The idea for this business was triggered - as events often are - by the last straw. It happened in 2005 with my attempts to assemble leather seats to the top of a bar stool metal base and leg frame, armed only with an instruction sheet written in economical English and frugal diagrams. Suffice to say what should have been a simple task, wasn't and I was left with an all too familiar feeling – utter frustration. I then realised the antecedents to my DIY frustration went back years and I thought then that a simple book should be written, to guide people to do simple tasks.
Some weeks later, fog-bound at the airport with a colleague (a skilled DIYer), I had the opportunity to talk about the bar stools and vent my frustration about my inability to know ‘things' without being shown. My colleague answered all my stored up DIY questions and he confirmed for me that much DIY stuff was unnecessarily mysterious. And, that it was possible, with guidance, support and opportunities, for DIY to be accessible to all women. After some additional flight delays, many coffees later and notes scribbled on the back of my boarding pass, the business idea was conceived and in 2007 it was born.
Since 2005, I've talked to dozens of women and asked them what support they'd want in their DIY endeavours. I've laughed with them, as they've described their catastrophes and attempts to use equipment that was too heavy or inappropriate for the task at hand; and I've heard there's a whole group of women out there, Baby Boomers through to generations X and Y, who'd like opportunities to develop their skills, buy only the tools they really need and have fun, while they learn, with like-minded others.
And my DIY skills? I can say that my DIY journey has been sprinkled with small successes, as I've worked on my own home, rental properties and others' houses. I love painting walls with a roller and when painting, find I always manage to get paint over myself…my automatic, hand-wipe actions on my, er, back pocket area, doesn't help. I like doing small plaster repairs. And I'm quite taken with replacing fence palings – there's something compelling about being octopus - like with hands needed in about five places at once. And I really do like getting into old clothes and getting messy, doing things.
My most enjoyable experiences have been instigating or participating in painting bees: gathering friends together to paint an entire house or thereabouts, over a weekend or three days; with lots of music, laughter, food, long, long hours and a restorative glass of wine at the end of the day.
I wouldn't be without my hammer and screwdrivers, plastering blade and caulking gun – I really do get trigger happy. And I must admit, my enthusiasm at times has far exceeded my skill level and good sense. I now know that a fish slice is a difficult kitchen tool to control and not suitable for removing wallpaper around a live power socket. I've heard it said that to be old and wise, one must first be young and foolish. I think I've moved along this continuum – I'm young at heart and getting wiser, by the day!
There's a great team supporting this business: professional advisors, tradespeople, skilled DIYers, and talented others, who all do what's needed, when it's needed.
Feel free to join in our endeavours – we'd love to have you with us.
Director & DIY Devotee