Last year, Eileen Pearsall from Bear, Delaware, decided to do something a little different with her Christmas tree. Instead of a traditional design, she ordered a black mannequin and built the tree around the doll, in the shape of a dress.
The inventive decorations have become a big hit, and the 52-year-old has since created three new versions with photos being shared over 90,000 times online – which Eileen finds ‘quite exciting’. Although they are undoubtedly beautiful – and festive – there is a deeper meaning behind the trees. ‘Over here in the US, #blackgirlsrock was just starting to grow on social media,’ Eileen tells Metro.co.uk. ‘So, last year I wanted to inspire our African American girls. I wanted to show the beauty of the deep melanin skin.’
But there is another reason why Eileen decided to embark on the project, and it’s a much more personal one. She was diagnosed with cancer in December 2018, but is now cancer free – and this was her way of showing her appreciation for life.
‘I had also just finished breast cancer treatment and was feeling so blessed,’ Eileen added. ‘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 over three to four hours to make, but she tells us that the Angel tree took the longest, because it was important to get the wings just right. Eileen said:
‘When I originally bought the wings, they looked horrible, so then I bought 300 feathers to add to them.’ Although the mannequin trees were initially created for her own home, they are now so in demand that Eileen is making money out of 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, who works as an anti-money laundering investigator, found the attention a ‘little overwhelming’ at first and says the main reaction from the public has been that ‘everyone wants one’. This year’s Christmas angel mannequin has received over 5,000 likes on Facebook and has been shared over 25,000 times, with people eager to get their hands on it. ‘Where can i get this tree?!,’ commented one person. Someone else wrote: ‘This is so beautiful, I love it.’
Written by: Almara Abgarian