How This Company Created Inclusive Spaces for Women in Trades

Did you know that women make up less than 4% of people working in the trades? Despite the demand for more trade workers, barriers still exist for women. Recently, HomeStars spoke with Jessica Louise, owner of Kitchen Makeovers, a cabinetry refinishing and refacing company based in British Columbia. We learned about some of the challenges women face within the trades, how HomeStars reviews have supported her women-owned business, and how Kitchen Makeovers fosters a safe and inclusive environment for their team. Read on to learn more!

Who is Behind Kitchen Makeovers?

Kitchen Makeovers was founded in 2009 by Tanya Bilmer in British Columbia. What started as a house painting business in the back of Tanya’s home eventually evolved into a cabinetry refinishing and refacing company. This shift, from strictly house painting to cabinet painting, was pivotal as Kitchen Makeovers found their niche within the world of trades.

Having recently graduated from the University of British Columbia, Jessica Louise saw a business opportunity in Kitchen Makeovers and decided to purchase the company in 2019. From there, Jessica scaled the company to 30 full-time staff who complete 8 to 12 kitchen cabinetry refinishing and refacing projects per week.

Flipping the Switch & Breaking Barriers

It’s rare to come across women-led businesses in the trades and it’s also hard to find teams within the trades composed mainly of women. Companies like Kitchen Makeovers, are flipping the switch and showing us the importance of doing both. An article by the Labour Market Information Council found that a major barrier for women entering the trades is “a lack of awareness of career opportunities”. By building a growth path for employees into their business model, Kitchen Makeovers has built a team comprised of 80% women. Jessica shared that Kitchen Makeovers works hard to foster a safe space for women who aren’t entirely sure of their career trajectory and who are still debating whether to continue their studies or to work in the trades. Through on-site training, employees with little to no experience are offered growth opportunities within the company and trades. Providing women with the right information, tools, and opportunities for success are key to building a more inclusive workplace in the trades.

Growth with HomeStars: Online and Offline

With 288 homeowner reviews on HomeStars and 10 Best of Award wins, Kitchen Makeovers is booming both online and offline. Creating a profile on HomeStars was instrumental to the start and growth of their women-led business. For Jessica, it was the sense of community that came from the Best of Award events and recognition from customers that made an impact in their growth in the West Vancouver to Chilliwack area. “Most people go with who they trust,” said Jessica. “[HomeStars] reviews have definitely helped us win clients.”

Although progress is being made, being a woman-led business in the world of trades still comes with its own set of challenges. Some clients are surprised and apprehensive about working with women-owned operations, such as Kitchen Makeovers. But, after the work is done, they are able to change that narrative for their clients. When speaking with Jessica, she mentioned that it feels both “powerful and impactful to break that perspective and change that experience for people.” By continuing to break gender-based stereotypes and move toward an inclusive workplace model, Kitchen Makeovers is paving the way to a future for the next generation of women in trades!

Questions? Contact your dedicated account manager, today, or call 1-800-701-9265.

Previous Post

Next Post

Connect with new leads on HomeStars!