Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
Many people use their professionally acquired skills to start a creative small business following retirement.
Ann Miller, owner of the gifts, cards and decorated furniture business Folk Salad Annie, is one such example.
“I’ve been making things and painting for as long as I can remember,” Ann recalls.
“I was an interior designer for 30 years, working on commercial and council buildings before retiring five years ago.
Since retiring, Ann has been busy building her own business that she can now dedicate herself to full-time.
“First, I began selling my products with Kellie at Stuff Emporium and Jane, the owner of Townhouse Emporium.
“When they transferred from Wilton to Salisbury centre, I moved with them. I’ve also done some fairs, which I now have more time for because I’m doing Folk Salad Annie as my day job.
“I do cut-outs of little cats which have been going very well. But I also source vintage boxes, because I prefer to paint onto wood rather than canvas.
“So I’ve painted a few small wooden blocks, which I put into some exhibitions and sold a few of in the last few years.
“But I really love vintage boxes, because they are very well made and so it’s worth me painting them to make them special so they can belong to someone for many years.
“The other thing that I’ve been doing is journal boxes, which can be boxes of various sizes. I paint the outside of the box with something that the recipient likes, such as cats, beaches or Prosecco.
“And then I match the colours with a notebook and pen inside.
“I always paint something inside as well. Because when I go to fairs, I know that people will pick a box up, see the front and think it looks lovely, and then they open it up, and it’s just an empty box.
“I like to paint something inside the lid, so they get two paintings in effect, because they get one on the top.
Then when they look inside they’ll get a little painting inside as well.
“I love what I do because people can give their loved ones meaningful, custom-painted gifts they can treasure forever and use to record their innermost thoughts.”
Folk Salad Annie can be found on Facebook.