Man who lost his job after 23 years sees success in upcycling business

Neil also makes 8ft obelisks for climbing plants

Neil makes 8ft obelisks for climbing plants as well as many other items - Credit: Neil Carter

A man who lost the role he had held for more than two decades because of Covid has got himself back on his feet courtesy of his new homewares business. 

Neil Carter was made redundant from his previous job as a high street bank manager during the pandemic. 

But refused to be knocked down, he took the opportunity to fulfil his passion of making things for homes and gardens sustainably.  

Neil said: “Making old things into new things is something I have always wanted to do.  

Neil Carter has a large amount of timber in stock ready for commissions. 

Neil Carter has a large amount of timber in stock ready for commissions. - Credit: Neil Carter

“But I've never had the time to do it.

"Being made redundant after 23 years in the same job spurred me on to start making things.  

“I’ve been making shelves and planters and other home and garden items out of reclaimed or sustainably sourced materials. I keep the environment in mind in everything I do.” 

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Though it was never Neil's plan to turn this into a business he found not only does he enjoy upcycling but the demand was there too.

Neil made these reclaimed shelves from timber and scaffolding pipes. 

Neil made these reclaimed shelves from timber and scaffolding pipes. - Credit: Neil Carter

Neil sources his timber and materials by looking around reclaim yards in Norfolk, as well as keeping a close eye on Facebook marketplace for anything he can turn into something usable.  

Neil, who works out of his workshop in Taverham, added: “I also will only buy metal but no plastic is used in my workshop or what I make at all. 

“It’s really important for me because we are destroying the planet through our spending habits - buying plastic products with the buy and chuck away mentality  

One of Neils most recent makes is a garden planter.

One of Neil's most recent makes is a garden planter. - Credit: Neil Carter

“Biodiversity is critical to the survival of many species - this is my way of trying reuse and resell to help the planet.” 

Neil doesn’t decide what he is going to make and then look for his materials, instead he looks at something and then tries to decide what he could make it into.  

“I also look around garden centres and online to give me ideas of what I can make," Neil added. 

Neil also made a shelf to go over a radiator from timber and scaffolding pipes. 

Neil also made a shelf to go over a radiator from timber and scaffolding pipes. - Credit: Neil Carter

Neil hopes to be able to do commissions for people's homes and gardens in the future.  

He said: “I want to continue doing this. I enjoy the process and the tranquillity."