Today, we honor the 40 women who are the foundation of Team Semihandmade. They’re a diverse group of passionate, hard-working women who lead with kindness and our company would not be the same without them. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked women across the organization to share a woman in their life who exemplifies this year’s theme: Choose to Challenge. 

According to the official International Women’s Day website, “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”

 

Veronica De Leon, Human Resources Manager

“Born in Mexico (the third of six children), immigrated to Ohio as a young child, and then to Texas as an adolescent, my mother exemplifies this year’s IWD theme. Faced with adversity for the majority of her life, she broke the mold and became a modern woman — independent, educated, and outspoken. My siblings and I were fortunate to have been raised and guided by her. She taught us the importance of understanding our self-worth, the importance of advocating for others, and not only to speak up but more importantly to speak through our actions.”

 

Rose Duke, Social Media Manager 

“My friend Dani exemplifies what it means to lead. She does her research, gets involved, and takes a stand. Dani’s uncompromising passion to fight for equity and justice empowers others to do the same. She is a force of positivity and inspiration that lifts up everyone around her. Knowing Dani is to know that one person, one small change, can make a big difference.”

 

Teresa Alicer, Vice President of Finance

“I celebrate Beth Brenner, our company’s president. I’ve never had a female president in all the previous companies I’ve worked for. Beth is a great role model and an inspiration.”

 

Laura Ocasio, Head of Accounting 

“The woman in my life who exemplifies this year’s IWD theme is my mother. Through my eyes, she pre-defined the sacrifices and struggles that a single mother endures while raising 4 girls. Her own story proves the power of change, empowerment, and positivity. She raised us to be independent, with a can-do attitude, and always plan ahead, be ready for the unexpected.” 

 

Summer Coronado, Customer Consultant

“Angela Davis is an incredible example of a #ChoosetoChallenge woman. She once said, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept”. A woman who is fighting for equality and doing it all in her afro. Ms. Davis opposed the Million Man March of 1995 because it excluded women from the event, promoting male chauvinism since the organizers preferred women to take subordinate roles in society. She has taught me to celebrate my strengths, to love all people, and treat everyone as equals. Thanks to Ms. Angela Davis, I challenge the world for change and celebrate the amazing women in history for their accomplishments. Because of them, I get to celebrate the victories for women and learn more about how to be a part of the change.”

 

Elizabeth Villanueva, Human Resource Generalist

“Twenty-nine years ago my mom came to America for a better life, last week she finally became a U.S citizen. She never gave up despite all of the challenges she faced. She continues to inspire me to challenge not only myself, but the world around me.”

 

Andrea Herrera, Customer Consultant

“My aunt is a woman who inspires and influences me to be better and push me to go outside of my comfort zone, whether it be personally or professionally. She’s always been a strong, fearless, independent woman and I have always admired her for that and it’s something I strive to be.”

 

Rena Muñoz, Order Processing Specialist

“My Mom, the woman who made the greatest influence and impact in my life. She showed me what faith looks like, as well as strength, and willpower. 

Her favorite scripture was Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Throughout all the losses in our lives, she still put faith into this scripture, always made sure she showed and reminded me how blessed we are to always have food in our tummies and a roof over our head. She always looked at the blessings in our lives even when there was a lot crumbling down around us, which gave us the strength to keep pushing forward.

I now live by this scripture myself, and she will always be the greatest influence in my life.”

 

Vanessa Quevedo, Samples Clerk

“She is dressed with strength and honour; her words are filled with wisdom, and in her speech is the law of kindness. Her example of perseverance and will to succeed in spite of all that life has brought her way while raising 6 children will never cease to leave me in awe. My mother has dedicated her life to breaking the cycle of generational dysfunction. Her ability to forgive those who wrong her and show compassion to those who have been wronged make me proud to call her mom. The list of her achievements grows daily. She leaves fingerprints on my life that make me #ChoosetoChallenge.”

 

How will you choose to challenge this year?

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Renovation

We don’t believe that renovations should be daunting. The key is to arm yourself with the right knowledge, people, and products to achieve your goals. It also helps to ask the right questions: How much does it cost to renovate a kitchen? How do I find the right general contractor in my area? Where do I even start if I’ve never remodeled before? This is where we come in. Through hard-to-believe before and afters, first-person renovation accounts, and step-by-step DIY projects, we demystify every aspect of remodeling and give you a ton of full-house, bathroom, and kitchen renovation ideas. Semihandmade was built on a strong make-it-yourself spirit and we’re carrying that legacy beyond DIY kitchen cabinets (though we’ll certainly touch on those too) by bringing you a ton of weekend projects for novices (have you ever tried making your own planter?) and experts (try your hand at a full-wall media center). What do people really mean when they say a house has “good bones”? Before and after projects show first-hand what’s possible in a transformative remodel. How do you make the most of a narrow galley? Should you swap your upper cabinets for floating shelves? What would it look like if you opened up your small kitchen? Renovation ideas abound in our spotlighted projects. A lot goes into a kitchen renovation, but it’s usually hard to tell from a beautiful “after” shot. Our monthly series “Island Hopping” is about getting a behind-the-scenes account of what the process is like through honest conversations—you know, the kind that typically take place around a kitchen island. We’ll chat with designers, homeowners, and architects about their projects, hoping to peel back the curtain on picture-perfect spaces.
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