Monica Miraglilo, the founder of Girlbuild, not only teaches women how to renovate homes, but she also offers a clothing line for women in construction. As a former model who enjoys traveling, she realized she loved architecture and design, which led her to get into renovating homes.
What was the impetus for starting Girlbuild?
There are a lot of women who are in the business. Not only are they the designers or builders, but they might be an architect or they might be a real [estate] attorney. They come onto the site, and they think they [will] get their clothes dirty. … I put together a little [clothing] line that I thought worked, cargo pants. jumpsuits, really cool jeans, and all the things that you can wear and still be functional while being on a construction site. Then eventually, as time went on, I was constantly getting inboxed by people from Instagram or Facebook, who wanted to find out how I got in the game. [They wanted to know if I would] mentor them, or if they can work under me because they love my aesthetics. They loved what I was doing. I said, “You know what, someone gave me the opportunity and took me under their wing, and taught me the ropes. Maybe I could do the same for [other] women because we’re a small percentage in the construction world.” More and more women are getting into it because they want to be independent. They want to be knowledgeable and confident. I said, “I’m going to start a platform where I can give them the tools so that they can be equipped and understand really what they’re doing or how to get in the game.”
When it comes to designing and renovating a home, what do people know you for?
People know me for thinking outside the box, and none of my properties are the same. Each property has its own identity and that’s something that I believe is important because I felt that in each home that I designed, there was going to be a different person in that home. They’re not going to feel the same way that the other person heard about when they walk into their space.
If you walk into a cookie-cutter space, there is no originality. There is no like, sense of belonging. When I walk into some homes, I’m just like, “Wow, this home gave me this feeling or this gave me that luck,” and it’s a reason because, for some reason, I felt like every place is its own place. I’m very big on that. I’m very big on creating spaces where we can entertain and gather as a family. You want to come in and relax, kick [off] your shoes, have a glass of wine, and just chill. That’s the way I design.