People in my family still ask me how my husband’s business is.
“Our business is doing really well,” I say, with an ever-so-slight emphasis on our.
Alex and I have co-owned Edgework Creative, a custom millwork and metal fabrication shop based in Columbus, Ohio, since 2012. It started because I couldn’t find the table for our dining room that I was envisioning, so I asked him to build it. He did, and after friends and family saw the final product, they started placing orders.
I’m aware that those who ask about his business don’t mean to discredit my contribution to Edgework. They know we build things, and the manufacturing industry is largely made up of men. Women represent just 29 percent of manufacturing workers, despite making up nearly 48 percent of the general workforce, according to Census data.
So while I don’t blame them, I do hustle to stake my claim, make this business better and take care of myself and my family. Here’s how:
We hire women. This is an obvious answer to the question of how we change the man-to-woman ratio in the industry. We’ve had four women approach us, with little to no experience, and ask for a job in our shop. Both expressed a passion for what we do and a deep desire to learn, so we hired them. Whether they knew it at the time or not, what they did was bold, and I admired it. I feel proud and inspired when I walk into our shop and see them crouched over their work, getting it done.
We divide and conquer—at home and work. In general, Alex runs operations and I run non-ops. I’m not managing anyone in the shop or sourcing materials, though I do weigh in when it matters. I’m in charge of our marketing strategy, digital content, networking and event planning—right down to buying toilet paper for the shop bathroom. We’re also committed to helping each other out at home, which for us means sharing drop-off and pick-up duties and carving out meaningful family time that involves everyone (no screens allowed). Both of us can’t do all the things, so we don’t. And we trust each other to make decisions and check things off our respective lists.
We step into right now. I’m asked a lot about balance—how to find it, what strategies I have in place to keep it, etc. Balance, for me, ebbs and flows. What I am committed to is cultivating an appreciation for right now. We have three young children and a burgeoning business, so in this moment, everything’s hard. It’s OK. I’m taking this time to learn more about what I’m good at and what’s better for me to delegate. For instance, I don’t enjoy cooking, but I want my family to consume healthful foods, so we found a meal delivery service to help us out. Yes, I’m looking forward to a time when reading a book doesn’t translate to me falling asleep in our living room chair, but I’m also aware that I’ll soon be remembering this phase with a good bit of nostalgia. So I relish it.
Put simply, our business is doing well really. So is our family. And that requires both of us.
Author: Lindsay Remley
Author Bio: Lindsay Remley is the co-owner of Edgework Creative, a custom millwork and metal fabrication shop she launched with her husband, Alex, in 2012. She’s passionate about design, sustainability and wellness and savors screen-less nights at home with her family.
Link to social media or website: Edgework Creative Instagram, Facebook Page, and Website.