By Samantha Melamed
The Philadelphia Inquirer
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Theresa Clements is on a mission to help women become more comfortable with building and construction. She got involved with “Habitat for Humanity ReStore” three years ago, running DIY workshops. Recently, she became a national brand ambassador for the chain.
In the showroom of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the warehouse-size furniture thrift store, there is lots and lots of brown, huge beige couches, vintage wooden dressers, tables and chairs in hues ranging from beige to ochre to umber.
But when Theresa Clements, the Ambler TV personality, designer, DIY expert, and blogger at My Fix It Up Life, walks through, she sees past the drab, old, and worn.
To her, there are potential showstoppers waiting to be revealed, with a few simple, or radical, tweaks and some bold color choices.
That unassuming, boxy little nightstand could be flipped on its side, with a drawer removed, and topped with pallet wood to make a modern coffee table. Take two office chairs, face them toward each other, saw off the arms, and add a new seat: You have a stylish bench with high, curved arms.
Clements always loved making things as a kid, then she studied architecture and design and began working as a contractor with her husband and collaborator, Mark. But she noticed a scarcity of women on job sites (people often took her for a bookkeeper), and she found many of her friends were afraid to pick up a circular saw.
“A lot of people do a lot of Pinterest, but not a lot of projects.”
She’s on a mission to change that. She got involved with Habitat for Humanity ReStore three years ago, running DIY workshops.
Recently, she became a national brand ambassador for the chain.
“It’s amazing: I get to help inspire people to make stuff, and then it helps people have a place to live,” she said. (The Philadelphia branch raises about $1 million a year, enough to build two houses and fund seven renovations last year, according to Habitat Philadelphia associate executive director Corinne O’Connell.)