Banker changes career to restore shabby furniture

Isabelle Sene who has started a funiture restoration and refurbishment business in Purbrook.''Picture: Steve Reid  (132304-858)
Isabelle Sene who has started a funiture restoration and refurbishment business in Purbrook.''Picture: Steve Reid (132304-858)
Leone Hill

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TWO years ago investment banker Isabelle Séné decided to give up her job and go back to college.

Isabelle, who is French but now lives in Purbrook, had always pursued art as a hobby.

She knew she wanted to do something creative in her work, so when she saw a course in furniture restoration come up at Chichester College, she jumped at the opportunity.

Now, two years later, the 44-year-old has launched her business, called Artabelle.

She said: ‘I left investment banking because I wanted to do something more rewarding.

‘I want to have a career I am interested in and one which is in line with my morals.’

Her course isn’t due to finish until Christmas, and she balances her studies and her restoration work with a part-time job at B&Q.

She said: ‘Getting into this field of work more difficult than I thought but I know it will be worth it.

‘I love nothing more than going into my workshop and turning a piece of furniture into a work of art.

‘Many people would throw a piece of furniture they don’t want into the dump, if they gave it to me I could give it a new lease of life.

‘It’s also a good way of recycling, rather than buying a new piece of furniture I can transform an old piece into something beautiful.’

Isabelle works from home, but says she would like to move into bigger premises with a dedicated workshop, with a partner to join her.

She added: ‘I think, going into business for the first time, it would be nice to have someone to share the experience with and we can help each other along the way.’