West Point to Washington: Petal Pushers owner preps to decorate the White House

 Petal Pushers owner Scott Reed decorates a Christmas tree at his shop on Tuesday. Reed was recently selected to help decorate the White House for the Christmas season. (Photo by Ryan Phillips., Daily Times Leader)

Petal Pushers owner Scott Reed has never been to the nation’s capital, but will soon embark on the trip of a lifetime.

The well-known West Point business owner was notified last week through official correspondence from the White House that he had been chosen to be on the volunteer team tasked with decorating the White House for the Christmas season.

“This is actually the third administration I’ve applied with,” Reed told the Daily Times Leader. “I applied with George W. Bush when he was there and I applied with the Obamas and I didn’t get chosen for either one of those.”

Reed didn’t give up, though. On the night of the 2016 presidential election, Reed decided he was going to go ahead and email volunteer services at the White House, regardless of who won.

“There is a friend of mind, Daniel Fisher, that works in the White House and he kind of helped me know who to email, so we have actually been working on it several months and got the official word last week,” Reed said.

After receiving the news, Reed said he experienced a wave of emotions in anticipation of his trip.

“I was really excited, thankful for Daniel being there and helping me through the process,” Reed said. “Then real quickly that turned into kind of a little bit of nerves, excited nerves, but nerves about it being a big deal. I just want to go up there and make sure I represent West Point well and represent Petal Pushers well.”

White House volunteers do not receive compensation for services and will not be considered federal employees. Reed said he will be responsible for his transportation and lodging on the trip, but said the opportunity was too good to pass up.

He will also be the only Petal Pushers employee to have the distinction of decorating the White House, but said his family will travel with him for the first part of the trip to experience the tourist attractions Washington, D.C., has to offer.

Reed will work with other designers from the morning after Thanksgiving until the close of business on the following Monday. One group of designers will work offsite and another will work at the White House.

“The way I expect it’s going to work is we’ll get there, they have a lot of it mapped out and they assign you the specific area you will work,” Reed said.

Southern flare is a specialty for Reed and Petal Pushers, which is what he hopes to bring to the table during his experience at the White House.

“I’m going to take some ornaments and some things to see if they will let us use them, but I don’t know if they let you or not,” Reed said. “I have some West Point ornaments and I’m going to take something like that and add it to one of the trees.”

While an invitation to help decorate the White House is a once in a lifetime experience for many, Reed said the nerves began to set in with the prospect of how busy his popular local business will be during the holiday season.

“Other than I know it’s not going to be convenient for a lot of my clients,” Reed said. “It’s something I can’t pass up on and I will probably learn a lot from other designers up there to help us out here.”