As a professional maintenance, repair and interior design company, The DIYgirls service residential and commercial properties as well as retail spaces, lodges and hotels throughout the country. From their meticulously tailored designs to their custom-made products, they are known for delivering solutions that meet the exact requirements of their clients.
As founder and owner of DIYgirls, she enjoys networking with movers and shakers in the building, construction and interior design industry. This places her in the ideal position to maintain, develop and grow working relationships with skilled female technicians and like-minded entrepreneurs. Since a young age, Vinette has been passionate about the empowerment of women. To this day, she is actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business and values the relationships she builds through one-on-one interaction with her clients and suppliers. With DIYgirls, her hope is to inspire change and make a real impact in our country – to provide women with a platform where they can showcase their talents and realise their power.
We chatted to Vinette Diab Nicholls, the creator of The DIYgirls brand.
When I discovered how many skilled, experienced and qualified yet unemployed tradeswomen there are in South Africa, establishing DIYgirls seemed obvious. It was an opportunity to provide sustainable employment and support to local women. At the core of DIYgirls is the belief that we can help change the fortunes of communities if we can give our women the right tools, knowledge and opportunities.
You are an all–girl team – tell us about the biggest challenges you have, if any?
We are passionate about the empowerment of women and believe in the ideal of gender equality. The greatest challenge we experience is that of perception – despite the fact that more and more women are qualified, certified and skilled in their respective trades, the industry is still often considered a man’s world. The reality is, in many cases, women are physically as equipped for maintenance and repair tasks – take tiling, for example, women are known to have greater attention to detail and their smaller hands enable them to lay tiles perfectly in small spaces or cramped corners.
What advice do you have for beginner DIYers?
We encourage all women to follow their dreams, to be brave, to be strong, and not to be intimidated by stereotypes.
How has an all-girl team inspired the outcome of your projects in terms of design and decorating?
Where possible, we support other local businesses and collaborate with female entrepreneurs from rural, township and urban areas alike, to give our clients innovative and affordable products that are equal in quality and durability. We are currently collaborating with local talent to produce a proudly South African collection, which reflects our proud local heritage and the vibrancy of our beautiful country. In the words of one of our partners, Nonhlanhla Mzolo, owner of Mustard Seed: “There are endless possibilities when woman work together. The greatest wealth is knowing that you have a tribe of Queens behind you.”
What is, in your opinion, the hardest and easiest project for your home to DIY?
The consistency around maintenance is both the easiest and most challenging in terms of home repairs. If you aren’t diligent or financially equipped to deal with small maintenance issues, it’s highly likely that it will compound and become a bigger job that is more timeous and costly to repair, at a later stage. In our opinion, nothing maintains a home’s value better than regular maintenance. At the same time, it’s important that homeowners are able to recognise which tasks they can easily tackle and when they need to call in professional help. This is of course dependent on the skill and confidence level of the DIYer. In general, we recommend that electronic work is left up to a professional as it could cause a fire or injury, when done incorrectly. Painting, on the other hand, is a project any able-bodied homeowner can endeavour with a little patience, practice and some helpful advice.
How do you stay creatively inspired?
At DIYgirls INTERIOR, we aim at adjusting our style to our clients’ requirements and desired intentions. While we keep up to date with trends in the industry, we draw inspiration from our client’s personality, lifestyles and personal needs in order to maximise the true potential of areas and design solutions that are aesthetically pleasing yet practical.
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