PALLET RECYCLING BY NOELIA FERNANDEZ in Mendoza Argentina.- After a great depression, a project was born and happiness returned.
Talk of the empowered woman who has the capacity to undertake, at the Ángel Bustelo Mendoza Auditorium, Argentina. Noelia Fernández exhibits.
03.11.20.- My business is pallet recycling and it started five years ago, as a result of a very big depression I had. It all started with different operations that I had and the doctor recommended me … he tells me … Look, start to change , do something for your life because so many pills and going to the psychologist, the psychiatrist, everywhere but if you do not put your will and do something for your life, you will not get ahead… So at that time I started watching videos on YouTube. I really liked the topic of pallets and recycling so I started buying pallets and started making them at home with some small machines that my husband had at home and I copied the models that were on YouTube. At one point, I bought more pallets, they were different, they were not the same as those used on YouTube so I did not know how to start, how to continue creating so when my head started to work I was no longer so depressed. I would lie down and dream how I could make a new model I would get up and tell my husband I already knew how to do this and I would go to the workshop and start cutting and making things. My husband would arrive around two in the afternoon and the food was not ready, I was in the workshop… My son arrived: “Mom, the food…” and I was in the workshop all the time. I didn’t know if it was that good since I put my family aside a bit but I was better, I was with my microbusinesses. One day they gave me a slightly bigger machine, it was already starting to cut and suddenly the wood would slip, cut and go backwards… Why? It’s like I was a little scared of that, so I said: “I’m going to train, I’m going to study carpentry”.
I went to a job training school. I went to talk to the teacher, they were all boys and I told him that I had an entrepreneurship that had just started, I had the machines and I was practicing carpentry; he tells me: “No, look, here you can come and look. For a year, you are going to come and look, nothing else, you are not going to touch any machine”, and I said: “No, the idea is to come and learn. I want to use the machines so I don’t hurt myself at home”. So he said: “Well go talk to the director, she doesn’t know what she is going to do”. Okay, I told the director that I had machines in my house and that I wanted to learn how to use them so I do not hurt myself with it so she told me… “Well wait two days for the insurance to come and you will start working”. In that year I was the first woman who started using all the machines right away. There were still boys who were watching, they did not touch any machines while I was already brushing and doing various things with all the machines and I helped the boys to get work. For me, that helped me a lot to progress; from feeling so bad from crying three or four days all the time in my bed, I felt proud of myself to achieve something that I could do with my own hands.
Today I see my projects, they are all pallet jobs, recessed, screwed and not only I make armchairs but everything that comes to my mind. I don’t know how to draw so I go to my workshop and start working. My head works all the time and if I say “I don’t like this”, I change it in different ways. Today I see the project and it makes me proud, I see when I started and how my work is now and I say “wow” how good that being a woman I can still achieve all this and I don’t know, I feel happy.
I tell you that after I was able to study a friend came to Mendoza and filmed me (SOCINCE) made me a video to be able to upload it on YouTube and so that people could contribute in a small way… A machine, donate something so that I I can continue with my entrepreneurship. That video reached to Lorena Meschini and a provincial government office called me from Social Economy and they told me “Look, next week -I think there were three or four days left- you can come and present your projects to categorize”, well I didn’t understand any of that so I’ve worked until two in the morning to make a longer armchair; my husband helped me paint it and sand it. I’m the carpenter who does everything, he helps me paint it. I managed to finish it and took it, I categorized it as B category. Well then I signed up for the first fair which was “Manos en Nuestra Tierra”, I remember, there I invited the director of the School of Labor Training and she congratulated me. People who passed by, asked me where is the man and I said “No, I’m the carpenter”; they told me “Nooo, it can’t be possible, very good work, very good details, impressive” and they told me “You can’t do this” so I told them “I do it”, then they asked me about the wood cause of the details so I explained eucalyptus wood, pine, one is more pink, the other is more yellow, and things like that for details that they asked me.
After I did the second fair, it was at Le Park, which was for children’s day so I did a lot of games for children; all colorful, a very big man came and told me… “How nice are these sets, are they really made of pallets?”, I said “Yes, I make them…” “You are joking, you are a woman, how are you going to do these jobs? They are very well made” “Well, that’s why. Because a woman made them” I said to him. Then he started laughing and asked me “Aren’t you missing any fingers?” so I answered “No, not one”. And for these reasons I decided to make a presentation folder with my work and some photos of me where I am working and that I also upload to my social networks so that they can see that I am the one who works and my husband does the small part as painting, because generally men are the ones that do not believe that I am the one who works.
Well, then for me the depression went away with this Project. I am an entrepreneur now, I forgot what it is to cry all day, now I am happy with my entrepreneurship. The beautiful part about doing a fair is that you get to talk about your work; it has happened to me in several fairs… People pass by and I am talking with one person and I show and explain my work, the details and love that I put into everything I do and then more people join and it fills up and it seems that I was giving a great talk and they begin to ask how is this, how is that and the truth is that they tell me I congratulate you, so proud or sometimes on my social accounts they write to me things like “I would love to have you as assistant”, or “How proud your husband must be of you”, because there is no women that are encouraged to more, for example in the carpentry, in the smithy and things like that are not the usual works of a woman so I don’t know, I want to encourage all the women that it is possible, that we can do whatever comes to our minds. If I could do it with carpentry then we can all do something, Thank you very much. Noelia Fernández +54 9 261 535 3778
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