HOUSTON (FOX 26) - When homeowner Tony Johnson went looking for a contractor to renovate his home for his expanding family he did his research. He interviewed four or five general contractors including one with a peculiar nickname...
"Me and my fiance kind of joked about the name, 'The Remodelista'. But she was good. we thought it was catchy. I was just looking for someone not male or female but someone who would do what they said they were going to do."
Now meet his contractor Teri Gilberg aka "The Remodelista." Yes, she's the boss even though sometimes her crew gives her a hard time about it, revving up a tool before we interviewed her to drown her out.
As a general contractor she does it all. from soliciting business, to meeting with clients to running to the dump and no she's not afraid to get her hands dirty. It's all kind of odd because here last job was more, well, girly.
"Oh gosh before this I actually started out in the salon industry. I managed hair dressers for about ten years."
Then ten years ago, she decided to reinvent herself and be her own boss. She taught herself the jobs,found some good people, and then spent her last three thousand dollars advertising her business.
She says believe it or not being a woman in this line of work has not hurt her at all. In fact, it's helped her.
"I think the reason I excel in this industry is because I'm a female . Clients relate to me and women are the ones making the decisions so they look to me an be more comfortable."
Comfortable enough that she billed roughly half a million dollars last year. She's never looked back and encourages everyone, especially girls, to follow their dreams.
"If I'm going to invest in something or anybody invest in yourself. I took a leap of faith and invested in myself and it's paid off. It's been great."
Plus you might get to give yourself a nickname, but not The Remodelista. That one's taken.