Hobby turns into full time job

After spending 23 years of her life working in a law office, Andrea Meaux made a decision to retire.

But her retirement wasn’t the typical stay at home and do nothing kind. This retirement was to help in her husband’s business.

Her husband, Jimmie Meaux, owns and operates Jim’s Tree Service.

When she began receiving phone calls from people asking if they sold firewood, she asked her husband why they couldn’t sell all the wood he cut from trimming trees.

“He told me it was too much work for too little money,” laughs Andrea.

Knowing they had a log splitter in their shop doing nothing, and idea began to form in Andrea’s mind.

Her love of the outdoors, being an avid recycler, and not being shy of hard work, were all factors in her favor....so why not give it a try.

As a hobby, she began splitting the logs her husband brought in from his job and selling them for firewood.

It didn’t take long for the word to get out, and her ‘part-time hobby’ began taking more and more out of her day.

When her husband saw that she took her hobby seriously (not to mention how good she was at it!), he bought her a much larger splitter and built a shed for her to work under.

From that point on, the hobby became a full time job.

Andrea quickly learned the ins and outs of cutting firewood.

She learned not to place the firewood on the ground, so she went scrounging around their shop and found pallets laying around that were not being used.

She still depends on Jimmie and his crew to cut the huge logs into smaller logs that she can handle.

“I haven’t decided I want to learn how to use a chain saw,” laughs Andrea. “But I sure can split and stack with no problem!”

She can stack around 300 pieces of wood on each pallet, depending on how large the pallet is.

Once the logs are on the pallet, she moves the entire pallet with a skid steer and puts it into place. She can also load the firewood onto the customer’s trailer with the skid steer, saving a lot of time and energy.

Another aspect of her business is selling smaller pieces of wood for fire pits.

“The fire pits are so popular these days,” she said, “I sell smaller pieces in containers for people who want just enough wood for them.”

The majority of the wood being split is local woods including red oak, water oak and pecan. Occasionally, the crew will cut down hickory, live oak, elm or hackberry.

“The hickory and live oak are very difficult to split so I stay away from them. But, if a customer request these woods, I will try to accommodate them.”

Andrea said most people cannot believe that she is the one doing the log splitting, but she feels good knowing that she recycles wood that otherwise would be discarded.

“With today’s economy,” she said, “some of my customers rely on their fireplace as their only source of heat. So, I have great satisfaction knowing that I am able to provide them with wood.”

When she get calls about selling firewood, she still has to laugh at people’s reactions when she tells them that she is the one selling the firewood, not her husband!

Andrea can be reached at 643-6106.

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