How many years have you been in the industry?
Helena: I’m going on 3, but this is my first year at Thoughtful Craftsmen.

Are you an early bird or night owl?
Helena: Night owl.

What were your first jobs?
Helena: Pet Supplies Plus, I got to meet lots of cute dogs.

What’s the biggest misconception about your industry?
Helena: As kids we’re conditioned to think that only men work in the trades but the truth is
that is not the case anymore. There is a huge community of women and other people
traditionally excluded from the industry that have paved the way for more of us to join. It’s
so important that we continue to break that stigma by fostering a welcoming environment for
all people in this line of work. It will continue to create a safer and more innovative industry.
Working with your hands and creating things that will outlive you is such rewarding work
and it’s something that should be accessible to all who are interested.

What advice would you give your teenage self?
Helena: Try not to care so much about what other people think of you. And believe in
yourself! And enjoy sleeping in while you can.

What’s the one thing people don’t know about you?
Helena: I studied abroad in Cuba! A big part of Cuban culture is not overlooking the
craftsmanship and value of the things we use every day, and fixing and restoring them when
they break. It was a big contrast to American throw away society and that experience
definitely drew me to restoration work.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
Helena: That I’m thoughtful about my work.