People come from all over Austin to participate in the Women.Design.Build community. Together, we learn new skills, discover our interests, and make new friends.
Become a Participant
What is a WDB participant?
A Women.Design.Build participant is anyone who wants to learn more about the trades of design and building in a collaborative, hands-on environment.
Who can be a WDB participant?
Anyone! Women and men of all ages and experiences are welcome to be involved in any of our programs.
Why become a WDB participant?
Because we offer a supportive environment for you to learn something new, meet new friends, and have fun!
People attend our workshops to learn new skills, refine old ones, and to connect with a community of like-minded folks. Whatever the reason, we strive to provide a creative environment for everyone to explore their interests.
How can I become a WDB participant?
Come to our next Shop Talk! Check the calendar to see what’s coming up.
The leaders of Women.Design.Build are an impassioned group of artists, architects, entrepreneurs, and more! Their time and dedication are what make our programs successful and our community strong.
Sarah Stacey is the owner and interior designer of Sarah Stacey Design where she specializes in sustainable products and designs personalized spaces to be both beautiful and functional. She focuses on residential, children’s rooms, hospitality and cabin design. Sarah also owns a blog called Ecologique where she writes about eco-interior design, space saving solutions and healthy lifestyle habits.
Amy VanDerLee, Amy’s first construction experience was an under-the-table job working on boats in San Remo, Italy. She returned to the States and attended The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. After graduation she worked as Head Shipwright out of Channel Islands Boatyard in Channel Islands, California. A native Texan, she and her husband decided to return to Austin. With the move and lack of a boatbuilding market, she moved into residential construction, estimating and overseeing project management for local, high-end builder Escobedo Construction. After the birth of her son, she started her own company, Veritas Home Management, which specializes in absentee home care and construction assistance. She stays involved with boatbuilding — her true passion — by constructing miniature baby cradle boats. They can be seen and purchased on etsy.
Natalie Ready, With a strong background in graphic art, design and photography, Natalie started Eastside Woodworks in 2008. Her shop produces fine small furniture, lamps and “functional art”. She has worked as a carpenter for the past 12 years and currently is a project manager for high-end builder J. Pinnelli Co. Working alongside the finest carpenters, subcontractors and craftsmen in Austin, TX, she has gained knowledge and techniques in all aspects of building and remodeling. She also has welding experience and is currently enrolled in the Metal Smithing class at ACC.
Maggie McIntosh, Maggie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin Masters of Architecture program in Spring 2010. She currently works as a Designer for local design.build firm, Moontower.
Kristen Von Minden (Dartmouth ‘02 / Harvard Graduate School of Design ‘09) and Eve Trester-Wilson (UT Austin ‘03 / ‘04) are two friends trained as architects with a passion for making–but are also fierce knitters, furniture fanatics, card makers, DIY enthusiasts, craft lovers, etsy shoppers, apartment therapy blog subscribers, artists, potters, welders, metal sculptors, graphics geeks, calligraphers, independent inventors and avid tinkerers with an interest in community and supporting local business. Together Eve and Kristen founded and operate MAKEatx: a member-based workshop where Austinites can pursue their diverse interests and activities independently and creatively.
Samantha Hurst earned her Masters in Architecture from Texas Tech in 2005. She’s a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, avid designer and builder, and loving aunt to three grown chickens! She currently works for a cabinet maker in Austin, TX.
Casey Boyter‘s environmental science studies began as a teenager and lead her to Austin in 2000 where her love for sustainability and environmental design soon became her career. Since opening Casey Boyter Gardens in 2004, she has had the opportunity to be a part of the construction and continued care of Austin’s finest gardens varying from large scale estates to downtown loft balconies and cottage gardens to green roofed residences.
Annie Welbes is a certified Permaculture designer. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Appropriate Technology from Humboldt State University, in addition to several years experience as a farmer and gardener. While living in California she worked on a small organic CSA and market farm, a commercial organic lettuce farm, as well as her own urban edible landscaping consultation, design, & installation. In Austin, she started Subsist to Resist where she and her partner can zazz up your existing landscape by integrating edible plants or design garden beds specifically devoted to food production.
Leigh Taylor Wyatt and Shara Funari are the owners of East Side Glass Studio, located at the end of East Sixth Street in the thriving east side art scene. The studio is open to the public with opportunities for community involvement and education. ESGS will provide a safe and professional environment for artists and individuals to utilize the medium of hot glass. Live demos, Blow Your Own Ornaments and Hot Glass Cold Beer are just a few events they will be offering.
Sara Cukerbaum received her B.A. from New York University in 2004. She later returned to study interior design at The Harrington Institute of Design in Chicago. After graduating, Sara worked as a designer at several high-end residential firms in Chicago, New York, and Dallas, where she worked on a variety of published projects. She then returned to her home state of Texas where she founded SLIC Interiors in Austin.
Become a Leader
What is a WDB leader?
A Women.Design.Build leader works collaboratively with the WDB team to design and teach Shop Talk Workshops and Community Projects.
Who can be a WDB leader?
Anyone! Our leaders are skilled tradespeople, architects, DIYers, and more! If you have a trade or passion that you’d like to share, then we’d love to know you.
Why become a WDB leader?
Because we provide a place for you to share your knowledge, expose your talents, and inspire a community.
Within the greater Women.Design.Build community lies a Leader community. We offer our leaders the unique opportunity to collaboratively design and develop WDB workshops alongside one another. Through this intimate process, our leaders begin to adopt each other’s skill sets and ways of thinking, which in turn produces dynamic teaching and learning experiences.
Anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson once wrote,
“The most creative thinking occurs at the meeting place of disciplines. At the center of any tradition, it is easy to become blind to alternatives. At the edges, where the lines are blurred, it is easier to imagine that the world might be different.”
Friendships are formed through this cross-disciplinary teaching model. And strong friendships are what make strong communities.
How can I become a WDB leader?
If you have a trade, skill, or passion that you’d like to teach, then we’d love for you to be part of our team.
Please contact us if you are interested in learning more!
Women.Design.Build has made tremendous progress since its inception in August 2009. Thank you to all of our wonderful friends, collaborators, and supporters for helping to make the Women.Design.Build community possible.
Regional Foundation Library
Sarah Stacey with Ecologique
Austin Backyard Poultry Meetup
AIA (American Institute of Architects)
Austin Green Art
Alma de Mujer
Steve Ross & the University of Texas, School of Architecture
The HOPE Farmers Market
Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour
House + Earth
McCoy’s Building Supply
Austin Foundation for Architecture
Callahan’s General Store
Groovy Lube & Automotive
Communities in Schools at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders
Keep Austin Beautiful
Become a Partner
What is a WDB partner?
A Women.Design.Build partner assists in the planning, funding, and/or facilitation of our workshops and programs.
Who can be a WDB partner?
Anyone! Our partners are nonprofits, local businesses, tradespeople, professionals, and individuals.
Why become a WDB partner?
As a Women.Design.Build partner, you will have the opportunity to be aligned with an organization that takes a different approach to knowledge-sharing and community development.
We are so grateful to all of our partners that have donated their time, goods, services, money, advice, space, and materials. This public support has allowed us to foster a community that is full of knowledge, creativity, and friendship. Let us know if you’re interested in partnering with us on a particular event, workshop, or program!
How to become a WDB partner?
Collaborate with us!
Perhaps your business is a great spot to host events or maybe you have the resources that could help build our programs. If you enjoy collaboration as much as we do then we’d love to know you!