Sulphur woman helps decorate White House

Sulphur woman helps decorate White House

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Decorating your own house for Christmas can be a hassle, but what would you do if you got to decorate the White House?

Martina Hanson, a woman from Sulphur, got the opportunity to show off her decorating skills to first lady Melania Trump.

"I was super excited mainly because I love history, I love to decorate, and it was a culmination of both, but I was just mainly excited about being in the White House, I mean the most famous house in the United States," said Hanson.

After a lengthy application process that included essays and background checks, she was selected to decorate the White House.

A week before Thanksgiving, she and her husband packed their bags and drove all the way to Washington D.C.

Time-honored traditions were the theme this year, which Martina was thrilled about.

"I'm all about tradition, so I was so happy to learn that the design team didn't choose that, the first lady chose that," said Hanson.

Of course, there were some mishaps when it came to decorating.

"I cut my finger, so I just held up my finger and was like, 'Hey does anyone have a band-aid?' The design team leader in that room was like, 'No you're going to have to go to the doctor for that!' And I'm like, 'Really? I'm just....wait the White House doctor?' And she was like, 'Yeah,' and I got to go down to the White House doctor, so you know, another level in the White House that I got to have access to that I wouldn't have normally. That was just funny. Normally I would've just wrapped a band-aid around it and gone on."

They weren't allowed to have their phones until the last day there, which was one of Martina's biggest challenges.

"That was so hard because I love to document things! I'm a scrapbooker, and I love to document things, so I would've loved to be able to take pictures of the process all along, but in the warehouse, we couldn't take any pictures."

In the end, Martina said it was all worth it.

"Honestly I found myself in tears a few times because, I thought, there aren't that many people that have had this opportunity, and I'm gonna be part of history. I'll be part of the White House 2017 history. So it was really an honor to be chosen to serve that way."

Martina believes that the people she worked with just might have been the best part.

"There were people from all walks of life. They certainly weren't all professional designers, I'm not. They were just gifted that way. There were a lot of military people, there were a lot of educators. There were florists, designers, really every walk of life. There were various faiths, we were all from different areas of the country, we had different political views, but we all came together to create something beautiful. So that was my biggest takeaway. I like to focus on what we can agree on rather than disagreement. So it was a great experience all the way around."

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