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Finesse with fruit

Anesta Henry

Finesse with fruit

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THROUGHOUT HER LIFETIME her talented hands and creative mind have led her to try all types of crafts – some she perfected, others she did not. But for the past few years she has formed a very close relationship with fruits, which she uses to create edible fruit bouquets and baskets.
In an evening chat with EASY, fruit arranger Paula Straughn said she treasures what she does because it offers her a sense of relaxation. It was satisfying and rewarding when being complimented for her attention-grabbing arrangements, she said.
But how did this 29-year-old get involved with this aspect which is rare to the island’s shores?
“My husband saw the ad for edible arrangements on television. I have always been into making things such as needlepoint, cards, wedding favours, so he thought it looked like something I would be able to do. It looked a bit intimidating at first but then I did some research and taught myself how to do it,” she said.
  After weeks of practising to perfect the art of making these arrangements, Straughn developed a liking for it.
“I try to use as much local fruit as possible but I find that our local fruit are not easily manipulated. So, I tend to stick with a lot of imported fruit . . . but I am always looking for others.
“I have never really been into flowers per se but it looks pretty and then it just dies. The fruit arrangement is something that you can use; it taste good, it’s good for you, it’s pretty to look at. I like the fact you get a bag of fruits and then you arrange them and you see the end product . . .”
Sometimes she spends “a long time” making her arrangements, but when she is finished, and she goes over the entire arrangement to ensure there are no mistakes, she knows her customers would be pleased.
“The responses have all been good. I have never really advertised but, every time somebody orders one, I get like three of four more orders from that one.”
 This Christ Church resident, who is a property manager by profession, said she aspires to take her fruit arrangement business up a notch. She is currently in the process of trying to source machinery that would aid her in producing the arrangements more efficiently and effectively.
“Currently it is myself doing the business, but my mum helps a lot because she is pretty creative too. I would also get my husband to do some delivery.
And while she is looking at using her talent to develop a successful business, she is also on the lookout for “competitors”.
“When I expand I can picture other people doing it too. But doing fruit arrangement means that you have to be creative and it takes a lot of time. So for those people who are going to try it, don’t think it is easy . . . it is hard work.”