A Celtic Heart

Meet Kristin Wilda, owner of Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure

 

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For anyone who knows Kristin Wilda, it will come as no surprise that at the same time she was opening a brand-new shop on Main Street, she was also launching an innovative program for special needs adults in the community. They also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that both the shop and the program are thriving under this dynamo’s leadership. Kristin is just one of those people who can do whatever she sets her mind to – and the community is a better place for it!

Maggie Casey’s 

     Kristin has worn many hats over the years and tackled many challenges including: running the Smithfield Farmers Market, technical writer for a military contractor, serving as the Director of Smithfield Baptist Preschool and as the Public Information Officer for the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Department – the list goes on and on.

     And now – she’s a merchant on Main Street! Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure opened in May of this year and Kristin and her staff have been busy ever since. Kristin had always dreamed of opening a Celtic shop in town, so when she and her husband Mike learned that the Old Gaming House (built in 1766) was available, they “purchased a piece of Smithfield history” and got to work.

     “My inspiration is Maggie Casey, my Irish grandmother, who emigrated with my grandfather in the 1920’s. I’ve always embraced my Irish heritage and love all things related to the Celtic countries, especially the extraordinary spirituality of their people.”

     The mother of five and grandmother of three is all about family so of course, she also found an opportunity for her (newlywed!) son Patrick and his wife Karen to open a massage studio on the second floor of Maggie Casey’s. The family got to work renovating the space and the “Oasis on Main Massage Studio” is now open!

     Maggie Casey’s offers “treasures” from the three largest Celtic nations: Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Kristin describes what you can find in this lovely shop,“We have sweaters and designer knitwear, jewelry, caps for men and women, scarves, home goods, baby items, dog collars/leashes, books and toys for kids, and more. And of course, we have lots of teas, jams, chocolates and yummy sweets from these countries and Great Britain.”

     “Customer favorites are the jewelry lines, especially the Heathergems from Scotland. Our Irish linen and silk cape by Bill Baber Company of Scotland is also very popular. It’s a lightweight pullover cape that can be worn year-round, and the colors are just lovely. Everyone loves the Inis fragrance, too. ‘Inis’ is ‘Island’ in Gaelic, and the fragrance is a unisex one that’s very light and clean.”

     The shop’s quality items are so popular that often after visiting, people will call about something they saw in the shop while they were in town and want the item shipped to them. Kristin also receives calls from people who have seen an item on her active Facebook page (Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure) requesting that it be shipped to them. Kristin is thrilled to be so busy and has plans for 2018, “Once I get through this first holiday shopping season, I hope to establish a website for shoppers. For now, it’s just small-town ‘call me if you want something!’ ordering.”   

Smithfield Hands & Hearts

hands and hearts logo symbol onlyIn the meantime…Kristin saw another of her visions become reality in January of this year. She is the volunteer director (and founder) of Smithfield Hands and Hearts, a group for special needs adults. She describes the program, “There is a large population in our state with no federal funding needed to access the programs available to the intellectually disabled who have aged out of high school. Smithfield Hands and Hearts works toward provide social and community engagement, and our group gathering is my favorite activity all week!”

     The current group numbers about 12 people and meets weekly at Trinity United Methodist Church’s Academy. Kristin’s vision for the future is to open an activity center with a thrift store, providing both employment and volunteer opportunities for disabled and non-disabled adults.

     Hands & Hearts’ members have completed their education but find it difficult to find jobs. In fact, another of Kristin’s goals is to find work for each of them, even if it’s for only a small number of hours each weekHer message: “Folks may not realize that having a meaningful task to do – even for one morning – can be life-changing for someone with special challenges. They want to feel useful and valued.” If you’re a business owner or run a volunteer organization and have a position or task that one of these wonderful people could fill, please contact Kristin!

     There’s more information on this visionary and much-needed program on the “Smithfield Hands and Hearts” Facebook page.

A heart for the community

     Kristin’s father served in the Air Force so the family moved around a great deal while she was growing up. Though her parents settled in Charleston, South Carolina, Kristin and Mike have called Smithfield home for over 30 wonderful years. She may have started her career as a teacher, but Kristin says her main job through the years has been raising her five children, Mike (and wife, Yuri), Ben, Patrick (and wife, Karen), Timothy, and Emily as well as her many four-footed children including, Chuck, Molly, Lucy and “fat cat” Violet. Kristin also loves the time she has with her three grandchildren, Allie, Jeffrey and newborn Bryce!

     Mike and Kristin’s roots go deep in this community. Both are very active in many local volunteer organizations including Christian Outreach Program, the Smithfield Little Theatre, and The Lizzy Foundation for suicide awareness and prevention. So while Kristin will continue her busy pace with her new shop, her exciting program and of course, her growing family – she’s not complaining! She’s clearly found her heart right here on this Isle!

Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure
124 Main Street
757.542.4333​