"I'm making space in my life before I'm too old to be creative," Berleen Wobeter says of her new storefront venture in downtown Toledo.
She opened The Fay Tree in the former location of Gray Oak Builders at 125 East High St. on Oct. 1.
Wobeter is hosting an open house at the location this Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Berleen Wobeter at the Fay Tree with some examples of her work.
The name "The Fay Tree?"
"My middle name is Fay which is another name for fairies which exhibit color - Tree - rooted deep in the ground but also reaches up to Heaven and is very spiritual," Wobeter says of the concept for the name.
At the location she offers original art work with such specialties as barn quilts and folk art with an aim toward custom work.
Displayed are examples of re-purposed furniture and wall pieces with her original designs incorporated.
She invites customers to commission her to add her imaginative talent to their own furniture or for her to locate and customize an item they might use in their home, at their business or on their property. For example, she says barn quilts are seen not only on barns but displayed in homes, businesses and gardens.
Wobeter is known for being a major part of the creative side of the Tama County Career Development Center in Tama. She retired from that position in July after 14 years when operations switched from Iowa Valley Community College District management to Central Iowa Residential Treatment Services.
Her bent for creating goes back to childhood she says. Although her formal training in college was in Home Economics, Wobeter says this involved "color and coordination."
"You have to devote time and you have to practice, or that talent never develops," she says.
She terms the Fay Tree location "a workshop."
A portion of what she does will follow this theme with Wobeter planning to offer classes for upper elementary and middle school students beginning in January.
Hours at The Fay Tree are by chance, but Wobeter can be reached by calling 641-328-4739.
In addition to her new business she is working as a substitute teacher at the Meskwaki Settlement School.
Berleen and her husband, Pete, live at rural Toledo. They have two children, Rachel,, who is the local food consultant for the Center for Energy and the Environment at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, and Kit who along with his wife and six-month-old, live at Verona, Wisc., where they are employed at a software company.