This article was originally published in the 2020 Spring issue of Invest In Style Magazine.
You are such a great role model for women in the skilled trades industry. What do you want people to know about a career in the trades?
I want the next generation to stay open-minded and just go for it! It’s a fun, lucrative and rewarding career. We need more skilled trades workers, so there will always be work for you. You never know what you’ll be amazing at until you give it a try!
Congratulations on having a daughter! What is one thing about motherhood you’ve learned that you didn’t know before?
Thank you! The entire experience has been so surreal. I never really considered having a family before. The time just seems to fly by! Honestly, I’ve learned SO much! I didn’t realize all the work it takes to be the best parent I can possibly be. As hard as it is, I now know that I can still be a great mom, and balance both my career and a little time for myself. I think it’s so important to make sure to focus on myself at least a little bit. That way, I can be in a better state of mind to be there for my daughter, Cali, and provide her with whatever she needs.
You have such a hectic schedule between shooting TV shows like CTV Life Channel’s Holmes 911, CTV’s upcoming Holmes Family Rescue, appearing at speaking engagements around North America, and raising a baby. How do you manage to juggle everything and what would your advice be to others trying to strike a balance between work and home life?
It’s been tough trying to find the right balance that works for my family and me. Sometimes I make mistakes, and that’s okay. If I forget to respond to an email or I forget to pack Cali’s favourite toy, I forgive myself because nobody’s perfect! It takes time to sort it all out. I am tired and some days I can be a little more irritable than others, but it’s all worth it at the end of the day. The biggest thing I can say to other working/busy moms out there is have patience with yourself, and you CAN do it! It might seem daunting now, but it gets easier as time goes on.
There were young female apprentices brought out to help on Holmes 911. Did you feel you were a mentor to them?
We brought two amazing women to help out while I was pregnant and therefore away from the tools for safety reasons. It was so great to have women with us and I encourage more women to join the work site! I don’t know if I would say that I felt like a “mentor,” but I certainly felt like a support to them on site. I remember when I was a young woman starting out, I was terrified to be the only female on site. But once I saw another woman around, I immediately felt more confident, so it definitely helps to have that kind of kinship.
What excites you most about your work?
What excites me most about my work is that I get to learn something new every day. I find my work challenging and fun and I look forward to trying different and new things. That, and we get to work with some truly amazing and deserving families. There is nothing quite like the feeling of helping someone out who really deserves it.
You work alongside your father Mike and brother Mike Jr. every day. Does working with family present any challenges you didn’t expect? And what do you love most about it?
Of course! Working with those two can sometimes be difficult. The main challenge I find is trying not to bring work home with me. When family spends time together, it’s to connect and have fun, not to run through your next work day. But, we do have a great time together on site. Some days we can argue and disagree, like anyone, but we learn from one another and it’s just a really fun atmosphere!
How do you feel about working in a male-dominated field? Do you feel that female representation in the skilled trades has increased since you began your career?
At the beginning, I was afraid; I didn’t want to be embarrassed at all. It took time for me to understand that I will never know everything, and as long as I’m trying my best, it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes or have to ask for help. I do feel like more and more women are starting to get involved in the trades, which makes me so happy. It’s becoming more and more acceptable and ladies are just going for it! I love to see that happening and hope it keeps up.
What do you hope to teach your daughter regarding career choices and gender stereotypes?
I want to teach her never to succumb to stereotypes and that she can do whatever she wants regardless of her gender. I want to encourage her to try everything and stay open-minded when it comes to her career. I’m going to reinforce to her that she’ll be great at anything she puts her mind to and that I’ll be there to support her no matter what.
What do you hope to accomplish in the coming years, both careerwise and personally?
Good question! In my career, I want to continue pushing myself. There are some things I find harder than others and I want to focus on those and work past my own insecurities.