Women in Wood

Tonya Gosby in her home woodworking studio
Tonya Gosby in her home woodworking studio

Woodworking isn’t just a hobby for men and Tonya Gosby is here to prove it. With more than 40 years of experience under her belt, Gosby started her own woodworking business with her daughter in 2015 called From Her Workshop. Although the business has since dissolved, Gosby still constructs pieces for customers through her Facebook page, runs her own Youtube channel where she shares tutorials on different projects she’s working on in her home workshop and hosts a Women in Woodworking meetup for women artisans in the Triangle. Gosby’s interest in woodworking began when she was just 8 years old. She remembers following her dad around the house, helping him repair damages or doing DIY projects for her grandmother. In 1990, Gosby turned her garage into a wood shop and started making things for her children, including a bench to hold their toys, a treasure chest and toy cars. “That’s the most important room in the house,” she says. Now, Gosby creates desks, indoor and outdoor benches, shelves and other furniture; she typically barters for her goods instead of charging money. “I enjoy this because I know I can make something with my own two hands and I can make it like I want to. It just feels good,” Gosby says. “When I’m in the shop, it’s just me, my tools and the wood and I can think clearly. It gives me a great sense of pride.” After From Her Workshop closed, Gosby started the meetups as a way for women to come together and empower one another through woodworking. Members—who range from 19 to 75 years old—meet up to work on projects and volunteer in the community, typically through Habitat for Humanity. Gosby’s goal is for them to be able to help people in the local community who may not have the money or resources to hire someone to make repairs in their homes. And if one of the members needs assistance with their own home repair, the whole group is there to help. “I want women to know that the opportunities are out here and woodworking is no longer just a man’s profession or a man’s hobby,” Gosby says. “The meetups allow women to build a sense of community, make friends and build lasting relationships while knowing that they’re supported.”

Follow Gosby’s Youtube tutorials, join her meetup at meetup.com/women-and-woodworking, or follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/fromherworkshop.

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