EMPOWERING: Girls on Tools project leader Deidi Vine believes in empowering women through creation and building projects and is looking to raise funds for a women's shelter through their cubby house creations.
EMPOWERING: Girls on Tools project leader Deidi Vine believes in empowering women through creation and building projects and is looking to raise funds for a women's shelter through their cubby house creations. Marc Stapelberg

Business empowering women with confidence in the workshop

ON A Myocum property sits crafty cubby houses, kitchenettes, and furniture - all made out of recycled materials.

The sounds of hammering and power tools mix with the chattering of women - the forces behind the creations which litter the yard.

Drawn together by a can-do attitude towards learning skills and use of tools, the women are driven by a desire to gain more independence and becoming 'handy'.

Fledgling business Girls on Tools is helping to empower women with these skills to fix broken objects and to create new out of old.

A woman can walk in having never picked up a tool, and walk away with basic carpentry skills.

Passionate up-cycler, repairer of broken furniture and household items, Deidi Vine, started Girls on Tools to support women in becoming practical and learning skills that have been predominantly male-orientated.

Deidi started Girls on Tools a year ago after discovering a passion, while managing a local op shop, to not let waste slip through the cracks.

"I donated several cubby houses I built from pallets and broken bed frames and decided I wanted to bring other women on board and teach them how to use power tools," she said.

Now, there are 12 women "devoted to doing projects for charity, making cubby houses and kids kitchens".

"We are really passionate about making a difference and supporting other women," Deidi said.

"I realised there was a lot of stuff slipping through the fingers of the system still becoming landfill which made me passionate into fixing things, up-cycling, repairs and re-purposing whatever I could.

"The women use all the tools including the jigsaw and drop saw. Basically I teach them whatever they are interested to do.

"Some of the women have been copying furniture which is a great way to learn.

"I really encourage them to gain the confidence to guesstimate. Very quickly they gain the confidence and it's really exhilarating to see the satisfaction on their faces and their ability to then go on and use tools.

"Some of them have now bought their own tools, and some of the women now are teaching other women."

Some of the creations have been donated to charities and a passion for helping the homeless has led Deidi to experiment with building shelter shacks and temporary bed sits for women, but she said she also loves building kids cubby houses.

Some creations are sold so they can buy more tools, and she hopes to donate some to disadvantaged families or community areas for kids to enjoy.

"Now we've outgrown this working space and we now need to move to a shed, so we're in the process of trying to get sponsorship and proposals in so we can keep doing what we're doing," Deidi said.

"Also I'd love to help support a women's refuge, which is lacking in this area."

for more details, go to the Girls on Tools Facebook site.


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