Detroit, MI  (CBS Detroit)  – Amy Swift is the CEO & Founder of Building Hugger, a Detroit-based woman-owned construction company specializing in historic window restoration.

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

“When I was younger, I didn’t really have other women in the skilled trades that I could look up to and say yeah, I can totally see myself doing that because she’s sassy and she’s getting this done, and she didn’t listen to the people that that told her she couldn’t do it’.”

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

 

Since the launch of Building Hugger, Amy has led the company through a dramatic growth phase that has included three shop expansions, an aggressive hiring strategy, and a tenfold increase in revenue.

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

“Both my counselor and my mother told me that I was not to take shop class, that shop was for dumb boys and because I was a smart girl, I was going to college. That stigmatizes the trades as something that is meant for people that can’t make it in college, and I think that’s completely incorrect. And it also means that women don’t have a place in the trades, and I think that’s absolutely wrong. ”

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

In each stage of business and professional growth, she continues to prove herself as one of Detroit’s emerging powerhouse entrepreneurs, and a vocal advocate for historic neighborhood development and opportunities for women to enter into the trades. “Being a woman in a historically male-dominated field has definitely been a challenge.  As a woman at the helm of a construction business, I’m able to attract other women to the trade.”

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

“Before we started doing windows in 2015, there really weren’t that many trades people that were around that were able to do the work. I started to get into windows really to combat this sort of throw-away replacement mentality.”

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

“If you want something in life, you have to make it happen for yourself, and you have to keep pushing against anyone that’s going to tell you ‘no.’ There’s going to be a lot of doors that are going to be closed to you, but you’ll find a door that’s open. And when you do, you push right through that.”

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

Watch for “Eye on Detroit” segments weekdays during “CBS This Morning” at 7 a.m. featuring unique and positive stories from the Motor City.

(Credit: Paul Pytlowany/ CBS Detroit)

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Comments
  1. Kim White says:

    That’s really too bad about you not taking shop in school. Just because you take a few electives never meant you wouldn’t be a success at something else. That said, I am 58 yrs. old grew up in Detroit and I took 4 semesters of wood shop and made wonderful things and used how to use a band saw and lathe. Anyway, too bad they didn’t show more of your work in this story. Good luck in your business and everything you do.

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