Beth Allen wants women to stop doubting themselves when it comes to doing stereotypical “men’s work” around the house.
“We too often say, ‘We can’t, we shouldn’t,’” Allen said. “And I say, ‘Screw it.’”
Allen created DIY HIP Chicks, a brand aimed at teaching women how to complete do-it-yourself projects like fixing leaky faucets, creating a makeshift air conditioner and removing old carpet.
Allen, who received a certificate in interior design from Temple in 2007, runs a YouTube channel in which she films tutorials for women. By doing so, she teaches women to be self-reliant and independent.
She worked on DIY HIP Chicks, which stands for DIY Home Improvement Project Chicks, for four years and has been featured on local television like NBC10 and 6ABC.
“My goal is for HIP Chicks to be a national brand that is a symbol to other women that they can be smart, capable and confident as homeowners and beyond,” Allen said.
Allen’s brand is growing, and she will soon release a four-part video series promoting Frost King, a company based out of northern New Jersey that creates weather stripping for windows and doors. She said these videos could be helpful to Temple students living off-campus for the first time.
“Sometimes I find it embarrassing that I don’t know how to do ‘handyman’ things,” said freshman biomedical engineering major Sarah Dawson.
“I feel like her videos are a great idea for other girls who might be too scared to ask how to do things or who want to prove that they can do those kinds of things on their own,” Dawson added.
Allen has more than 650,000 views on YouTube and receives 700 to 800 hits a day for her tutorials. Her most viewed video—and her favorite to date—is a video titled “Mirror, Mirror,” in which she explains how to properly hang a mirror.
Allen said she has received push-back and sexist remarks in the comments of her YouTube videos.
“One guy said, ‘Oh honey, you gotta go back to the kitchen.’ And I responded with, ‘Sure, I rebuilt my whole kitchen,’” she said.
When she pitched a television show to an un-named production network this past year, she was told “If she were 25 and a bikini model,” she would have the show.
“This gave me more ammunition for me to keep plugging away to be a real mom and a real woman who’s relatable,” she said.
As a head nurse for seven years before starting DIY HIP Chicks, Allen finds herself applying the same methodology to a household that she did to a patient.
“[As a nurse], I was constantly doing assessment problem solving, coming up with solutions, prioritizing,” Allen said. “Everything that I did as a nurse for a person, I do again for a house.”
Allen will be part of a women’s empowerment series on Jan. 28 at Temple’s Center City Campus, where she “will give a talk about DIY skills and how to overcome the fear of being productive and proactive with power tools,” said Cassandra Doyle, TUCC manager of off-campus programs.
“To me, there is no gender role,” Allen said. “We’re human beings—we live in a shelter, we drive cars. We need to understand these things to be good homeowners and good human beings.”
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION: In a version of this story that appeared in print, HGTV was inaccurately quoted, telling Beth Allen, “‘If she were 25 and a bikini model,’ she would have the show.” HGTV did not state this to Allen—it was another, un-named producer.