From exam halls to crystal balls – Carol Crane’s journey to embracing the supernatural was rather unusual.
After years in the civil service, and later working at Baines School in Poulton, the 56-year-old has finally realised her dream of starting her own business.
Her store, Elentya, is thought to be the first of its kind in Fleetwood, promoting the healing power of spiritualism.
And among her first customers was an anxious tortoise, whose owner wanted healing crystals to help sooth him.
Carol Crane, of Devonshire Avenue, Thornton, decided that after years of public sector work she would open Elentya – taken from a fantasy novel meaning “showing great courage” – on Lord Street to provide a platform for people to visit and rid themselves of negativity.
But it marks a significant shift from her work earlier in her career.
She spent 17 years in the civil service in Blackpool before taking voluntary redundancy, saying she was “completely bored of the job.”
Carol then moved on to Baines for seven years, working as an exam invigilator and in the kitchen.
But after caring for her mum and dad when they became unwell with dementia and stomach cancer respectively, she attended a spiritual group and began to question what she wanted from life.
She said: “I spent a long time doing pretty boring jobs. Then unfortunately my parents became very ill and I cared for them at home.
“After they passed away and I had no caring responsibilities anymore, I thought ‘now it’s time to focus on me’.
“I’ve always been interested in spiritualism, but then I began to attend Cleveleys Spiritualist Church and it inspired me into thinking there was more to life.
“I want my shop to be a positive space where people come to be happy, have a cup of tea in a cauldron mug, and slow down!”
Elentya promotes positive energy by using incense, healing crystals and learning more about releasing negativity through a spiritual mindset.
But she explained how she is not limited simply to helping humans with their problems.
Since opening, she sold healing crystals to a man who wanted them for his tortoise’s bath. He told her the pet had been suffering from anxiety.
Carol said: “He was a rescue tortoise, I hope the crystals helped his anxiety.”
She has been embracing her passion and career, saying it’s never too late to start following your dreams.
She added: “I may be over 50 but that doesn’t mean I can’t change what I want to do in life.
“I wanted to do something different and learn more about myself.
“Spiritualism definitely helps with a positive mindset. I’d encourage people of all ages to give it a try.”
Plans for Elentya also include showcasing artwork from talented local artists, and Carol is hoping they will approach her with ideas.
She said: “We’re going to be meeting with local artists who specialise in spiritual artwork, and hopefully I can sell their items in the shop.
“I’m hoping to have a medium, crystal healers and tarot card readers eventually. Just to create a safe and happy space here for everyone.”