciating life.
Eileen added, “I had also just finished breast cancer treatment and was feeling so blessed. My ultimate goal was to inspire everyone; especially my Angel tree. I was really just feeling the blessing of being cancer-free this year.”
The designs can take her over three to four hours to complete. However, she said that the Angel tree took the longest – as it was important to her to get the wings perfect.
Eileen said, “When I originally bought the wings, they looked horrible, so then I bought 300 feathers to add to them.”
While her mannequin trees were initially created for Eileen to display in her own home, they are now very in demand – meaning Eileen can now make money with her hobby.
“They’re not too expensive to make,” she said. “I have done regular trees for friends and have a couple of buyers.”
Eileen works as an anti-money laundering investigator. At first, she admitted that the public attention was a “little overwhelming” at first, however she’s touched that the main reaction from people has been that “everyone wants one.”
This year’s Christmas angel mannequin has already received more than 5,000 Facebook likes and been shared over 25,000 times, with plenty of people eager to get their hands on one.
Most other people simply commented “beautiful” on the post. One of her admirers even wished Eileen a merry Christmas. This year, Eileen will be spending her holidays with her family, as well as her special angel, too.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.