Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So Why Would A Guy Write A Tool Blog For Women?

That's the question one of my readers asked me. She wanted to know why a guy like me would write a pink blog about women and tools. Well, to answer that I should probably tell you all a little bit about me.....

First of all, I do antique restoration and woodworking for a living. I have been working with my hands for over 3 decades and still enjoy it immensely. During this time, I have learned how to apply just about every finish there is, to cane chair seats, strip furniture, build stained glass windows, rewire lamps, weave rush, carve wood, use a lathe, and, and, and. Let's just say it's a long list at this point and the list gets bigger almost every week, because I love taking on new challenges.

One of the most rewarding things over the years for me has been teaching others how to work with their hands, as well. All anybody had to do was ask my advice and I would jump right in there and lend a hand. It didn't matter what the project was either. Building a deck, or repairing a fine antique, it was all good. So writing a woodworking advice blog actually makes sense for me.

But why for women? I guess that's the real question isn't it? Well, the idea came to me when I was stopped one day in a major home improvement store (again), by a woman who needed help and advice. She couldn't find an employee and I apparently looked like a guy who could answer a question or two. It must have been the sawdust in my hair.

I left the store wondering why once again I had been stopped by a woman who needed project advice. 30 years ago it was a real rarity. But now, it was becoming a common occurrence.

Then it hit me. It was simple. More women ask me for advice, because more women need advice. Here was a case where a woman in a home improvement store really wanted to tackle a project, but needed a guiding hand. In her search of the store, she couldn't find a knowledgeable employee and she somehow found me. Pretty flattering when you think about it.

I went home and did some online research. It seemed to me that there were a ton a woodworking sites out there, but about 99.9% of them were dominated by men who thought they were god's gift to sawdust. I could see instantly how there was probably wayyy too much testosterone in the room for most women to stick around there long.

So, I decided to build a tool and project site for women. No more huge amounts of testosterone. No more pictures of old men with their beer drinking buddies and a chain saw. This was to be a site that women would feel comfortable in. It would answer questions, encourage comments, post tutorials and be somewhat of a meeting place for craftswomen of all kinds. I also wanted to recognize women for some of their great work that I often see out there.

So, that is how Tools Are For Women Too! got it's start about 3 months ago. I hope all of you like it and find it worthwhile. It is a site that is still evolving and I welcome comments. Please let me know if I can help you.


concretenprimroses said...

Good for you! Thank you for your blog and for the explanation.
Now I know to look for the guys with sawdust in their hair!

Suzanne said...

I really like your site, and I think you found a niche that most men weren't even noticing.

But I have to confess, I wasn't sure if you were a guy or a girl. :) So thanks for clearing that up for me!

Amanda@The Hand Me Down House said...

Thanks, Rory for the great post -- and wonderful blog!

Birdie @ Chirp in the Forest said...

Haha God's gift to sawdust! There have been a couple of projects I've done where the Home Depot guys I talked to told me it wouldn't work (and it did) so I think I know exactly what you mean!
I think your site is great, and there really is a need for it. Thanks for sharing all your wisdom :)

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

An addendum,

I am sure that some of my readers are confused from time to time about whether I am a man or woman. Since I never post my picture on the site, I can see where the issue comes from, especially if a person has not read my profile. Posting my picture on the main page would solve the confusion, but I think it would take away from the overall feel and integrity of the site. Afterall, it's not a site about me, or guys. It's about craftswomen. So, while you may see a picture of my hands in a tutorial post, you probably won't see a pic of my smiling face with sawdust in my hair any time soon. Sorry for the confusion.


Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi Birdie,

I had a talk with an owner of a Woodcraft store the other day. He positively loves seeing women in his store for a variety of reasons. For one, they typically are not the least bit arrogant about woodworking. His opinion is that women who do woodworking, are often much better at it than men and get less than 1/2 the credit they deserve. They also genuinely appreciate advice.

Bravo to Woodcraft.


Love the Decor! said...


★All Thingz Related★ said...

I'm so glad that you created Tools Are For Women Too! If I have a question about something, I know that you will respond quickly and I can trust your advice!
Thank You!

The Working Home Keeper said...

Thanks for sharing your story Rory! I really enjoy your blog.

Mary Ellen

Sailing Simply said...

LOL! I thought you were a woman! I thought you were the pretty woman at the top of the page, now I see that was a featured post. Well, you have a great blog and are doing a wonderful job! I will continue to follow you and now that I know your full story may even ask for advice from time to time. Thanks!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi There Sailing!

No, the pretty craftswoman at the top of my blog is not me. That would be Emily who I recognized as my Craftswoman of the Week. Thank you for the compliments. glad you like the blog.


Green Willow Pond said...

I too was confused about your identity until I read your about you page. I'm so glad you did start this blog. I've benefited from it more than once. It's nice to meet a man who doesn't thumb his nose at women in the workshop!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

So many wonderful comments. I was not sure when I came up with this blog if it would be well received or not, so I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to get great feedback like this. My next attempt at improving the site will be to try and encourage readers to participate more within the site. I would love to have more craftswomen do guest posts, ask questions, join the link party, and just generally have fun on the site. Thank you all for your comments. Wow!


Debilou~Mississippi Mama said...

Ha,, I didnt know you were a guy,, I just assumed you werent.. I'm new and still looking around when I can.. But i'm loving it.. Up until about 4 years ago I never used tools I'd get my husband, who would rather do anything than have to build or repair something, to do it.. now I just try to figure it out myself.

Traci at ThreeDogsAtHome said...

I am so glad I asked. I sensed there was a good story behind why you started a blog site aimed at women and I was right. Keep up the good work. As I said before I really enjoy your site and now that I know your background and wide array to talents you can be sure I will not only read your blog but ask for advice as well. Thanks again Traci