Inside Out (Australia)
Meet the duo behind BuildHer, an online community helping women to build their dream homes
What are your professional backgrounds? I (Kribashini) am a client-side commercial development manager, so I come at issues or problems from a client perspective and enjoy managing design teams and builders. Rebeka has been developing [properties] for herself for years and is a registered builder, so she comes at issues from a buildability and end-product point of view.
How did BuildHer begin? In 2017, Rebeka was wrapping up another business and sounding out new opportunities and I was trying to start a family, so I felt like a new pathway was in my future for the lifestyle I wanted. Then, once the idea sparked, we couldn’t believe how great it was. The demand was huge; so many women were renovating or building alone, without any support or help and we could truly help them. The building industry is highly regulated and complex, and there are lots of different professionals who can do similar things, but it’s hard to know the point of difference. There was also no central process map or pathway to follow, and being in the industry for so long meant that we intrinsically knew this and could relate to how hard it must be for those who didn’t.
Explain how your different skills make the business work Our different backgrounds shape all the decisions we make, and are at the core of everything we do. Because of that, we feel like we have shaped BuildHer to really align with what women need, whether they are hiring a builder or tradies themselves, or want to be an owner-builder. We love having differing approaches because it means we can help all women, depending on what pathway they choose in the design and building space.
Why do you think it’s important for women to be empowered to take on these roles? Building and construction is a largely male-dominated industry that women have struggled to break into, for a range reasons. A lot of these barriers can be overcome with education and confidence, and this is how BuildHer empowers women. In fact, this industry is creative, analytical, logistical and collaborative, so there’s no reason why women shouldn’t be involved. Many women have natural abilities in those areas, but lack the confidence to take the first steps.
What has BuildHer done that’s surprised you? We have created a fantastic community of women who truly believe in what we do, and by helping each other and raising each other up we all win. They show up for each other, whether that’s helping to pick a paint colour or giving feedback on a floor plan, or even going to an auction for moral support. We are so proud of them and how they help each other. Turn the page for some BuildHer tips