How did you get into the trade / what inspired you?
I started building out of necessity. When we were in our early 20s, my husband and I unexpectedly welcomed twin boys into our family. I started working from home and taking on odd jobs to make ends meet. When my boys outgrew their cribs, I found a set of building plans online and made two twin beds with leftover material from my father-in-law's construction site. Soon after, friends and family began asking me to build projects for them. From then on, I started upcycling and building small furniture to sell via online marketplaces and at local craft shows. I had enough people ask me for tips, tricks or building plans, so I decided to start a blog and the rest is history.
What advice do you have for students or individuals who may be considering pursuing skilled trades?
It is very rewarding to be able to stand back at the end of the day and see the fruit of your labors. Hard work is important, but it takes much more than elbow grease to be successful. Both hands-on and formal education are valuable. If you are able to turn what you love doing into a novel business or investment, you'll be able to have more upward potential and opportunities afforded you.
“Hard work is important, but it takes much more than elbow grease to be successful.”
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were looking into career opportunities?
Get all the training and education you can when you're young! It definitely gets harder when you get older and have more commitments. Most American adults will change careers multiple times in their life. If you have the opportunity to earn a degree/certificate or qualify for a license, take it! You never know when you may need it.
What’s one misperception that people have about your job?
Making YouTube videos and being a social media influencer isn't a "real job" or it's easy. I typically work 60+ hours a week. Not only do I have to be proficient with tools and building techniques, I also had to learn to shoot and edit professional-quality photos and video and manage a small business. I've had to teach myself how to use complicated editing software, and how to use CAD design programs to create step-by-step building diagrams. My typical workload consists of cutting joinery and painting as often as accounting, invoicing, emails and conference calls.
Why are you #MakerProud?
I'm #makerproud because being a maker forces me to constantly change and learn. There is always a new technique to master and materials to try. With each new skill I learn, the more well-rounded and capable I become.
“With each new skill I learn, the more well-rounded and capable I become.”
Find Elisha on Instagram at @pneumaticaddict or on Youtube at Pneumatic Addict.