A few years ago, after recognizing that “more and more women are taking on DIY projects,” The Home Depot came up with a GREAT idea… offer free workshops, specifically for women, to help them build the skills and confidence necessary to take on DIY home repairs. Since, these “Do-It-Herself” workshops have been springing up in Home Depot stores across the country. While we LOVE the concept, we don’t LOVE the marketing.

A local paper near The Home Depot in Maryville, Tennessee, had this to say about one of the home improvement chain’s very first “Do-It-Herself” workshops, “Whether they are single women trying to save money on doing their own home repairs or married women who prefer hammers and drills to mixers and bread machines, each came with the desire to know what basic tools do, how they do it and when to use them.”

With this kind of empowering foundation, WHY ON EARTH would The Home Depot reduce the concept and the women interested in it (not to mention their signature brand color) to bedazzled hot pink?!?!

“What do they teach you? How to hang curtains? How to scout out all the pink tools at Home Depot?” – Rob

The lead image was shot at a Home Depot in East Nashville, Tennessee yesterday by Leah LaRocco, our Lifestyle Contributor. She was there to check on rental prices for a post hole digger, as she plans to put up a fence around her mammoth vegetable garden this weekend. YES… SHE is putting up A FENCE this weekend.

After being temporarily blinded by the bling of the blushing apron’s rhinestones, she said out loud, “Are you kidding me?” Leah, a very proud lover and wearer of pink, doesn’t need it in her tools nor in the marketing that’s attempting to sell her tools or, in this case, a home improvement workshop designed for women (ps – she got this lawn mower for her birthday last year… it’s black and yellow).

Leah and her lawn mower

Leah’s fiancée, who was along for the trip to buy PVC pipe for his own project, looked at the apron and joked, “What do they teach you? How to hang curtains? How to scout out all the pink tools at Home Depot?” We certainly hope not Rob, but it’s a reasonable assumption to make based on that kind of lame marketing.

HDNotice in the image Leah snapped that The Home Depot Kids Workshop is still marketed with the brand’s signature orange and uses the strong tag line: BUILD. LEARN. CREATE.

So00000000000… the kids get smarter marketing than adult women? Does Home Depot honestly think that in their dazzling array of lumber, tools, supplies, and home improvement gadgets galore, which offer a wealth of possibilities and project ideas, the only way to reach women is through a little sparkle and a pop of pink? It would seem that way, and it’s truly disappointing.

We checked out the weekly workshops section of Home Depot’s website and here’s what we found:

Under the general Do-It-Yourself Workshops tab, which are open to anyone, they say, “Time to get Hands On!”, and go on to list some really cool home improvement projects:

  • Get your landscape, and pests, under control
  • Build a better fence (our Leah might LOVE that)
  • Add architectural interest with moulding
  • Water Conservation Workshop
  • Improve DIY Skills

However, under the Do-It-Herself Workshop tab, which is the one SPECIFICALLY TARGETING WOMEN, they offer only this…

Do_It_Herself

Perhaps the workshop themes vary from store to store, but if the bedazzled apron and/or offerings list are any indication of how Home Depot communicates to its women customers and what all us gals can expect to be taught at one of their weekly workshops, then we encourage every woman to stay home, save on gas, and check out our weekly Fix-It Friday column.

The “ask the expert” editorial series is authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally of the Discovery Home Channel’s series Toolbelt Diva, and is packed with her easy-to-follow instructions, safety tips, dos and don’ts, and expert advice about common home repairs and improvements.

Home Depot… take it from us, Norma is THE REAL DEAL when it comes to knowing how to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto. So we’d be very happy to bring her to any of your stores to host a proper, rhinestone-free “Do-It-Herself” workshop.

Norma Vally Hammer

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