In the last few months since we started this company, I've heard lots of different responses to the idea. Some people think we're crazy (not totally untrue), others are thrilled, but the response that has thrown me off the most is from women who have been told they are clumsy or uncoordinated, and that they will never be good at anything like this.
Women of all ages, reciting to me the things they've heard from others, "I'm no good at things like that," "my husband thinks I'm too clumsy to make a chair without hurting myself," "I'm just not that brave."
The truth is, maybe you are clumsy. And, you're probably not going to be good at it at first. No one is, at first.
Somewhere along the lines we were sold a bill of goods, ladies. Someone told us that tools are for boys and sewing machines are for girls. And, don't get me wrong, I love my sewing machine, but I've been amazed at how transformative it's been for me and others to do something that has been historically reserved for men.
So far, every single woman who has stepped into our shop has been good enough, capable enough, and gutsy enough to try. None of us may end up becoming talented furniture makers, but each of us has gotten our hands dirty, endured a few splinters, and definitely broken a sweat in the process of laying down our preconceptions of what is possible.
Whatever it is you want to do, woodworking, pottery, giving speeches, exercising in public, etc. I hope, in 2018, that we'll all be a little bit more brave. I hope we'll decide for ourselves if we like something, before allowing anyone else to decide if we're good at it.
And if you want to give woodworking a try, I hope you'll reach out. Come by the shop, saw something. Who knows, you may just love it!