SAN ANTONIO — A child's playhouse is a safe space for kids to have fun and dream.
These treehouses nestled high above are dreams brought to life by Attie Jonker.
"I just have this belief that it's a God given gift," Attie Jonker said.
He developed the skills to build at a young age.
"I was born and raised in South Africa and at the age of 17 I got the opportunity to move north to Botswana where I apprenticed under a master craftsman," Jonker said. "...and we [would] build photographic safari lodges and I did that for about ten years until I met my wife, and she was from San Antonio and we moved back here."
His wife is who suggested he build the whimsical treehouses
"It started out as a little platform and then people loved those and then they kind of just evolved overtime," Jonker said.
As he took odd jobs to make ends meet Jonker also took the wood others didn't want and re-purposing them.
"And it's really how Greenwood milling was born," Jonker said. "While I was doing all these projects I would see people cutting down all these trees and they would get all chopped up, or mulched up, or they would go to the landfill and I was like no way that's crazy look how beautiful the wood is inside."
Then an angel investor stepped in which helped Greenwood Milling carve out it's place in the business world.
"I never really set out to be a business owner," Jonker said. "I really was just trying to do what I love."
The projects Jonker loves the most come by requests from families looking to save their own trees.
"What I love about every piece is that every piece has a story," Jonker said.
His passion for creating combined with urban recycling, allows these limbs to reach on for years to come.
"For me it's about it living on and I really wanted to put my focus was actually give the tree a second live and where it can live on for generations," Jonker said. "It's a piece in someone's house that is going to last for someone's children and their children's children."
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