Women Build Profile: Lipstick and Lumber

“I truly believe in engaging women and promoting women, in doing everything I possibly can to help. It does not matter what community, does not matter what level you’re at, we all need help.”

Terri Dreyer, a partner at NANO, LLC, has served on the NOAHH board since February, but she had already built most of her Women Build team, Lipstick and Lumber, by then. Bringing together women from every corner of her life, she brought together everyone from lawyers to bank managers to moms to her oldest friend from kindergarten to help her raise funds and volunteer.

“I have a list of all the different people that we work with,” she said, “and whoever was a woman that I at least contact every two weeks, I contacted them. I think I have a really good section cut of people. I tried to ask as many different people as I possibly could and at least get them to show up, because the majority of us are working at our jobs, and if we aren’t, we have more than three kids, so we work.”

Part of engaging and promoting women, for Terri, was spreading the word about Women Build and NOAHH’s mission. She observed that the different kinds of women she had brought together made it easier.

“I think it’s a good section cut of types of people because they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends,” said Terri. “Women are incredibly good at gathering people together as a team. Not only that, but I think they’re incredibly good at reaching out and saying look I’m telling you one day, instead of doing something stupid, just come do this for a day. Don’t worry about getting your nails done, don’t worry about having to go pay all the bills and cleaning your kitchen. Come here for just a day and I’m telling you it’s worth it.”

When she arrived on site for her day at Women Build, she had to introduce many of them to each other, since they came from different parts of her life. Before the day was over, many of them had already made new friends.

“What’s funny is you see all the people that are kinda the type-A personalities versus the type-B, they’ve somehow or another all come together,” Terri said. “It’s been good, though. They’re all getting along well. They’re all excited about being in there. They all want to keep going. They’re very much a part of doing what we can to promote and help women.”

When it came time to come to site, many of them were looking forward to the day of building a house as a day off.

“Because we all, even if you’re a mom, everybody works, so this is like a day off for everyone,” she said. “The first thing everyone talked about last night was how we were all excited about taking a day off work, burning calories, and getting ready to come out here and do some work that’s completely different. It’s almost an odd way of escaping and helping at the same time. it’s like a mini nonprofit vacation. I would say that’s one of the biggest things you’ll hear us all saying is that this is the greatest thing ever. I’m out here sweating, burning calories, I’m with women that I totally enjoy. We’err cutting up and making fun of each other, and yet it’s like I have a day off. When you think about having a day off, a lot of times it’s taking a day off to run errands or I’m taking a day off because I have to do something for my kids or I[‘m taking a day off because I need a personal day. This is a really great personal day because it’s complete escapism but you’re doing something really incredible that you feel good about. That’s what we’re all mostly tabling about. This is so awesome. We’re all really proud to be here. ”

The impact of their work, the connection they make with Monica, who like many of them is a mother, is what makes their day off more meaningful.

“It’s exhilarating,” she said. “You have the opportunity to help another mom. You have the opportunity to help another woman, who is so excited about getting this home. The amount of hours she’s put in, it makes me feel good. That she has two children, that she can now know they have a roof over their head. it’s a nice house. it;s well built. It makes me feel productive. We do architecture, and a lot of the times, the types of work that we do, there’ ll be higher end homes or we’ll do renovations, but this is a lot different. This is that she’s on this edge. She doesn’t have a home. She has the opportunity to have a home. We get to be a part of it, psychically and mentally. That’s incredible. I’m very fortunate. I feel humbled.”