The House That She Built has gained national attention in the homebuilding industry. This beautiful home in Utah was designed, planned and built entirely by women. The project has gained considerable attention and is a way to showcase all of the women in the trades and inspire young women to consider the building industry for their future careers.
To discuss her book The House That She Built, which is based on the project of the same name, Mollie Elkman joins co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick on the Around Atlanta edition of this week’s episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Elkman also discussed workforce shortages in the housing industry and how women can help fill this gap.
Owner of Group Two and author of The House That She Built, Elkman is a second-generation business owner serving the housing industry. The House That She Built was created and completed by the Utah Home Builders Association and its Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) when inspired to exclusively hire women to build a home.
Elkman, based out of Philadelphia, became aware of this project two years ago at the Women in Residential Construction conference. She was told about the ambitious project in Utah and asked if she wanted to be responsible for the marketing. Group Two took the lead on marketing the home and Georgia Castellano, creative director, illustrated the book after working on the marketing with Elkman.
“The home is beautiful [and] it’s very empowering that everything was done by women,” Elkman said .” Every aspect, the plans, the plumbing, the decorating, every single piece. It’s extremely inspiring.”
This house serves as a tangible role model for women and shows them that anything can be done by women. This is important because less than 3% of onsite workers in the building industry are women. To build a home using only women was challenging. For this ambitious project to be successful, women were flown in from all over the country, which turned it into a national project. Over 100 women were involved in the physical construction of this home.
Marketing is all about storytelling and this is a story that needs to be shared. They didn’t want the story to end once the home was sold. The journey to turn this story into a children’s book came about organically to share the story not just to the housing industry but everywhere.
“One of the most moving things for me was the garage because when you walked into the garage, they have all of the women’s faces on the wall,” Elkman said. “You can see how many people put their love, energy and effort into this home. It shows more about the workforce and the opportunity we have to develop it.”
Construction is a unique industry where women can close the wage gap and have a better chance to receive equal pay for equal work. According to Elkman, women are paid more on the dollar in the construction industry than in most industries.
“It’s a very mission-based book because of the project that inspired it,” Elkman said.
The book is marketed toward K-3, the perfect age range because a large aspect of workforce development is educating parents and teachers. A large part of the conversation is how children form their ideas and identity from the adults in their life. Many kids grow up with aspirations to be a dancer, a firefighter or a police officer. What if kids wanted to grow up to become home builders? Kids don’t think of the housing industry as a dream career, which is why this age group is fundamental for the workforce development mission.
Book sales start September 14, 2021, a special date because it is the anniversary of the groundbreaking of the house that inspired the book, as well as PWB Week for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Listen to the full interview above for more details. Click here to pre-order the book and learn more about the project.
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding, Group Two and the Professional Women in Building Council are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of the products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (July/2021)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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