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Women Build Things

June 15, 2016
As a young girl, I was discouraged from participating in physical work because it was 'just for the boys'. Now that I'm older, I realize that there is no limit to what I can do and through Sally Hansen, I finally got to use my power (tools).

Growing up, all the male figures in my life had workshops. In my eyes, this is just what men did — build, fix, and make things — and I would go to them whenever I wanted something done. My papa would build things: tables, toy boxes, chairs etc. and I would paint them in fun colourful ways. I’ve always had a fascination with watching these things being made, from start to finish. The tools were enticing, but they were intimidating enough to keep me from ever trying it myself.

I found that the lack of female representation deterred me from trying more hands-on roles; They are always portrayed as “man’s work,” not something any woman should do.

According to the Alberta Government, women made up only 14% of the workers in construction trades and Statistics Canada reports that less than 15% of the construction workforce is female. Not much progress has been made since (hopefully, we start seeing more strong, bad-ass females working in trades in the future!).


Photos by Susan Kim

As I get older, independence is more and more important to me. *cue Destiny’s Child song* I don’t like the idea of having to rely on someone else to get shit done for me, which led me to finally learn how to build things. Fortunately, Dani recognized my desire to create something tactile, and proposed we collaborate on the design and build of three sets for Sally Hansen Canada.

The concept of the sets were reminiscent of the “mani-cam” intended to compliment the launch of three colour palettes (nudes, rich tones, pinks/corals) of their new #ColorTherapy line. I’m just beginning my exploration into construction, (I was recently given my first starter power drill) so thankfully my stepdad guided me throughout this project.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 9.31.13 AM

Illustration by Dani Roche

With the three designs in hand, we went into his workshop to saw, drill, and nail the sets together. To be honest, using a nail gun is scary AF and it’s going to take some time before I feel truly comfortable operating these tools; I swear just being near them I feel more powerful, and using them I feel like nothing can stop me! They don’t call em power tools for nothing.

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Fullframe instagram (5 of 5)

The main purpose was to have people involved in the experience, not just place their hands in front of a wall. Once the sets were built, it was easier to envision how our end product would look — we wanted to develop interesting ways for people to interact with the sets. For instance, mirrors allow for a lot of play, so we installed two facing mirrors creating the infinity effect (I could honestly play with for hours).

I can’t lie, there were a few hiccups during the course of this project. However, I am just thankful to be given the opportunity to explore what I want and can do. I read a quote the other day about how perfection is boring and learning is where all the fun is. That’s exactly where I’m at. I don’t expect to great at this, but I just want to try. More than anything, I don’t want my gender to limit or define what I can and can’t do — only I can do that.



Shop the #ColorTherapy collection on July 1st at SallyHansen.com!