A former model and Haverford business owner, Monica Miraglilo bought a rundown house in East Falls that was in desperate need of repair. Determined to make her new home a place she and her daughter could be proud of, she founded Girlbuild, a female-focused design and construction resource.
MM: I wanted to give my daughter the foundation she needed to be successful, secure and confident—that was one of the reasons I purchased the home. I didn’t have a lot of money or resources. I was going back and forth to Home Depot and Lowe’s, learning from the guys there. When I finally started to do a lot of things on my own, I got inspired.
MM: It’s an online workshop that offers women the advice and resources they need to get started in the construction industry. Even if they don’t want to get into the business and be hands-on, at least they can know the language and what to expect when working with a contractor. We have about 15 modules covering OSHA certification, purchasing and selling homes, and all the tools needed to start rehabbing or designing your first home. It’s an empowerment movement.
MM: If you come in with the attitude of being a victim, then nine times out of 10, you’ll be a victim. I came in with the attitude of being a victor. If you have a positive attitude, you can get positive results.
MM: Go for it. We as women are unstoppable. Don’t let anyone deter you. When I first bought my house, everyone said, “Are you crazy? Why would you buy that house?” If I would’ve listened to them, then I’d never be in the place I am today.
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