Insights from the Incredibly Hardworking Women of 2019

Every year I’m lucky to spend time with hard working women across the globe. I get to see where they work and learn why they love what they do. Without fail, each woman has something important to share. Here are a few of my favorite moments from 2019.

Brewers Fenna van Strien and Tessel de Heij

Advice from Brewer Tessel de Heij to Starting Your Own Beer Company:

  • Just start brewing and you will be motivated by all the positive reactions from the people around you!
  • Write everything down very carefully.
  • Clean Clean Clean! One bacteria can destroy your beer.
  • It is important to be able to share your successes and failures, so bring at least 1 partner into your business.
  • The people you hire are your most important asset.
  • It is really, really hard work, so you HAVE to like what you do, otherwise you won’t be able to keep going.

Mijs and Runa van de Griek, Amsterdam Houseboat Residents

“We think Amsterdam cannot be without houseboats. It’s part of the scenery. Most of the people who live on a boat are handy people, who are kind and would love to help each other. We are a bit more independent than people who live in a ‘normal’ house, because we need to do more things.

My grandfather taught me how to build things with wood. My father taught me how electricity works and what you can do with that. And I’m a bit handy myself, so I don’t really ask people to come and make stuff at our ship, I just do it myself. I built us a cupboard. I wanted to have more light in our ship, so I’ve taken the jigsaw one day and sat on our roof and sawed two large windows in our roof. We also wanted a fireplace, so we made that ourselves as well. I’m used to fix things myself and don’t ask for help, and I kinda like that.” -Mijs van de Griek

Mother-Daughter Ironworkers, Carolina and Kat in Seattle

Ironworker Carolina Taylor’s Advice for Aspiring Tradespeople:

  • take good care of yourself
  • spend quality time with your family
  • continue making goals to achieve the next positions as a union member (ie: business agent, organizer, union president, apprenticeship instructor, coordinator)
  • be a dream-chaser, goal-reacher, and butt-kicker

Woodcarver Silje Loa

“If you want to become a carver, get carving. Looking at carvings at museums and in historical buildings is amazing inspiration and can even give you an understanding of how they were made, but really just find a piece of wood, a chisel and begin.” -Woodcarver Silje Loa

Stone Carver Miriam Johnson

“Creating something so permanent in the world is such a satisfying thing to do, and to have the chance, as I often do, to work on historic buildings is such an honour. Things that I have made with my hands will live on long past me. To be part of a trade that is so old, using methods that have not changed that much in hundreds of years is something that is wonderful. I also feel really lucky to have a job that could take me anywhere in the world, there is so much to explore!

It isn’t all rosy though. I can often work in pretty harsh environments, using an angle grinder all day, having to wear masks, goggles, gloves etc. Often I work outside, I’ve worked in snow, and sleet, and rain. Working in awkward places high up on scaffolding, lifting heavy loads, and working long hours.” -Stone Carver Miriam Johnson

Woodcarver Zeinab Harding

“Learning a traditional skill is a continual learning process. The more mistakes you make the more you will learn!” -Woodcarver Zeinab Harding

Stone Carver Sue Aperghis

“In my career when I first started, I tried to hide the fact I was dyslexic but I came to realize (and I would suggest it to others) that you should embrace the things that you find most challenging, and work hard and smart to get round your difficulties. Maybe try a different angle on how to learn. The most successful things I’ve done in art is when I confront my Demons the most.” -Stone Carver Sue Aperghis

Rachael Messner of Messner Bee Farm

Rachael’s Advice for Running a Small Business:

  • Work for other small businesses first. Most of it is not glorious work. It is moping the floors, crunching numbers, and getting stung. Before running the Bee Farm, I worked for 6 small businesses and I got to see behind the scenes. I’m grateful for the experience so I had the right expectations.
  • The transition that made us happiest was moving the business out of our actual house. It’s so nice to have a place to retreat to for rest. If it’s not possible to move your business out of the home, try to put it in its own space. It’s exhausting to feel like you’re always at home and always at work.

Helena from Happy Acre Farm

“It’s a lot of hard and dirty work, early mornings, late nights, and learning curves. We don’t get off the farm much during the season, unless you count doing farmers markets, and our date nights are usually spent in the fields with leftovers and a cold beer. But it’s worth every moment, to do something we’re both truly passionate about, and we’re excited to watch our family grow and raise our children to follow their own path, wherever it may lead.” -Helena of Happy Acre Farm

Farmer Nikolette Barnes

The best part of my work is being surrounded by the next generation of food revolutionaries! I absolutely am blessed to be able to teach the babies how to grow, cook, and love the food that they grew for themselves. I also love completely transforming the mindset of someone who didn’t think they could grow food or enjoy fresh vegetables. It’s pretty rewarding.

The most challenging part of my work is dispelling the myths and breaking down the walls that result from misinformation about healthy eating and agriculture. It’s also very difficult to do this work while actively fighting against the system of oppression that creates tangible barriers to families having access to fresh locally grown food.” -Nikolette Barnes of Keep Growing Detroit

Anita Singh, Youth Programs Coordinator at Keep Growing Detroit

Drawing from her background as a high school science teacher, she runs the farm education program. Anita has developed youth programs in many different cities, including Cartegena, Columbia.

Lindsay Pielack is a Co-Director of Keep Growing Detroit

“I would recommend that everyone, young or old, try their hand at growing something. You don’t have to commit to growing all your own food, just get connected to where your food comes from. There are lots of ways to do this, as simply as starting a container of herbs in your window or volunteering at a garden or farm near you.” -Lindsay Pielack of Keep Growing Detroit

Imani S. Foster, Farmers’ Market Coordinator at Keep Growing Detroit

“The food a person sustainably grows is so much better than what’s bought in the supermarkets. Placing your hands in the soil is healing. A person can reestablish relations with family and friends by working together…

One of the best parts of my work is helping the small gardener earn capital. Of course, I love that our customer base continues to grow. There is something so exciting about folks coming to the table and sharing how glad they are that we are back for the season. I know that the work I’m doing as the Grown in Detroit Market coordinator is retooling the culture that this is their (the gardeners’) business to grow.” -Imani Foster of Keep Growing Detroit

Molly Hubbell, Farm Operations Coordinator at Keep Growing Detroit

Farmers don’t have superpowers, we rely on intuition. That intuition comes with time and patience, and can be learned by anyone willing to put the time in.” -Molly Hubbell of Keep Growing Detroit

Lola Kristi Gibson-Berg, Community Education Coordinator at Keep Growing Detroit

“Farming makes me feel hopeful. It’s a privilege to be connected to a community of people in the city who know how to grow food, enjoy doing so, and are cultivating and growing their communities.” -Lola Kristi Gibson-Berg of Keep Growing Detroit

Crane Operator Apprentice, Jessica Knight

“I do not keep my head down. I make others know my presence at work. I befriend my coworkers of all trades. We are here for one common goal: finish the job and go home safely.

Never be afraid to look at any piece of equipment and say, ‘Yeah, I want to learn this!’ Give ‘em hell ladies!” -Jessica Knight

Operating Engineer Elizabeth Kavanagh

I think any young woman that wants to get in the trades should go for it. You can always change what you do. If you think you are interested, give it a shot. You can’t tell if you like it or not if you don’t try.

Being in a union is a good thing. They will have your back. Also, I joined when I was 20, so I started getting benefits and started my pension before most people my age. Sometimes it is hard work, but it can be very rewarding in the future.” -Elizabeth Kavanagh

Operating Engineer Ashley O’Grady

“I went through the operators apprenticeship program. The training from that gave me the confidence and skills I needed to be successful in the field. I have found support in all my brothers and sisters I’ve met through my union… I feel a great sense of pride when I get to see the finished product, knowing I played a big role helping build it.” -Ashley O’Grady

Operating Engineer Christi Smith

“You work with a lot of great people on great jobs. And you always have a support system. The union takes care of you, keeping up to date with technology and providing a place where you can improve your skills. You’re a part of a group of people who are proud of their work and what they do.” -Christi Smith

Operating Engineer Danielle Athey

“In one year, I see myself getting close to graduating the apprenticeship and eventually becoming a journeyman. In five years, I see myself traveling the country with my work. In ten years, I hope by then I have my own house and property…

My advice is don’t be afraid of anything. Have confidence and don’t ever think you can’t ask for help. The support from my coworkers helped me more than anything.” -Danielle Athey

Operating Engineer La’Tasha Smith

“Honesty, I never had any interest in the trades. I went to a career fair and one of the female coordinators approached me and was able to convince me to give it a shot.

I was 28 and broken—lost, homeless, and defeated!! Life had run me over with a truck and backed up to finish the job!! I felt hopeless. So I told her that there was no way I’d ever make it into that career, especially with no experience!! But she was convinced I could, and I actually did!

The training is very intimidating and fast paced. The obstacles I faced were being able to quickly adapt to the new career culture which is made up of predominantly males, learning new machines quickly and safely, remembering all the rules and regulations, schedule changes, and weather conditions affecting work.” -La’Tasha Smith

Farmer and Woodworker Brit McCoy

“Working with family is incredibly rewarding. You’re working looking towards the same goal, the same future and are focused on the same dream. However, it does have some challenges when the family doesn’t see exactly eye-to-eye.

Urban wood is an incredibly beautiful way to share our stories with future generations. The urban trees we use in our shop have incredible ties to family stories and we love helping other families let their stories live on through fine furniture. We are honored to be a part of that process, tree to table.” -Brit McCoy

Sheep Breeder Rebecca Krinsky

“First time sheep owners should seek out information from current breeders to help find the right breed for them. Different breeds require different housing, grooming, and feeding routines. No two breeds are exactly the same. If you do your research, there will be one breed that will fit your personality, needs, and wants better than the others. If you pick the right one to start out with, you will be hooked and possibly find other breeds to connect with over time.” -Rebecca Krinsky of Slack Farms

Thanks for following along with us. I can’t wait to introduce you to even more hard working women in 2020. 

Welder Jen Mosier

“It was a total accident that I found a love for welding. I trace it back to a metalsmithing class in undergrad. I was still thinking about metal years later, but when I transferred to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I found that all the metalsmithing classes were full. The only other way into metalworking was a class about building a furnace for pouring iron. It was a big leap, but that’s where I got acquainted with the large machines and tools, as well as welding. Thankfully a few patient students and professors—now some of my good friends—helped me understand the basics of those tools. I went from working on jewelry on a very small scale to the opposite end of the spectrum. I still make some jewelry, but welding big stuff is my jam.

Welding is empowering. It forces you to consider the physics of moving heavy steel, while often navigating confined spaces. You have to be clever, independent and you have to trust yourself. There’s a grittiness to welding that comes with the territory, and you have to be adaptable to do the work. I’m not afraid to stand on the table to find a more precise position to weld.

Females in traditionally male-dominated fields have to be double tough. I know several other women who weld, and they all have a story about how they have to work extra hard just to earn the respect of their male counterparts. For my master’s thesis, I wrote a small handbook on how to become a female metalworker, and I got to interview some of these badass women welders, fabricators and sculptors. You might think that female welders sit around and chat about their experiences as women in these fields, but that’s not really the case. These interviews were the first time I heard their stories of struggle, which inevitably led to triumph because they chose to ignore the negative commentary and just get the job done. For some of the more competitive women, they let those comments fuel their fire to complete the work.

For anyone looking to get into welding, I’d say just go for it. For women, there’s a unspoken required tenacity. Depending on the shop leadership, there could be a bit more to deal with than just completing projects. A few guys discouraged me from learning how to weld because of the potential danger of electric shock or burns. I let the idea of getting shocked sink in so much that I believed it was more dangerous than it really is. Nonetheless, you still have to be careful around the equipment and always pay attention to your surroundings. In the end, having some of that fear rewards you to do everything right and safely.” -Jen Mosier

Welder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in Carhartt

“I’ve heard so many women say they are afraid of welding, and I wish that wasn’t the case. Depending on the project, welding can be quite straightforward. Granted, there’s more to know about welding than just how to wear the gear and turn on the machine. There’s a technical side which involves clamping and building jigs, which is where things start to get interesting. Everyone should know there is a high level of satisfaction in working with metal and shaping it into something functional” -Jen Mosier

Don’t miss out on the Lady Welder’s Handbook Jen put together.

20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015

The main mission of this blog is to highlight women who do amazing things. That means I come across some of the most awe inspiring people I’ve ever met on a daily basis. At the end of every year, it’s such a treat to look at back at the highlights.

1. Building Hugger, Amy Nicole Swift, is a Crafted in Carhartt darling. She and her crew are working to restore old Detroit, one original window at a time. Preserving the integrity of a building with a nod to the architect’s true intentions is her greatest concern. Amy might be tiny, but she’s tough and doesn’t let anything hold her back.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

2. Amanda Sugden of the Montana Outdoor Science School makes it her main mission to help kids fall in love with nature and the science behind it all. As a scientist herself, she is able to guide young minds along Montana trails as she shows them the ins and outs of the earth’s mysteries.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

3. Alison Wong of Butter Projects in Royal Oaks, Michigan is not only an artist, but the brains behind a gallery space. She’s an immensely talented illustrator and painter. She even taught us all how to stretch our own canvases.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt4. Sara Morris, co-owner of Mello Velo Bike Shop in Syracuse, played a huge role in building this business from the ground up. It’s not just any bike shop, it’s also a cafe. An undertaking such as this has so many facets that it takes a business and mechanical mastermind to keep it all under control (and it doesn’t hurt if you’re a pro in the kitchen as well).20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt
5. Detroit Drag Racer, Molly Straight, knows her way around a garage and the race track. It takes nerves of steel for this kind of competition. Ever thought of throwing your hat in the ring? Here are some tips from Molly.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

6. Real life cowgirl, Rachel Smith, is a hero in my book. Not only does she skillfully compete in rodeos, but she also runs a home in Colorado and dominates life on the ranch. She’s fearless and a undeniable part of Americana.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

7. Jewelry Designer and all around artist, Tiff Massey, is killing it on the creative scene in Detroit. We got a tour of her studio and took a peak into the artist residency program she has created for talented youth. Take a dive into pieces here.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

8. Clare Fox of Mutual Adoration in Detroit, uses symbolism and salvaged materials in her wood shop. Take a look as she works on the Union Table, ideal for a wedding present, composed of two parts that make a whole.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

9. Laura Laster, Director of Flight Operations at LeTourneau University, helps young people find their path to becoming a pilot. She’s been flying for 14 years and enjoying the unbeatable view along the way.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

10. Dana Eklund and Katie Jacobson work in the equestrian division at Eagle Mount, teaching people with disabilities about horsemanship. Learning these skills and creating a bond with an animal is an opportunity for tremendous growth and happiness. 20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

11. Potter Andrea Denniston has traveled the world to learn about her craft. After spending a good chunk of time in China, she’s brought back many new skills to Syracuse where she creates gorgeous and delicately detailed pieces. Travel and study has opened her world to to following her passions and developing as an artist.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

12. Michigan florist, Holly Rutt, started making soaps as a hobby. Combining her love for nature and interest in healing plant extractions and essential oils, she and her husband created a line of body care products. That’s when her side gig became her full time job. All of the items she sells at The Little Flower Soap Co. are 100% American made and crafted with love.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

13. My good friends, Jenny and Rachel Boswell, taught us how to plant a tree. She how you can grow your own forest here.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

14. Janie Mills and the folks at Near Westside Initiative and Northside Urban Partnership united forces to create Salt Works. This amazing social enterprise pulls in members of the community and teaches them the tricks of the woodworking trade. Recycling materials that would typically be on course to becoming landfill, the carpenters at Salt Works create artisan furniture.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

15. Pinky Jones, farm manager at The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, sees urban farming and gardening as the opportunity to educate and involve the community. Food insecurity is a problem she takes to heart. She teaches new skills to help others form a connection with nature, helping the people of Detroit have a new way to access a healthy lifestyle.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt
16. Holly LaGrow, Scenic Charge Artist at Syracuse Stage, brings a play’s set to life through her art work. She interprets the surface finishes of a model and translates it into a full scale set for the stage. It’s a huge job in these often larger than life arenas. Take a closer look here.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt
17. Catie Newell was trained as an architect and now constructs stunning glass formations that interplay with space, form, light, and color. Take a closer look at these unique reflective glass sculptures here.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

18. OUR Detroit, an entirely woman run vodka distillery, found its home in an abandoned liquor store. What was once an eye sore in the neighborhood, untrusting with barred windows and forgotten for many years, has been transformed to a transparent business with arms wide open to the community. It’s the new local hangout where you’re a friend as soon as you step through the door.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

19. Wake Robin Farm in Central New York has been in the Schrader family for 40 years. They have grown from 4 cows to about 40. That might sound small to you, but as the Schraders say, “All farmers put their boots on the same way, are affected by the weather, and work hard to make a living. We believe that there are more similarities than differences among farms, regardless of size.” Take a look at Meg’s daily routine here.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

20. Ryn Adkins is a co-founder of pop-up restaurant, Roux, where food and design have been blended into a whole new type of dining experience. In this photo she’s working on the dinnerware, combining pottery and welding.
20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2015 / Crafted in Carhartt

Did you like this post? Take an even deeper dive into our past.
2012 / 2013 / 2014

The search for women who do amazing things continue. If you have any special crafts you’d like to share, email

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting / Crafted in Carhartt

There is something so human and true about these few captured moments of hard labor. From a moment of preparation, to the gritting of teeth, falling into the peaceful moment of success, and then moving forward. We may not all be moving 75 pounds of hay, but the process is similar in a lot of work scenarios. Whatever your passion is, you can’t let the stages of each endeavor intimidate you. It’s about the breath before the action starts, then the fun begins.

Read more about Rachel here.

Before You Renovate, Take a Word of Advice From The Building Hugger

Home Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in Carhartt

Amy Nicole Swift, Detroit’s Building Hugger, and master renovator, has a few tips for you before you start planning your home renovation.

1. Develop a list of priorities and a realistic timeline for working through those items, even if that means planning 5 years out. It’s important to remain flexible. Renovations are always full of unknowns, no matter how well you might plan. Sometimes you have to compromise part of your vision to make a project work, but that can open up other creative opportunities. It’s all in your attitude: challenges can either be problems or they can be opportunities. Having a clear set of researched objectives can help guide you through the hiccups.

2. ​When you’re renovating an older home nothing will end up perfect. Don’t lose sight of why you probably fell in love with your old home in the first place: there’s an intrinsic beauty ​in its imperfections. If you expect straight floors, perfectly plumb doors, and flawless finishes then an old home might not be for you. Your home renovation will also never be really be “done” as there will always be another project down the pipeline — coming to terms with this will save you some anxiety.

3. ​Don’t take too much on yourself without starting a project without a solid plan.​ ​I work with a lot of homeowners that try to cut out the project management costs of hiring a general contractor and/or architect to save money, but that often costs them money or time or both in the long run. I suggest working with a building professional that is open to helping you save money by accommodating DIY projects in their scheduling​, as well as coaching you through some of those projects. It’s an approach I started to take in my business because that’s what Detroiters seem to want.

4. It’s important that you find building professionals in your area that are familiar with the era and construction method in which your house was constructed. You want to hire someone that can anticipate the inevitable challenges that come with working in an older home because they will already have an action plan in mind based on their previous experiences. What is the contractor’s pricing structure? Do they make money on a markup if they sell you on new windows or flooring as opposed to refinishing? Because of course they’re going to tell you the windows or flooring can’t be saved. Don’t work with anyone that’s pushy or doesn’t listen to what you want. Make sure your contractor aligns with your philosophy for restoration and shares your vision because you will be relying on them to guide you through every decision you make.

Amy works on restoring windows often, as she and Jennifer are pictured above. Another tip to keep in mind is:

5. New window companies have been very successful at convincing the public that replacement windows are significantly more energy efficient than historic windows. But that’s simply not true. ​A well maintained historic window with a storm panel is at least as efficient as a new window, and if properly maintained with paint and routine care, will last another hundred years or more. The ROI of investing in your historic windows is actually better because of their repairability. Unfortunately, as a dying trade​, ​window restoration has become a somewhat pricey boutique craft in recent years, but I’m hoping to shift that perception with a new approach to the services we offer.

Amy is wearing the Carhartt Force Performance Tank (color available next spring), Driving Glove, & Series 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree. Jennifer is wearing the Carhartt Force Performance T-Shirt, Driving Glove, & Relaxed-Fit Sandstone Kane Dungaree.

The Way of Progress

The Way of Progress / Marie Curie / Crafted in Carhartt

Marie Curie is one of the most inspiring women in history. Not only was she the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, she was the first person to win two. She lived a passionate life of discovery and hard work, leading the way in the the field of radioactivity, forever leaving a mark on humanity for the better.

It’s all about the hard work. That’s how we better ourselves, our skills, and the world.

“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” -Marie Curie

20 Bad Ass Girl Power Moments of 2014

The ushering in of the New Year always brings about contemplation and a bit of nostalgia. Let’s take a few moments to remember the stories from 2014 that fill us with pride and hope for womankind.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttMonica Gryoke gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of Two James Distillery in Detroit.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttThe James sisters of Drought Juice in Detroit teach us about juice that’s alive.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttPaige and Gunner show us that dog’s are a girls’ best friend.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttStephanie Revennaugh teaches us to see the beauty in our own backyard.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttThe horse wranglers at Mountain Sky Ranch let us know that the best man for the job is a woman.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttGlass artist, Ona Magaro, reminds us that passion and hard work make for the right combination to start your own business.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttI give a few pointers in the backpackers’ guide to surviving a Montana adventure.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttI explore some of the best hot springs that Montana and Wyoming have to offer, come rain or shine.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttI share a few photography filter hacks to bring new life to vacation photos.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttCaitlin Kerr of Foxglove Studios in Chicago reminds us that a career switch to the job of your dreams is possible if you take it one step at a time.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttCrafting time can be the best quality time. My mom and I give a helpful guide on how to make a rain chain.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttBukola shares stories about her past and present, from life in Nigeria to living in Portland. She also teaches us the Japanese craft of Monigami.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttAimee Inouye shows us that handmade furniture beats ready to assemble pieces any day of the week.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttThe Building Hugger, Amy Nicole Swift, makes Detroit a better place one house at a time.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttI take a look at social media and how women are portrayed. Find out how changing your media consumption can create worthwhile affects.
Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttXimena Bedoya explores the transformation of her plastic art through a series of breathtaking gifs. Take a look here.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttAnne Bujold of Riveted Rabbit Studio in Portland inspires us to take classes and learn about what interests us. It pays off in the long run.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttMeegan Czop of Rebuilding Exchange in Chicago does her part in changing the dialogue of what women can do, one demolition after another.

Best of 2014 / Crafted in CarharttI explore the lives and contributions of six amazing women in history. They all make for great costume ideas when Halloween rolls around as well.

Glass Artist Ona Magaro

Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt

Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt
Ona Magaro / Crafted in Carhartt

In a time when men outnumber women in films 3 to 1 on screen, unequal pay based on gender still unfairly affects females on a day to day basis, and social media and advertising outlets are repeatedly beating women down with unrealistic and often times contradictory expectations about beauty, health, and happiness; it’s time we stand together and let out stories and experiences bring about an era of change. Let’s applaud the women who are out there defying stereotypes and pushing forward in careers and fields where they are outnumbered. From one woman’s triumph shared to another’s inspiration spurred, small changes will amount to larger ones that can eventually redefine what it means to be a working woman.

Ona Magaro’s glass creations and her life story are quite the achievements to admire. She has turned her passion into a thriving business. After years of fine-tuning her craft, her work is breathtaking and unlike any I’ve seen. Take a look at the glass sculpture Ona created for us, from start to finish. She envisions the body of a bird by utilizing the simplicity of a single color and an elongated curve, free flowing and elegant. But don’t let the airy nature of her art fool you. It’s hard work, requiring a tremendous amount of physical strength and a heaping load of creativity. Her advice to anyone hoping to follow in her footsteps is to study marketing, accounting, and writing to build a successful business around the artistic talent.

As Oscar Wilde would say, we live in a world where “life imitating art” is an everyday occurrence. May Ona’s art and experiences be something that young women can look up to and hope to emulate as they grow and discover what path they’ll pursue. When I asked Ona what she wanted to teach her children about the arts, and how she hoped her work will affect the way they interpret the world around them, her simple response is what I hope to share with you, “That anything is possible.”

Ona’s workwear: Carhartt Women’s Long-Sleeve Signature T-Shirt, Women’s Series 1889 Slim Double-Front Dungaree, & C-Grip Knuckler Glove

last photo above taken by Jessie Moore

Jennifer Philipps of ERA Test, LLC in Montana

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt Wake up early. Analyze lab results. Prepare reports for clients. Go to scheduled air inspections in commercial and residential environments. Submit samples to a lab in Washington. Then back to office work and equipment maintenance. That’s the typical day in the life of an Indoor Air Quality Inspector. Meet Jennifer Philipps of ERA Test, LLC in Montana. She and her mom, Lisa, own and operate the business. They test air to detect threats like mold, asbestos, radon, and methamphetamine. Together they are able to work across the entire state. The dynamics of the mother/daughter relationship in a work environment have brought the family closer together. They are able to lean on and learn from one another. It’s much more common to come across family businesses that are passed from father to son. I must say, it was really exciting to come across a multi-generational family trade that not only involves the women, but is entirely run by them. What an awesome gift of knowledge and skill to bestow. Jennifer’s work wear: Carhartt Women’s Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt & Women’s Sibley Denim Cropped Pant  

Park Ranger Kat Barker

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt
Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt
Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt

Montana Trail Guide / Crafted in Carhartt


When you think of a wilderness ranger, who do you think of? Do you picture a big burly bearded man, covered in plaid? Would it blow your mind to see a woman ranger, wearing pink, with a pickaxe in tow? If so, consider your mind blown.

Meet Kat Barker, a trails and wilderness supervisor. She and her crew head to the backcountry for 8 day long trips of 10-hour work schedules, consisting of clearing downfall, maintaining drainage structures, trail and bridge construction, etc. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and wherewithal to perform the daily tasks and move camp every night. The job may be tough, but it comes with the best office space around. Every night ends with a good meal at the campfire with friends, and rest is sweetest after collapsing into a sleeping bag, every limb aching from the typical routine.

It’s inspiring to see this role, historically dominated by men, being filled by strong, independent women. Kat’s advice for young girls who hope to follow a similar career path is that, “You can do it! If you love being in the mountains and enjoy working really, really hard and sweating a lot, there is nothing stopping you.  It can be difficult to get your foot in the door with public land management agencies, but do your applications, and call, call, call!  Making actual connections with the people in charge of trails and wilderness programs goes a long way in getting hired.  Or there are many other arenas like firefighting, range work, biology technicians, etc. that are open for newcomers as well.  Once you get hired on, even more doors will open.”

Nothing beats a barrel of determination and love for nature. Let your passions be your driving force in life.

Kat is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Force Performance Quarter-Zip & Women’s Original-Fit Crawford Canvas Dungaree