Amy Matthews, a licensed general contractor and host of a number of HGTV and DIY Network television programs, has become one of the symbols of women in the construction industry, but that’s not where she thought her career path would lead her.
Women In Technology
Get more information and register for WIT on Friday, November 6, 2015.
Meet Amy Matthews
Amy Matthews,host on HGTV and DIY, will be at Covelle Hall from 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m during WIT. This portion of the event will be open to the public.
“I came to it very sideways,” Matthews said. “Thinking you’re going to go one way in life, and you end up going in a completely different direction.”
She studied music and opera at Boston University and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. But it was also the home improvement skills she began learning as a teenager that would make her a household name.
“When I was 14 years old, I started doing volunteer work repairing homes for families in need. I wouldn’t have thought that experience would have led to anything,” she said.
When she auditioned for a home improvement show, that experience gave her an edge others didn’t have.
“I brought the on-camera skills, and I had this background in a trade. As I got into it, I fell in love with it,” she said and soon earned her general contractors license. “I love building things, renovating things. I love the hands-on aspect and getting down and dirty.”
She has hosted shows on HGTV and DIY Network including “Renovation Raiders,” “Sweat Equity,” “This New House” and “Bathroom Renovations” as well as numerous appearances on the “Today Show,” “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.”
Matthews will serve as the featured guest at a question and answer session that is open to the public during OSU Institute of Technology’s Women in Technology event on Friday, Nov. 6 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Covelle Hall.
This year’s Women in Technology event is focused on the construction industry and women’s present and future roles in the historically male-dominated field.
Matthews knows what it’s like working—and succeeding—in the construction and renovation arenas.
“Getting over the hump of people second-guessing you and you second-guessing yourself. You push through and change people’s minds,” she said.
Her first show was “Bathroom Renovations” 10 years ago.
“I was one of two women on the network, and I kept getting shows from there. ‘This New House,’ I got this incredible warm welcome. The network kept handing me these opportunities,” she said. “You have to stand strong in who you are and how you position yourself. Now I’m getting some time to work on my own projects.”
Those projects include developing her own YouTube channel, cultivating a larger presence on social media, maintaining her off-camera general contracting work, and continuing her volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.
“I love walking through a space that looks unimaginable and seeing it come to life and the problem solving that goes into projects,” Matthews said. “I love entertaining people, I love showing people and teaching people what they can do, I love representing women in the industry.”