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Women.Design.Build: Empowering Austin Women

published on June 17, 2013

austin women build class craftWhen Nicole Joslin and Christina Mirando put their hearts and minds together in 2009 to create an Austin community for do-it-yourself women and girls, all they had to start was a shared passion for DIY projects and power tools, plus an unquenchable desire to share it. With minimal existing opportunities for ATX women to pursue the trades of building and design in a collaborative and supportive environment, their challenge was clear.

Fast forward four years, and we find Women.Design.Build: a powerful, women-owned non-profit representing a thriving community of ATX women and girls on a mission to build friendships, skills, and confidence through design and construction activities. From West Austin home-improvement classes to workshops for young women leaders, Women.Design.Build already is making a big difference to Austin women.

With public classes like wood bowl turning, cutting board making, pear canning, hand and power tool basics, and furniture design and restoration, “We are a community made by and for women,” said Mirando, co-founder and Executive Director for Women.Design.Build and community manager for Center61, an organization that engages social entrepreneurs with the non-profit sector.

women design build class austinAs part of its goal to collaborate with non-profits, WDB facilitates monthly hands-on workshops for the military widow community through American Widow Project, which makes its home just south of Austin and provides military widows with peer-based support programs designed to educate, empower, inspire, and assist them in rebuilding their lives.

Last summer, WDB also conducted a three-week, skill-building “handy women” program at Saint Louse House, which provides affordable housing to formerly homeless single mothers and their children. WDB instructor and handywoman Samantha Hurst taught SLH single mothers how to use tools and tackle basic maintenance projects.

DIY austin women

“This summer, we will be holding a four-week program where we will teach moms how to safely and confidently use basic tools, tackle basic maintenance and home renovation projects,” said Mirando.

To serve younger generations, WDB has partnered with Girl Scouts, the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, and Girlstart, a homegrown non-profit near Great Hills, to initiate Girls.Design.Build. Through lectures, mentorships, and hands-on workshops, this initiative will introduce young women to the inspiring world of architecture, design, technology, and engineering.

Joslin and Mirando are creatively constructing community as two women on a determined mission: “Our goal is to create the opportunity for all individuals to become thoughtful designers and empowered leaders, ultimately creating lasting change in their own lives and communities. We’re a curious group of makers, thinkers, and doers,” said Joslin. “Join us!”

Want to learn more about Women.Design.Build? Volunteer, partner, or donate! Call (512) 964-5794 or click here to visit the website.

The Austin REALTORS® at Regent Property Group support community-driven non-profit organizations like Women.Design.Build. They also support homebuyers as they traverse Austin’s real estate market. On the lookout for luxury homes for sale in Austin, Texas? They can help!

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