Solicitor turns flair for art into a career

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A former solicitor is using her passion for advising others to grow her new business restoring antique furniture.

Clementene Coates spent seven years working for a major law firm, but turned her artistic flair into a job after people asked her how much she would sell her pieces for.

She now works from her studio in Carlinghow Mills, Batley, accepting commissions from private clients and businesses.

Clementene, 33, of Church Lane, Tingley, said: “You never know until you try something what you might like. There are skills I learned as a lawyer which are transferable to the business.”

“I just became disillusioned with being a lawyer. The industry’s changing a lot – it’s moving away from spending time with the client.

“I like working with people and advising them, which is what the classic solicitor is.”

Her first large commission came in 2014, when Huddersfield-based photography studio Chique tasked her with producing 10 pieces in time for their big opening.

With the help of fiancé Paul, she created a website and received praise on Twitter from The Great Interior Design Challenge judge Sophie Robinson and winner Martin Holland.

Clementene said:“I wouldn’t change how my life has turned out.

“In many ways, it’s made me thankful for the time we’ve got. Life is short and you’ve got to be happy with what you’re doing.”