As people drink in the panoramic views of the changing landscapes in cities like Atlanta, it may not occur to them that a woman is one of the builders and designers who constructed that new and dynamic look.
Amber Lawson is the face of a paradigm shift in the world of construction. As the owner and CEO of Aspire Construction and Real Estate Consulting, Lawson did not set out specifically to be a pioneer as much as she was operating in her raison d’être. Lawson is living her truth and it happens to be in a space that is predominately male.
Clients quickly find out that Lawson and Aspire Construction can make their brick-and-mortar dreams come true. “We’re a one-stop-shop for design, architecture, engineering and construction, so when a client comes to us, they only have to talk to us to get their project done,” said Lawson, a graduate of Southern Polytechnic State University.
Lawson is doing it all as she finishes construction of the popular Slutty Vegan restaurant in Atlanta. Next, she will start on the adaptive re-use of a Methodist Church in East Point, Georgia.
As comprehensive of an operation as Aspire Construction is, the company had the most human and touching of origins: Lawson was simply a daddy’s girl.
“I fell in love with construction, really, through my dad,” Lawson beamed. “My dad was one of those people that fixed things around the house, and his daughter, Amber, was right there by his side — his little mini assistant.”
That seed blossomed, grew wings and has taken Lawson around the country as she married her two loves — construction and travel. She has completed projects for Apple on the West Coast, the Midwest, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, as well as Augusta, Georgia, as she completed work on a nuclear power plant.
And just as Lawson’s father served as her mentor, she has become a paragon of knowledge and experience for other young women who find construction enthralling. “I have had two students from Morehouse work for me. I currently have a student at Kennesaw [State]. I also have a graduate of Atlanta Tech,” she said. “So, there are Black women out there doing that.”
Lawson is now singularly focused on building tiny houses that she believes help tighten the nucleus of extended families.
“It’s such a passion project because I feel like there is an opportunity in our community to benefit greatly,” she explained. “What if you could put a tiny house in the backyard and create passive income, or an extended family member can live in there, and now you have a stronger family [like] we grew up with where grandma lived down the street and auntie was around the corner. You can create an ecosystem that sets people up for success.”