Solicitor changes career to launch furniture restoration business

Clementene Coates.
Clementene Coates.
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A Yorkshire-based solicitor has left her career in law to launch a new business restoring and painting antique and vintage furniture.

From her studio in Carlinghow Mills, Batley, Clementene Coates accepts bespoke commissions from private clients and businesses, as well as creating her own unique designs, which she sells online through her website.

Ms Coates, said: “Most of the enquiries I’ve received so far are to paint pieces of my customer’s own furniture.

“They want their home to have a certain look, but they don’t want to pay a lot of money filling it with new furniture, so they commission me to paint their current pieces to suit their décor perfectly.”

Despite having artistic flair from an early age, Ms Coates trained and qualified as a solicitor, spending seven years working for a major regional law firm. It wasn’t until she purchased her first home that her passion for up-cycling furniture emerged and she realised her skills had the potential to earn her a living.

Her business also has a positive effect on the environment. “For every piece I paint, it is one fewer that will end up as landfill,” she said.

Her first large professional commission came in 2014, when Huddersfield-based photography studio, Chique, tasked her with producing ten pieces in time for their big opening.

As Ms Coates embarked on a career change she was supported and mentored by the Business Enterprise Fund. “Like many people I had a good job, but deep down I knew it just wasn’t for me,” she said.