Side Hustle to Full Time Bustle
Leaving a job can be difficult and stressful, but Melanie Driscoll – our office’s former project assistant – will still be living the values of her former job in her construction company.
Melanie is taking the best of all her experiences with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices and picking up her tools to build her own team of diverse tradespeople and build her own empire.
So Busy, So Excited
Melanie started her career as a Women Unlimited and NSCC graduate and after working for several years in construction, joined the Office to Advance Women Apprentices team to support more women in the trades. After a year doing administrative work, Melanie wanted to pick up her tools again.
Daphne Goodine, project coordinator for the office says Melanie will continue to be a great asset to the office, even from her new business So Busy Construction Crew in Halifax.
“Not only does Mel talk the talk but now she is walking the walk to work towards her goals of getting to her Red Seal in carpentry while building a business to support her life, her clients, and diverse tradespeople. She is so passionate and smart,” Daphne says. “We will miss her at the office, but I know she will still be making major inroads for women and diverse individuals in construction trades in Nova Scotia. She makes me proud. She is such an inspiration and she is really doing it!”
A So Busy Bee
Melanie says she named the company So Busy because it describes the company and her life! A mother of four, she’s also a third level carpenter, a second level scaffolder, an executive member of Sisters in the Brotherhood of Carpenters for Mainland NS and PEI under Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers, and co-chair for the NS Chapter of Build Together.
Smashing the Glass Ceiling
“I want to get back on the tools and give my all to my business and team and work towards finishing my own apprenticeship and achieve my Red Seal in carpentry,” Melanie says. “The sky’s the limit and I’m all about smashing that glass ceiling.
“I have always had a side hustle,” laughs Melanie. “Especially when my kids were small and times were harder. I have tried everything over the years from selling kitchen tools to operating my concierge business and side jobs here and side jobs there. Pushing the envelope to make space for underrepresented individuals in trades is near and dear to my heart – it’s not easy out there for diverse tradespeople and being a diverse employer is important and core to my new business model, I am so proud of my team.”
With her business footings well in place Melanie has made history as the first female owned, unionized residential signatory company for Local 83.
“You can’t hold ambition back and Melanie is a trailblazer for women in skilled trades, so her latest move to owning and operating So Busy Construction Crew is exciting and we are cheering her and her team on,” Daphne says.
Reinvesting In Herself
Melanie says she too will miss working with the Office to Advance Women Apprentices, but she’s not going too far.
“It has been an amazing experience to get in on the ground level of this national project. The office inspired me not to lose sight of my own goals as a tradeswoman,” she says. “Once my business ideas and plans started to take shape and my own home renovations began with my team I knew I could not do both jobs 100%. I am reinvesting in myself with a commitment to pursue my Red Seal in carpentry and continue to make space for women and other diverse individuals through my business. It feels great to be swinging a hammer again and I’m taking a big swing at that glass ceiling.”
Inspired by Melanie’s Journey?
Want to diversify your team? Connect with our office to find out more about making space for women apprentices in construction. We’re here to help. Contact us today!