To share why I write The Plumbette, I have to go back 15 years ago.
You see, 15 years ago I took a risk and decided to become a plumber to take over our family plumbing company. If I never took that risk, I would never have started writing a plumbing blog.
It was 2006 and I was 22 years old. I was a newlywed – Jacob and I had only been married for a year.
At the time I was working full time as a marketing assistant for a transport company and I had been thinking how I’d combine work with starting a family.
Not that Jacob and I were ready to be parents, but being a planner, I knew we wanted to have kids, I just wasn’t sure how it would work out with my current work situation.
I didn’t want to stay in transport, and there were no positions that interested me to climb up the ladder. So I got a job as a sales executive at another courier company. I was there for six weeks, but I wasn’t happy. I knew I wanted to own my own business, but I wasn’t sure what my new business would be.
I talked to my dad about my desire to have my own business, with the main focus of it being flexible so that I could have children and be the stay at home mum I wanted to be. I knew if I had my own business, I could work my own hours around my future family.
I tossed around different business ideas like pet sitting. Dad suggested we go to a franchise exhibition to see what businesses were out there that I could do.
A couple of days after having that conversation, my dad came back to me with a business idea. It ended up being a business proposal.
My dad asked if I would want to learn about our family plumbing business and take it over when he’d retire. He had always wanted someone in the family to take over our business, he just never considered me to be the one to do it.
The following week, I resigned from my new job, which was a shock to my manager as I had a stellar week signing up new business. Once I explained the opportunity, he could see it was something that I was keen to do.
When I started working with dad, he showed me how to run the business. There was a lot to learn.
After a few months, dad and I realized I would need to do a plumbing apprenticeship. This would give me the knowledge to understand plumbing better and if I were to take over the business, I would require a plumbing license.
So I started my plumbing apprenticeship and those four years were difficult for me because I was in a ‘man’s world’ and the practical side of plumbing didn’t come natural to me. But I had to remember I was there to learn and get my license.
There were so many times I wanted to quit, but I’d remind myself that I had to keep going and couldn’t give up.
In those times when I wanted to give up, I would head to Google to find inspiration on another female plumber who had successfully finished her apprenticeship. But the search was futile.
Nevertheless, I persevered through my apprenticeship. And then the world was hit by the Global Financial Crisis. I finished my apprenticeship, won awards – including the Dux Australian Plumbing Apprentice of the Year for 2009 and then I fell pregnant with Esther.
It wasn’t until after I had Esther, dad and I adjusted our working week to suit our new family situation.
One afternoon in September 2011, I told dad I wanted to start writing a plumbing blog and I was going to call it The Plumbette – the marketing name I had penned up for our radio advertising in 2009. He loved the idea and told me to immediately get it started!
Domain names were bought, a logo was designed and my website was created.
I started writing The Plumbette.
Essentially the blog was to offer inspiration to other female tradies. I knew I could also use the blog to build a readership so I would have a market for my book on how I became a plumber.
The third reason was to be the communicator between a householder and plumber. I wanted my blog to explain why plumbers did what they did and to tell the general public what they should and shouldn’t do when it came to plumbing in their own home.
That book is still in drafts, but the blog posts are not. I share each week experiences being a plumber, or I use my plumbing knowledge to create helpful posts answering questions thrown onto Google.
The blog has evolved now into a lifestyle and interiors blog with a side dose of plumbing.
As a result of writing about my life and experiences, I’ve come into contact with inspiring women. It was my hope that the earlier posts I wrote on the blog would continue to encourage a new flood of women entering a trade.
I still get emails and messages from aspiring female apprentices around the world who have done the exact same thing I did all those years ago when I started – search for a girl who had done it before.
I never dreamed that becoming a plumber would have brought me to where I am now- writing a plumbing blog. But I’m grateful I have been able to use my knowledge and experiences to inspire others.
I’m no longer on the tools (although on photo shoots I may need to bring them out!), but I still have my plumbing license.
That business I thought would support me while I had my children turned into something completely different. I continue to write this blog, but I also write content for a number of different interiors websites and I have regular clients I write for each month.
I also have a part-time job working at night and I’m looking at making a move to a position where I work more during the day, using all the skills I learned when I was on the tools.
I’m often amazed at where my trade career has taken me. My story is just one of many women who have decided to give a trade a go. I also know there will be women who will do greater things than what I have achieved in my 15 years of being in the plumbing industry.
So the reason I write The Plumbette is for you.
Older posts offer a recollection of memories when I was a plumber working on the tools and a new mother.
The content on The Plumbette will continue to evolve as I change and grow.
Thank you for reading and supporting my blog along the way.