“After finishing high school back in Germany, I did an internship in carpentry and I really enjoyed it but I didn’t have the courage at that age to pursue it as a career. The trades are generally well respected but not as well perceived as higher education and because I was good at academics, I was encouraged to take that direction. I chose architecture as a career instead and once I started working , I realized how much of an office job that is and I didn’t like it."
“I moved to Canada after University when my Dad immigrated here and I had time to explore my options. So I asked myself, what would I want to do if I had all the time in the world?"
I decided to tackle my own tiny house building project and what I learned quickly was that even though I had a degree in architecture, I didn't necessarily know how to build. Switching from planning to executing a project was a steep learning curve for me and it taught me a lot about the design/build approach. It almost felt like I discovered a missing link that I didn’t get to experience in school and I realized how much I loved building with my hands and seeing a project come together."
“A friend mentioned another friend of hers was building a passive house and was looking for people in East Lawrencetown and I knew that there was an immigration program trying to place immigrants in the workforce and help them get certified in Canada. I met with Dominic to see if he’d be willing to assess my carpentry skills so that I could pursue it as a career. He agreed, hired me for the duration of the program and onwards, and now we are building together under his new company that he formed. It’s been a really great learning experience and he is teaching me so much.”
“I feel really comfortable working alongside Dominic and he encourages me to take every opportunity that I am offered to advance in my career."
“I think we are similar in the way we approach building projects, as we both have a background in planning. Dominic took environmental design and engineering classes while also becoming a certified carpenter. We like to think stuff through and are very meticulous in our execution. Dominic is usually reaching for a pencil first before he’s getting on the tools to make sure everyone is on the same page. To prove if our planning was right it’s just natural to also want to build it. The back and forth between theory and practice is where we connect well."
“I would tell a young girl today, “Don’t just listen to people telling you to pursue a career based on good grades or skills, ask yourself, “What do I have the most fun at and wouldn’t mind doing all day?"
It’s not always about what you're best at, it’s about what you love the most” I love what I am doing all day and I can’t wait to pay it forward and give young girls the chance to try out building. I would take them around the job site and teach them how to use tools and watch them experience how immediate their impact can be on the built environment. I hope someday I can be a mentor myself and give them the confidence that Dominic has given me”