THEY say life begins at 40 - but it was more than ten years later that Janie Stevens made a radical change.

Janie had spent a long and fulfilling career in the charity sector, caring for others.

But in her mid-50s she made a dramatic change - and is now a sculptor.

How did she do it? Janie - our Trader of the Week - tell us her story today.

And if you would like to share your business story with us (for free) get in touch via:

How long has the business been going?

I founded my wood and stone sculpture business, The Greenwaite Sculptor,(, in 2020 after a long career in the charity sector where I dedicated my life to caring for others.

Although I adored my work in the charity sector, I felt I needed some time and space out of the sector to focus on myself which was when I was introduced to sculpture making. Having discovered a natural talent for the craft, I took the career-changing decision to transition to a full-time sculptor creator - in my mid-50s!

York Press: Piece by Janie StevensPiece by Janie Stevens

What does it sell?

The Greenwaithe Sculptor sells one-of-a-kind sculptures which have all been made using wood or stone and handcrafted by me. Passionate about doing my bit for the environment, I source all my material locally where possible. For example, all the limestone is sourced from Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.

Why this business is special?

Handcrafted at my art studio on the outskirts of York, each sculpture is purposely moulded and carved into three-dimensional shapes with an understated and classic look. The beauty of designing sculptures in this way is not only does it work well in a wide range of homes making it a versatile piece of artwork, but the shaping of each design provides the spectator with different perspective of the work under different guises of light (in-house lighting and natural lighting) which shows the different colours, shapes and shadows that each sculpture creates.

York Press: Rescue by Janie StevensRescue by Janie Stevens

How did you adapt during the Covid-19 crisis?

Not much adaptation was required, however Covid-19 meant that I did not have the opportunity early on in my sculptor career to exhibit work at venues across York and beyond.

So, the initial work to generate sales had to be done digitally which proved fruitful for a young business.

With the city now open for business, I am finding there is a huge appeal for the work from local businesses seeking to exhibit my work which has enabled me to finally diversify to both on and offline. My ambition for the year to come is to source exhibition opportunities further afield across Yorkshire and beyond.

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