A WOMAN has told of her pride on overcoming epilepsy to open up a shop which shows off her artistic skills.
Joanne Beaumont (47) opened Beau Crafts Reloved Wood a shabby chic, handmade crafts and woodwork boutique on Barnsley Road in Highgate, Goldthorpe, just before Christmas.
She has modified the former butchers to display her goods and said it is the end of a long struggle back to health.
Joanne has been backed by her proud daughters Georgia and Kristie and said she was grateful for support from friends, neighbours, businesses and the government.
She said: "I have always wanted to do this but I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would.
"It has been a struggle, it has been a journey, but I cannot believe what I have done. I am a very happy bunny."
Joanne, the daughter of a joiner and carpenter, has always enjoyed working with wood but it was after developing epilepsy following a head trauma and the resultant difficulties finding the right medication that she took time to actively think about running a shop.
She said: "I have always been good at woodwork. I used the time when I was off work ill wisely to investigate different avenues to run a business."
Joanne learnt new woodworking skills as well as getting advice on how to run a shop from business advisors Pinnacle of Barnsley, Goldthrope Jobcentre and New Enterprise Allowance advisors.
She started out on market stalls, doing house parties, attended craft festivals at places like Elsecar Heritage Centre and went to wedding fairs before renting a unit at Thurnscoe and eventually moving into a shop unit.
Joanne said that she hoped her experience would encourage others who have been unwell to see that there could be a positive future.
She said: "For people feeling unwell there is a way through."
Joanne sources her materials locally and sometimes customers bring in pieces they want her to work on.
She has also offered space to local craftspeople.
Joanne's best sellers are items such as shelves, small seats for children, and wedding and vintage items. She even creates wooden crosses for graves.
She now wants to develop more skills such as working with metal and maybe even pottery.
Goldthorpe-born Joanne said: "There are so many ideas going through my mind I find it hard to switch off.
"Your customers excite and spark you as well.
"I think if you are going to do things half-heartedly you will only get half the results."
Joanne now plans to run workshops for young people who would like to learn new skills, as well as teaming up with local nurseries.
Joanne's daughter Kristie Wheeldon (27) said she was delighted at her mum's achievements.
She said: "I am so very proud of her and truly believe that no one deserves it more than her.
"My mum is the most hard working, determined and ambitious woman I know. She has always had a dream of making and selling her own creations.
"When she was unable to work due to her illness, she used her determination and passion to set up her own business, and she is now a shopkeeper, her own boss and I couldnt be prouder of her."