This week, in our “Women’s History Month” blog series, Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning spoke with Catherine, a commercial painter and entrepreneur in Austin, TX.
Meet Catherine – Commercial Painter
Radiant: What got you interested in commercial painting to begin with? And how did you go about getting your foot in the door?
Catherine: “Years ago, my ex-husband had a painting business and I started there, helping him get jobs done. I actually got really good at it, overtime, and ventured out on my own and have been doing it for a while now.”
Radiant: When you decided to take on this trade as a full-time career, what was the general response that some of your family and friends gave you?
Catherine: “Actually, I feel like they were all pretty supportive of my decision.”
[Photo of Catherine on the job, covered in paint]
Radiant : When you started working in the field of commercial painting, where there any significant challenges you had to face?
Catherine: “I’m actually afraid of heights [laughs], so being on ladders is tough. I’ve overcome it, but there are times when you get vertigo and it’s scary. But yes, I’ve had situations where I’ve gone into places and they definitely don’t expect a woman to show up.”
Radiant : Since your profession requires you to be on tall ladders and sometimes lifts, how were you able to get over your fear of heights?
Catherine: “One day, I had a job that I had to do. It was a 12 ft ceiling and I just had to do it. It was just like ‘Put your big girl panties on. Suck it up and do it’. As my dad would say ‘Suck it up sport’. Yeah, and so I just got up on the ladder, prayed and didn’t look down basically [laughs].”
Radiant : What would you say to all of the other women who are interested in joining a commercial trade.
Catherine: “I would say go for it. Follow your dreams as long as you can take it and don’t let anybody or anything stand in your way and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.”
Catherine is currently the owner of a successful commercial & residential painting company in Austin, TX. She has started growing her business by hiring her first employee (who also happens to be a female painter).
Visit any of our other “Women in the Trades” articles to read more about the skilled women that work in these various disciplines..
- Alexis, – The Apprentice Plumber
- Deborah – The Commercial Electrician
- Lynda – The Custom Residential Builder