When did you start blogging?
I officially started blogging in November 2011 but didn’t launch the site until February 2012. I remember talking to my dad (who at the time had no idea what a blog was) about starting a blog called “The Plumbette” so I could build potential readers for my plumbing book. My dad told me to get onto it straight away and purchase the domain names so no one could claim The Plumbette’s name. Of course, my book is still unpublished but it is a goal to get it published and in the market as a best seller someday soon. My blog has evolved from purely writing about plumbing and my experiences as a plumber to reviews and giveaways and sharing parts of my personal life including my faith and being a mother.
Why is the blog called ‘The Plumbette’?
I really don’t remember how the name ‘Plumbette’ came about only that I think clients and friends called me this as a way of differentiating the fact that I was a female plumber. I used this name when I wrote the scripts for sponsorship ads on a family radio station in Brisbane to advertise our new maintenance plumbing business and I became known as ‘The Plumbette’. Little did I know that ‘plumbette’ actually means female plumber’s crack!! I prefer it to be known as a female plumber. I still laugh about the term though, because I should have found out what it meant before I started promoting it but it’s stuck now and I love it. The name that is, not the crack. 😉
How long have you been a plumber?
I started my plumbing apprenticeship in November 2006. I finished my apprenticeship 4 years later and received my license early in 2011. I have been working in the plumbing industry for over 7 years. Prior to starting my apprenticeship, I worked in the transport industry in the marketing and sales department. I have always worked in male dominant industries.
Why did you choose to be a plumber?
I didn’t choose to be a plumber because I had a driving passion to study a trade. I chose to be a plumber because my dad offered me a business opportunity that was too good to refuse. When I got married in April 2005, I started to think about when my husband and I would start a family and how awesome it would be to have my own business so I could work my own hours. I talked to dad about my desire to run my own business and a couple of days later, he asked me whether I wanted to run his. Of course it meant I had to do an apprenticeship so I could get my plumbing license. It was a tough experience and amazingly our business changed to suit our needs in the last couple of years. My dad is now retired and I now have three children. I work from home writing this blog and doing freelance writing.
What advice do you have for those wanting to get into a trade?
You have got to be tough. Not rough, just tough. The boys (and men) that typically study a trade are ballsy blokes and love getting their hands dirty. Dirty talk and rough behavior is the norm at Tafe and on the construction site. Not all tradies are like this but most are. Girls studying a trade are a novelty rather than a normality so the blokes tend to treat you just like one of them which is good in one sense and not so good in others. I got through by praying (yes lots and lots of praying), downloading my frustrations and upsetting experiences to my husband and parents and constantly listening to my strong inner voice to not give up, believing one day I could potentially employ my classmates.
Do you get covered in … well you know crap?
Yes, but not all the time. Plumbing isn’t always ‘dirty work’. Dad and I don’t unblock drains because we don’t get enough calls to warrant the cost of purchasing a drain cleaning machine. I have two plumbers that give me reliable service that I can on forward those jobs to. The times when I do get covered in crap is disconnecting old toilet suites or seats or disconnecting old waste stacks and fixture pipes.
If you don’t unblock drains then what do you do as a plumber?
Plumbing isn’t just about unblocking drains. This would be only a small part of plumbing work. Some plumbers specialize in blocked drains. I’ve worked in both commercial and residential plumbing. Jobs include disconnecting old bathrooms, roughing in new bathrooms, home and commercial maintenance where new taps and fixtures need to be connected, changing washers, installing gutters and down pipes, fixing leaking toilets, installing hot water units and quoting.
What are your goals for The Plumbette?
Originally, my goal for The Plumbette was to build an audience so that I could market my unpublished book about my journey becoming a female plumber. The more I have blogged, the more I have realized that I enjoy writing. I would love to grow the readership of The Plumbette so much that I can earn an income from it and blog full time once my children are in school or sooner. At the moment, I’m enjoying my young family and try to blog every couple of days. I’m eager for success but I’m not hungry enough to sacrifice time spent with my kids.
Plumbing aside, what are your hobbies?
I love spending time with my family and making memories. I love travelling (although not much of this has been done for over 3 years due to having kids), reading books/magazines and blogs. I love making resin bangles and styling women through my side business called Styled By Bec. I also love shopping, eating out (what mother doesn’t??) and getting pedicures.
What is your religion?
My husband and I are Christians and attend church regularly. Faith is important to each of us and we take our girls to church every Sunday. This is what I draw on for my Inspiration from the Carpenter blog posts.
Want to know more about me? Feel free to send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org