‘Girls Garage’ Book Empowers Young Women to Build, Believe

Emily Pilloton wants her book, Girls Garage, to inspire generations of young women to become "fearless builder girls."

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Emily Pilloton, founder and executive director of the nonprofit design-and-build program Girls Garage, recently published a refreshingly different kind of DIY book.

Entitled Girls Garage: How To Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build The World You Want To See, Pilloton’s book seeks to empower young women by teaching them to use tools, build real-world skills and envision themselves as change-makers.

“Tools for many [women] are a metaphor for power, a metaphor for voice and a metaphor for how we see ourselves in the world,” Pilloton told Family Handyman. “I wanted the book to embody the technical aspects of building, and then also this more nebulous, but just as powerful, emotional feeling that we as women feel through the act of building.”

The 300-page book contains illustrated tool and hardware guides, 11 step-by-step projects, 21 essential skills for building self-reliance and 15 profiles of women builders. The projects included teach everything from carpentry and welding to DIY projects around the house.

Pilloton points to the predominantly male-centric fields that play a role in shaping the world — i.e., architects, engineers, planners, policy-makers — as evidence that stronger messaging, support and encouragement is needed to turn today’s young girls into tomorrow’s women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (i.e. STEM). Put simply, Girls Garage was written to encourage girls to “join a thriving, diverse and fierce movement of fearless builder girls.”

“The boiled down message [of the book] is that girls and women have incredible amounts of expertise, ideas and stories to contribute to what our world looks like,” Pilloton says. “I want this book to be inspiration to go out and physically build the world you want to see.”

Girls Garage was published on June 2. It can be found on Amazon or wherever you buy your books.

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