Juna Wiltshire showing off one of her creations. (Picture by Dominique Bonnett.)
Teaching, craft and cooking. Those are Juna Wiltshire’s three passions. And she is so blessed to be able to incorporate all three into her daily lifestyle.
“I’ve always dabbled in three things. Cooking, teaching and craft. I’m actually a teacher by profession; I teach children with special needs. I was always into making things with my hands so why not do it. I officially started a business before I got into teaching for Government six years ago. I decided to give it a go and it worked out well,” she said.
But when it comes to Juna’s craft, they have completely taken the island by storm.
In fact, the unique tile art and board Christmas trees have been going like hot cakes this season.
But just where did the idea for the trees come from? Juna told Easy Magazine, she loves to be unique and the idea came after a brainstorming session.
“People love the trees. They’re very unique. Every year I try to come up with one creative thing to add to the portfolio. This year it was the Christmas trees. I actually wanted to display my boxes, so in my head I was thinking of a creative way to do so. So I decided on the tree made out of wood,” she said.
And believe it or not, she makes the trees from scratch, by herself.
“Once I knew what I wanted to do, I went down to Carters and showed them my picture and rough sketches and they told me what wood to buy and I went inside and bought the cuts, they told me what drill to buy and everything like that. They assisted me a lot in terms of what I needed to buy. I was determined to make them myself. I didn’t want anyone to do it for me. I sand everything. My fiancé actually helps me to sand. So it’s going really well. They were really popular this year. I actually only have one left,” she said.
As for the tiles, they have been around much longer, but according to Juna, they have continued to do well.
“I started up the tiles a few years ago. I actually do more stencils and freehand writing, but I’m making it work. People love to have different quotes displayed on the tiles. People really love quotes. This is the third year I’m doing it and to me the acceptance on it has been great. People like the idea. It’s an affordable gift to give to people and it’s not only for Christmas. People like them for all occasions,” she added.
Juna said since the tiles are so affordable and don’t take long to make, many people were choosing them as Christmas gifts this season.
“Personalised tiles usually take four days because I want everything to be perfect. I go to Branckers or Tile Gallery and they help me quite a bit. I go for very specific tiles. I clean then, then I get started whether I’m going freehand or if I’m going to use one of the many stencils. Every year I do more quotes than in the previous years,” she said.
She enjoys doing the craft so much that she already has her ideas for next Christmas.
“I’ve already got next year’s Christmas idea logged off already, but I can’t let that out the bag yet. Next Christmas for sure though, I will offer my packaging to people who sell jewellery or bags or anything like that,” she said.
And the money she makes from her craft is used to fund her teaching activities.
“I love teaching, so I wouldn’t consider doing craft full time. In fact, I actually use the money I make to purchase things for the class, so every September I decide what I’m going to need for them this year. I use the business as a fundraising for my classroom,” she revealed. (DB)