Career of week: Complementary therapist

Sarah Harvey runs Witchway Liferocks with her business partner Anna-June Ridgway. They sell crystals, incense, essential oils and greetings cards. Sarah set up the business a year ago and runs through some of the trials and tribulations with Fiona Muller.

Why is it a good profession to get into?

I love the fact that I use crystals to help people cope with their daily lives. I believe that crystals have spiritual and healing powers and through my own experience have found that they can have a big impact on people's lives

I started the business on an impulse and almost feel that it chose me.

It is definitely a growing industry – more and more people are looking for something else in their lives and crystals can be the answer for some people.

What does the work involve?

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As this is a fledgling business, I work 20-30 hours a week. This obviously changes depending on how busy I am and whether I have Mind, Body and Spirit fairs to attend. One Saturday a month I sell products downstairs at Knitwits in Dereham. The run-up to Christmas has so far been the busiest time, but as it is a relatively new business I will have to see how it goes over the coming years.

I set up this business after I had a family. I went to a WEETU course and was inspired and encouraged by this to give the business a go – so far it is going well!

What are the positives/negatives of this profession?

I like helping and meeting people – especially like-minded people – and find this rewarding. I also like learning new things and have found that my mind has been expanded by working in this industry. The negatives are that, since starting the business I am yet to make a profit. I used to be on Benefits but stopped them to start this business. I have less money coming in, but have so far found it very rewarding in other ways. Another negative is the fact that as my business is built on stones it can be physically demanding as I have to transport my product from place to place.

Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

There is probably more demand for people working in this industry than there was a few years ago. The Mind, Body, Spirit market is a growing one and people are generally more interested in it. Lots of people have crystals in the form of jewellery and don't realise their healing properties. I would ultimately like to grow the business.

What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?

The main thing that you need to have in this business is an interest in crystals and an interest and empathy for other people. You also need to be open-minded and able to realise that when you are open-minded wonderful things can happen!