With the number of women undertaking DIY slowly increasing, the professional building trade is still a heavily male-dominated profession, with around 10% of female workers in the industry.
But Lili, who has six years’ experience in the property development and interior design profession, and a lifelong fascination with design, believes that there is so much untapped potential in the UK’s female population.
“Being a woman in an environment that is male dominated can be intimidating”, Lili said. “I’ve got first-hand experience of being the only female on a builder’s course, so I understand the lack of confidence completely”
“But I’ve spoken to so many women who were extremely eager to learn about DIY yet feel as though they can’t due to a lack of self-belief.”
Looking at the current UK construction industry, the lack of confidence isn’t that surprising. A networking group for female construction workers called Chicks with Bricks is run by Holly Porter, who told the Guardian that when it comes to women in the construction industry “a lot of it is about perception. There was an element of: ‘if you’re a woman in construction you keep your head down, don’t talk about it and pretend you’re a bloke’.”
Lili’s belief is that women shouldn’t be limited to craft activity on a kitchen table if they are interested to do more. Vocations such as tiling, plumbing and carpentry are not rocket science, and there is so much information available online, thousands of DIY video on YouTube, and training class all around the UK, women just have to start their research.
Lili encourages every woman who has even a slight bit of curiosity around this male dominated sector to give it a go.
“What is the worst that can happen? I can guarantee you would be so proud of yourself. And you will save a fortune not having to rely on anybody else. It might not be perfect at first but like everything, you get better at it as you learn and improve.”
Lili’s incredible transformations are featured on her YouTube videos where each property is different and full of quirky designs and bespoke elements. Her website also shows step by step instructions of some of her creations, such as a vanity unit made of an old keyboard or floating shelves made of vintage suitcases.
About Lili Giacobino
Originally from Switzerland, Lili Giacobino started her own furniture company in 2005, focusing on the use of recycled cardboard. She moved to the UK in 2008 to study Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University, graduating with a First Class Honours. She further trained in plumbing, tiling and carpentry.
Lili has always been inspired by nature which shows through her choices of eco and recycled materials. Vegetarian, Lili doesn’t use leather or fur for ethical reasons and try to source most of her materials locally.
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