By Evelyn Witterholt, RCS Reporter.
For over 15 years, Mollie Elkman has been working in the building industry. Currently she is the owner and president of the home marketing company Group Two, but this is not her only major accomplishment. Last year, she wrote the children’s book The House That She Built as a way of educating young girls, and children everywhere, about the many skilled trades in the building industry.
As of now, the book is the fastest-selling title of any books published by BuilderBooks. Mollie will also be at the upcoming International Roofing Expo for a special book signing! You can find her at the IB Roof Systems™ booth #1325, on February 1 from 12-2 p.m.
We recently interviewed Mollie about her book, and she couldn’t be more thrilled about its success. One of the main reasons she wanted to write the book was the lack of knowledge children, and young girls especially, have about the building trades industry. “Now that I’ve met so many women in different careers within the housing industry, I’m seeing that these opportunities aren’t always presented to young girls,” Mollie said. “My focus with the book is really getting careers in construction in front of the earliest learners.”
As for specific inspiration, Mollie told us the incredible story of an all-women built house in Utah that she helped with last year. Mollie and her company Group Two helped with the marketing of the project by securing material donations and bringing in volunteers to help with the build. Because of the lack of women and women-owned businesses in the industry, women flew from all over the country to complete the house.
After the project was finished, Mollie was so moved by seeing all the women involved that she wanted to continue getting the word out about these opportunities. She said, “These are careers that have so much opportunity, there are so many different skills. It’s about letting each child be unique and figure out that their path is going to look different than the person sitting next to them.”
Mollie stated that one of the great things about this building project and her book is that it’s helped raise money for educating children about the trades. The building project raised over $400,000 for education and all proceeds of the book are going towards educating young people as well.
The response to the book has been overwhelmingly positive from children, teachers and parents alike. On the book's website, Mollie even offers lesson plans for teachers to use in the classroom. “We wanted to make it to where the story was compelling enough that we can go into a classroom and talk about roofing,” she said. “And by the time we leave that classroom every kid is like ‘That is so cool, that is what I want to do.’”
Her larger mission for the book is to get it into schools across the country and to be able to offer free lesson plans along with it. “It’s really cool to see the kids react to the story when you read it to them,” Mollie said. “You see kids light up and think ‘Oh my gosh, someone made that.’ They look at the details of a building and can actually appreciate it.”
To learn more about The House That She Built, visit the website here!
Be sure to stop by the IB Roof Systems booth at IRE to get a signed copy of the book!
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