Learn a Thing or Two From Bea Lurie, Founder of Women Repair Zone

By Holly Bonner

With so much time spent at home, it’s hard to ignore all the things around your house that need some love and care. 

Some of the items on your to-do list may include giving your car a long overdue oil change, reupholstering the drab office chair you’ve been using more lately or finally creating the garden you’ve been dreaming of. 

While DIY videos are a good start, there is nothing like a hands-on learning experience with an energetic group of people. 

Women Repair Zone is a local business led by women teaching other women home repair, home improvement and automotive skills. Through fun workshops (all virtual for the time being), Women Repair Zone creates a supportive environment for its clients to obtain a new sense of independence. 

We sat down with Women Repair Zone Founder Bea Lurie to talk about what inspired her to start the business, how she hopes to impact the Chattanooga community and what her plans are for the future. 

Trend: Are you from Chattanooga? If not, why did you choose to move here?  

Lurie: I am originally from Brooklyn, New York. My family and I moved here for a quieter pace of life. Unfortunately, we brought our New York pace with us. But that’s okay. It allows us to get lots of stuff done.

Trend: And why do you think it’s important for women to attend a workshop? 

Lurie: Women and girls should attend our workshops on home repair, home improvement and auto maintenance to learn new skills from women instructors that will save them money and build more confidence and independence. At Women Repair Zone, we offer a safe and supportive environment where there is no such thing as a stupid question, and making mistakes is celebrated as a way to learn. It is a great learning environment. 

Trend: What kind of impact do you think your workshops have on younger girls?  

Lurie: While our carpentry workshops for girls are new, the impact of the first one was extraordinary. One girl was terrified of using the drill to make holes in a crayon holder. She reluctantly did her first hole but was unhappy with the way it looked, so she didn’t want to use the drill anymore, feeling it was too difficult to control. After some reverse psychology, she finished her crayon holder and, according to her mom, regularly brags to everyone she meets that she knows how to use a drill and made a beautiful personalized holder for her crayons. All of the girls and their mothers had powerful experiences working on this project.

Trend: How do you think a business like Women Repair Zone benefits the community as a whole?  

Lurie: In so many ways. Women in the workshops empower each other as they learn together. They empower their daughters and sons who are inspired by what they are doing. Women of all ages can take care of household repair and improvement projects to improve the values of their properties and attend to automotive maintenance to prevent accidents and breakdowns. The community also benefits because the confidence women and girls gain impacts how they see their capabilities in other areas as well.

Trend: Do you think the skills women learn at Women Repair Zone help them in the business world as well? 

Lurie: Yes, absolutely. It helps them not just in the business world but in many aspects of their lives. Women learn how to take safe risks, problem solve and think innovatively in our workshops. They build their confidence to overcome societal barriers and stereotypes. These are very transferrable skills and attitudes.

Trend: What has been the most rewarding part about opening up Women Repair Zone?  

Lurie: The most rewarding part is making my dream of many decades come true and seeing the impact it has on our customers and instructors.

Trend: What are your plans for the future?  

Lurie: In the future, I plan to open a stand-alone Women Repair Zone space and then locations across the country.