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Dec 1, 2022

Single Mother, Businesswoman, Furniture Maker, Boss All in One!

We all know what wooden pallets are – those wooden planks nailed together that resemble rafts and are used as structural foundations for goods that are shipped from one location to another. After use, pallets are often disposed of or nailed together as makeshift bridges over swampland, or used as fences. But today, News Five’s Marion Ali visited a single mother who has found better use of pallets; she makes affordable furniture out of pallets that can be used in any home. Here’s that report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Meet Melany Yestrau – a mother, widow, self-made businesswoman and boss – in a field of work that is traditionally dominated by men. She is the founder and owner of Pallet Masters Furniture – a furniture company that, as the name implies, are made solely of wooden pallets.


Melany Yestrau

Melany Yestrau, Owner, Pallet Masters Furniture

“We make bars, tv stands, centre tables, we make. We also recycle anything, you bring bed heads, anything – we make something. We make benches. We customize anything, you bring it, we do it for you. You name it, we do it.”


Melany first started making pallet furniture in 2017, when hardly anyone was doing so. What piqued her interest to start that kind of business was her interest in recycling, she says.


Melany Yestrau

“Seeing things that people throw away and I can pick it up and make something out of it, and it’s money. My dream is to make my business big and also give Belizeans work.”


While some people may scoff at pallets as furniture, Melany say that pallets are also other people’s choice.


Melany Yestrau

“It’s the new fashion of furniture, instead of mahogany, negrito, zericote or whatever. Pallets are strong, they don’t get termites, and it doesn’t rot easily. You have to pick which ones to use to make beds and tables, so the thin ones we use to make these things right here, the hammers and wine racks, that’s what we use the thin ones, but they’re poisoned already and we also treat them with the termite thing. I have not had one customer say Ms Mel my pallet furniture get the termites.”


Melany’s first employee was a relative, who taught her how the work is done. Now she hires two young men and applies the knowledge she gained five years ago to work with her team. For her, gender should not define who does or doesn’t do this kind of work.


Melany Yestrau

“Now I can defend myself and build my own things and I don’t see it as a man’s job; I see it as my job.”


But COVID and some other challenges forced Melany to shutter her business a couple years ago. It’s clear that it has been a rough intermission for her, but now she’s ready to pick up where she left off.


Melany Yestrau

“Trying to get up and having people not believing in you hurts but as a woman I’m not a giver-upper. I keep on going. I recently teamed up with BELTRAIDE and I registered the business Pallet Masters Furniture and then I applied for a loan at D.F.C so I’m hoping to expand by business to not only pallets but to tires, pipes, and also give Belizeans jobs. I’m recycling everything. And anybody who have plywood, pallets, if anybody wants to come and donate it to our spot, if its bothering them, call me at six, seventy-one, zero two eighty. I have a truck, I’ll go pick it up myself, me and my kids. And any stain or anything that you guys don’t want, I buy it and make use of it.”


But this ambitious woman also wants to convert a small trailer she has into a food booth early in 2023. Marion Ali for News Five.


And in case you were wondering about the prices, a queen-sized bed foundation with draws and two night stands cost six hundred and ninety-five dollars. If you would like to inquire about the prices the other pieces of furniture or to make an order, you can reach Melany Yestrau (YES-STRAW) at cell number: six, seven one, zero, two, eight, zero.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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