A unique touch to furniture
The little known art of upcycling
❝ It’s very satisfying, especially when you make an order unique to somebody; nothing is the same and it’s quite cool. — Katy Fraser.
KATY Fraser was cleaning gutters when a fall from the roof changed the direction of her life.
The fall resulted in head injuries, a broken shoulder, broken ribs, a fractured skull, brain bleeds, burst eardrums and four fractured vertebrae.
The back of her head collapsed and she was also left with short-term memory loss.
With such extensive injuries, Ms Fraser was left unable to continue her physical work of running a fencing business.
Rather than giving up or becoming resentful, she rediscovered her passion for restoring old furniture and creating unique items.
Her business, Pallet Space, operating out of the historic Palmwoods Sheds, is one of the most remarkable on the Sunshine Coast.
“It was really hard to get a job with the memory loss, so one of my girlfriends brought around a trailer full of pallets and got the tools out, and said I had to start again,” she said.
“I started selling at the markets and that went very well, but I couldn’t keep up with it all... I would be trying to restock as well as selling stuff at my own house and we got busier and busier.
“Then my partner Marilyn Stokes and I acquired these
sheds and she’s supported me the whole way through.
“A lot of time and work has gone into them, and that’s how Pallet Space came to life.”
As its name suggests, the store has a focus on furniture made from pallets, with a focus on recycled timber and up-cycling old furniture, and upgrading pieces to suit individual tastes.
Ms Fraser said many people had limited knowledge of the possibilities of recycling and transforming pieces of furniture.
“People might have bought a piece in 1996 and then go ‘Oh, that’s it, we’re done with that’, but you can sand it up, paint it, change it, and it can become something amazing and beautiful,” she said.
“I’ve got some kids working with us and they’re learning that it’s not as easy as it seems.
“It’s very satisfying, especially when you make an order unique to somebody; nothing is the same and it’s quite cool.”
In addition to running Pallet Space, Ms Fraser is also active in Palmwoods Harvest and promoting businesses in town.
Throughout recent construction, many businesses have begun to struggle.
“The roadworks has us really hurting at the moment... everybody thinks Palmwoods is closed, but we’re open for business,” she said.
“(Business owners) all support each other... if we don’t support each other we’re all going to fail.
“So we all share the love and we want everybody to know to come to Palmwoods.
“It’s all going to be beautiful soon.”
Despite the challenges, Ms Fraser maintains a positive outlook for businesses and the future.
While the horrific accident may have slowed her down, it created the pathway for not only the new business and art venture, but also resulted in a new outlook on life.
“The nurses were so busy one day that I just took myself to the bathroom and they were shocked... the doctors were amazed that I could walk,” she said.
“I was extremely lucky in the way that I healed.
“Some people with head injuries are just children and they’ve been out for years; it’s heartbreaking.
“I was so lucky... the way I build my life now, it’s changed everything.”
RECYCLING FURNITURE: Katy Fraser of the unique Pallet Space in Palmwoods.