Carlsbad has been tickled pink with an array of plastic flamingos in several front yards since two local realtors have started a movement to surprise and spread some cheer to their community for special occasions.
Graham and Kelly Levine are a dynamic duo in real estate but since the coronavirus pandemic has changed everyday life, the couple has decided to paint the town pink with several quirky plastic decorations.
“It started as an idea to give back to the community and what it’s done, in addition to that, is given so much to us,” Kelly Levine told NBC 7.
The idea came after Kelly wanted to add some social distancing-friendly flair to celebrate her loved ones’ birthdays. Not being able to partake in typical birthday festivities like hugs, sharing a cake or even spending time together, Kelly wanted to find a festive way to celebrate her loved ones. She stumbled upon a box of 50 plastic flamingos for sale on Amazon and the rest is pink-feathered history that they called the #FlockCarlsbad movement.
“Our job is to help people and this kind of joy is what they need now,” Graham Levine said. “It’s an honor that we get to be a part of that joy and surprise these people feel. There’s a real human element to it.”
Inspired to spread some cheer to her community, Kelly ordered the 50 lawn flamingos online and posted her idea to Nextdoor. In her post, she explained that she would decorate locals’ lawns with the bright faux birds for special occasions and almost immediately, she was flooded with eager responses.
“I thought it would be days before we would get requests,” she said.
Since April 18, the couple began “flocking” Carlsbad with the colorful decorations for birthdays, graduations and wedding anniversaries. The movement has become so popular in Carlsbad, that the couple purchased an additional 50 flamingos and were even given an additional 10 by a generous donor.
The couple takes requests via text message then Graham shows up to people’s homes late at night to decorate their yards with the flamingos. The recipients get to wake up to a pink surprise in their yards. Graham told NBC 7 that the movement makes him feel like Santa Claus.
So far, the pair have placed the flamingos in 50 front yards and have requests scheduled up until July.
To really make it a point that the decor is about the recipient, Kelly and Graham leave the festive birds on the yards at night and haven’t seen people’s reactions in person. However, those who sent requests always text them pictures and videos of the joyous reactions and send their warmest gratitude to the realtors.
As realtors, the Levine’s said that helping others and their community is at the core of what they do, and carrying out this joyful movement has helped them continue to do so amid the pandemic.
“This was a good way to do all of that and keep us busy,” Kelly said. “We get to feel like we’re really doing something helpful. We get to show our son this is how to respond to a crisis – you don’t have to sit and watch bad news all day.”
Kelly said that the pandemic is a rough time for everyone, but there are two things people can do.
“You can either let it break you down or you can decide this is an opportunity to connect, to come together and to help,” she said. “If you look at it in that light, there are a lot of people doing just that. It’s a mindset about seeing where is there a need and where we can help.”
“And a little e bit of joy goes a long way,” Graham added.
Carlsbad residents who are interested in getting their yards “flocked” can text the Levine’s at 760-421-1733 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on their real estate services, click here.