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Starting A Business After Retirement – Julia’s story

Julia Warner, Clarke's Farm

Julia Warner, from Heighington near Lincoln, was 55 when she left her career as a firefighter due to her health. “I was working as an operational firefighter and was struggling with a back problem, so I made the decision to retire early” says Julia, who’s now 62.

Being out of work allowed Julia to reassess her priorities. She had always dreamed of opening a tea shop. “I was a bit nervous,” she says. “It took me two and a half years to start the business but what started as a tiny afternoon tea pop-up grew”.

From there, the tearoom named Clarke’s Farm has evolved to cater for private functions like hen parties, baby showers and even small weddings – and Julia calls her work “the joy of my life”.  “It’s helped me to fulfil my dream” she says. “Being involved in people’s celebrations is lovely; you’re always happy sharing in their moments.”

A perk of being her own boss, Julia benefits from greater flexibility and is able to help out with childcare, looking after her son’s three-year-old every Monday.

Offering advice to others wanting to become entrepreneurs, Julia says: “Follow your dream. If you have a dream, give it a go. You’ve not failed if you’ve tried.” 

Feeling inspired by Julia’s story?

Find out more about the different work options if you are over 50