About Fresh Start Pallet Products.

Fresh Start Pallet Products, LLC is an initiative conceived in the backyard of Grace Lutheran Church in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford, CT. It was conceptualized as a business after listening to stories of hungry people with little hope, and too many lost dreams. “Let’s build furniture out of used shipping pallets, and, in that way, invite people to a new start, a second chance.”

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The People.

Juliet P. Brand

The Team


First, under the leadership of master carpenter, Lee Whittemore, we know that we can, and do, build really great furniture. More than $ 11,000 of furniture made from pallets has been designed, built or commissioned since June of 2015. In five months, Fresh Start Pallet Products has produced more than thirty pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture; some custom, and some standard. All built with loving attention by a team of people who are thrilled to have work and excited to be creating products of real value to individuals and their communities.

By networking with healthcare and social service partners, we support people in their life transformation from poverty, joblessness and dependency to a new sense of purpose and meaning. One of our furniture makers is on his way to completing a rehab program that was initiated through a healthcare provider, and delivered by a social services agency – all encouraged and supported by Fresh Start. The job was the enabler; the health-care and social services networking were essential. None of this is easy; none of this is about waving wands. This is about transformation that requires time, hard work, strong spiritual and social supports, and a new view of one’s (1) health, (2) place in society, and (3) self-confidence. It is these things that over time will bring about permanent life changes. It is working.

Fresh Start Pallet Products History.

Founding.

Fresh Start Pallet Products, LLC is an initiative conceived in the backyard of Grace Lutheran Church in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford, CT. It was conceptualized as a business after listening to stories of hungry people with little hope, and too many lost dreams. “Let’s build furniture out of used shipping pallets, and, in that way, invite people to a new start, a second chance.”


History

Founders.

Beginning with a conversation over lunch with four people, Fresh Start now has a Steering Committee 16 people strong. This team has rolled up its sleeves, raising in excess of $ 23,000, establishing a corporate structure and filing with the Secretary of State.


History

First Brochure.

A first sales brochure was created, along with the beginnings of a product catalogue and a pricing list and strategy. We have already taken steps to trademark the business, and to build a more comprehensive business plan reflecting our growing understanding of this emerging business. These are the wonders – a business designed, built and implemented as a means to offer a new option for people who have no new paths to follow. It feels like there is something behind all of this happening; something good, maybe something Holy.


History

Future Outlook.

Fresh Start has  a new home at Veeder Place. New equipment has been purchased that allows the process to be streamlined, and studies are being undertaken to understand the cost of each of the most popular pieces. Volunteers have come forward to provide accounting support and Fresh Start is looking more and more like a real startup business. But make no mistake, the real measure of success is lives changed, and and the furniture sold will always be a means to the real goal and a way to expand the growing list of partners.


History