LUBBOCK, Texas — Just a few weeks ago, over 150 creatives from all around the country headed to Washington, D.C. to be volunteer decorators at the White House ahead of the holidays.

Out of more than 200,000 applicants, one of those lucky designers happened to be from Lubbock.

“We all watch those White House specials at Christmas, and I had even said, I would love to do that,” said Susan Talkmitt, owner of The Nest Egg. “To have it happen, and that I get to represent Lubbock, I mean, what a joy.”

Talkmitt has a background in ornamental horticulture, floral design and biology. With that resume, she was chosen as one of 10 captains where she led a group of 21 creatives from all walks of life.

“We’re all united and we were elated to get to do this,” Talkmitt said. “I feel like I found my peeps. I have lots of friends that I’ve made from this experience.”

According to the first lady’s office, there are 77 christmas trees, 25 wreaths and more than 83,000 holiday lights around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Talkmitt and her team were assigned to decorate the East Room and the Green Room at the White House under this year’s theme of “We the People.”

“The East Room was the national parks and recreation,” Talkmitt said. “The things we do for fun and what we enjoy that we as a people own. We flocked the trees and did lots of icicles. “Then in the Green Room, we did bells. It’s songs and sounds, the things that unite us and how we love music.”

Talkmitt called this week-long experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

“To be working in the White House, you have the freedom to go between the rooms and go back and forth and up and down the stairs, and you’re working in this room, and there are these amazing portraits of presidents and first ladies,” Talkmitt said. “There’s this architecture, and you’re decorating a tree or decorating a mantel. I mean, just the excitement, I don’t even know how to describe it. I’m just smitten that I had this opportunity.”