I first met Claudia Enea at the SaddleBrooke Tennis Center. I knew she played tennis because of the many tennis social events she attended. What I didn’t know was that she had a hidden talent, which definitely is not hidden from many SaddleBrooke residents.
Claudia and her husband Joe moved to SaddleBrooke 21 years ago. After the first two years here Joe became very ill with a brain aneurysm. It was a very tough go at first when he returned home from the hospital, but miraculously he recovered completely. During that recovery they took a trip to Rocky Point, Mexico, with one of their daughters, who also happens to live here in SaddleBrooke. While in Rocky Point, Claudia started exploring little shops. In one of them she found an old chair that she simply fell in love with. It was very rough, very old and unfinished, but something in the unique style caught Claudia’s eye as well as her imagination. She bought it, took it home and spent countless hours sanding it down so that she could do something with it. After sanding out the rough spots, she painted it with bright, cheerful colors and made pillows to match her designs.
That started her passion for seeking out unique furniture pieces, sanding them down and then painting them in her own unique style. At one time she convinced one of the tennis pros (who also just happened to have a truck), to take her down to Mexico where she found 17 chairs at a roadside stop that she promptly bought and brought back home. Once cleaned up and painted “a la Claudia,” they sold like hotcakes! Later on she worked at the Golden Goose and found that in that venue she could find even more unique, vintage pieces that she could transform with her artwork.
She continued her passion and started selling her creations at the SaddleBrooke Arts & Crafts Fair. She can only be in one fair a year because it takes quite a while to create each piece – no assembly-line production here! She studies each piece for a while and then determines what character it will take on. Besides her customers at the A&C Fair, she also has built a reputation for her creativity. Through word of mouth many customers come to her house to do their shopping – each piece is absolutely unique. You can see her furniture, mirrors and birdhouses at the Arts & Crafts Fair on November 5. Once you see her work, you’ll see how unique and special her pieces are!