December 2006 Issue
Holiday Decorator and Constumer
AGE: 40 PERSONAL: Born and raised in Japan, now lives in the Bond Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati. Graduate of Cincinnati's "Fame"-style public high school, the School for Creative and Performing Arts. Proud uncle to nephew James, 15, and niece Arian, 13.
WHAT HE DOES: McFinley has decorated downtown's Tower Place Mall for the past 15 years. "It's probably my favorite job all year. I'm using huge ribbons to drape across three Christmas trees in the food court this year. There are 27 trees total. ... Usually, I walk through the mall first and get a feel for the entrances. That's the most important, that's what the eye sees. I use vibrant colors [such as] lavender and fuchsia."
HOW HIS INTEREST IN INTERIOR DECORATION BEGAN: "I guess when I was 8 or 9, instead of buying comic books, my mom was buying me Better Homes & Gardens."
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: "I start in mid-October. I not only decorate the whole mall, but also five to six stores inside the mall."
HIS DAY JOBS: He is a costumer for Hollywood films such as "The Shawshank Redemption," store manager at the vintage clothing shop Casablanca in Northside, and a drama teacher for the Arts Consortium of Cincinnati.
WHY HE LOVES DOING THE MALL DECORATION: "I want to bring the tradition of the season back downtown."