All the Industrious 'Girls Who Build'

Karissa Cross outside the greenhouse she built

The Sanding Blonde

Girls Who Build is a series of profiles of women who build...like girls. Yes, that's right. Girls are powerful and so are these women, especially when it comes to creating beautiful and useful pieces from wood, metal, and more. These girls are kicking butt in an historically male-dominated industry, and we cannot get enough! Here we find out how they got started and how you can, too.

  • 01 of 08

    A Woodworker and Builder Who Taught Herself She's Unstoppable

    Karissa Cross in front of a woodwork tool

    The Sanding Blonde

    Prior to our Zoom chat, Karissa Cross, aka The Sanding Blonde, sent a follow-up message asking if the call would be recorded. “Like, how cute do I need to be?” she asked, adding a nervous emoji that instantly upped the charm factor. “I’m sanding and painting so I’m a mess!”

    When we connected a few hours later, she beamed into the camera from her sunny kitchen in Georgia, about a thirty-minute drive from the Florida-Georgia line. “I was able to shower,” she laughed. Her bright and bubbly personality matched her Insta-feed to a tee, and Karissa chatted with us about how she got started building and where she sees this wild ride taking her next.

  • 02 of 08

    A Mom of Twins Who Turned to Woodworking to Take Control of Her Life

    Elisha Albretsen

    Elisha Albretsen

    Based just outside of Phoenix, Elisha Albretsen never expected to get into woodworking. But as she has learned more than a few times, sometimes, life has other plans. We connected with the blogger known as The Pneumatic Addict to discuss how the combination of a strict budget and surprise identical twin boys turned her toward a career as a digital DIYer.

  • 03 of 08

    A Self-Taught Carpenter Who Is an Online Building Community Pioneer

    Jen Woodhouse poses with her two children next to the built-in bunkbeds she created

    Jen Woodhouse

    When it comes to mainstays of the virtual woodworking world, self-taught carpenter Jen Woodhouse is one of the greats. Regularly cited as a source of inspiration for the women featured in our Girls Who Build series, we were thrilled to catch Jen for a Zoom interview, talking all things woodworking, home improvement, and DIY.

  • 04 of 08

    Craftswoman Who Epitomizes a Can-Do Spirit

    Katie Thompson at a Charleston, South Carolina trade show

    Katie Thompson

    We connected with Katie Thompson, founder of Women of Woodworking. Through her platform, Katie works to highlight women, female-identifying, and non-binary craftspeople by sharing their stories through interviews and essays. We chatted about Katie’s own journey into woodworking, which projects she values the most, and the true importance of community in the world of woodcraft. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    An Electrical Engineer Who Ditched Her Career to Pursue a Hobby

    Anika Gandhi sitting in front of a kitchen cabinet

    Anika Gandhi

    We spoke with woodworker and DIY enthusiast, Anika Gandhi, to discuss how she stumbled into the world of home improvement, why she became a blogger, and how her former professional life in electrical engineering perfectly prepared her to be a woman in a traditionally male-dominated medium.

  • 06 of 08

    Mom of 4 Who Sees the Value in Making Mistakes in Woodworking and Life

    Char Miller-King poses in her workshop for Girls Who Build

    Char Miller-King

    On a sunny morning from her living room in Atlanta, Char Miller-King talked to us about why she left the corporate ladder to build full-time, what she hopes to teach people about woodworking, and how her four children benefit from seeing their mom try, fail, and succeed in the career her heart chose.

  • 07 of 08

    A Furniture Maven Who Says 'Furniture Is Functional Art'

    Greta de Parry solders a metal base for Girls Who Build

    Jim Prisching

    We connected with Chicago-based furniture maker and artisan Greta de Parry over Zoom. During our chat, Greta shared her earliest inspirations, how she nabbed her very first and most prized chisel, and why her deep love of furniture keeps her moving forward.

  • 08 of 08

    Former Anthropologie Display Designer Who Launched an Art Company

    Aleksandra Zee poses in front of some of her original wood panels

    Aleksandra Zee

    Woodworking artist Aleksandra Zee spoke with us from her sun-filled living room in Northern California, where her big smile and clear passion for her work shined through instantly. As we chatted, Aleksandra told us all about how she began, where in nature she finds her inspiration, and what she hopes for her future as a female artist working in a male-dominated medium.