A unique touch to fur­ni­ture

The lit­tle known art of up­cy­cling

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE -

❝ 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.”

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

RE­CY­CLING FUR­NI­TURE: Katy Fraser of the unique Pal­let Space in Palm­woods.

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