MaryAnn McClintic, 48, a self-proclaimed Home and Garden Television junkie, said completing any home improvement project, such as painting, plumbing, tiling and beyond, carries a great sense of pride while keeping costs low.
MaryAnn McClintic is proud of her craftsmanship. The true-blue do-it-yourselfer recently retiled her master bathroom –– a project some men and women would shy away from.
“It was easy,” said the mother of three. “It was hard on the knees, but I put on some good music and knocked it out.”
Ripping up the old tile flooring, removing debris, leveling, laying out, cutting and grouting was completed with a lot of determination and in only a few days.
McClintic, a self-proclaimed Home and Garden Television junkie, said completing any home improvement project, such as painting, plumbing, tiling and beyond, carries a great sense of pride while keeping costs low.
“It is absolutely cost driven,” she said, referring to the $600 she saved by not hiring a professional.
Mike Tesler, a partner with the retail marketing and consulting firm Retail Concepts of Norwell, said most home improvement store purchases are female-driven.
“As far as shoppers go, females rule,” said Tesler. “What a lot of retails don’t get is that they don’t just rule in shoe stores, they rule everywhere.”
Tesler said 70 percent of purchases at men’s clothing stores are female-dominated, and that cuts through to hardware.
“It is a fact of retail life,” he said.
The staff at Curry Ace Hardware in Massachusetts agree.
“I think that women make most of the decisions as to what happens in their home,” said Scott Corner, team leader at a Curry Ace Hardware store. “Women are selecting paint, hardware for bathrooms and grass seed for their lawns.”
The family-owned hardware store recently hosted a ladies night featuring a wine and cheese tasting with local designers and decorators on hand to assist female patrons with color choices and decorating questions. All attendees received a free, recyclable bag filled with do-it-yourself gifts.
As for why this style of marketing works for female shoppers, Tesler says women are receptive to creative and innovative environments.
Tara Curry, co-owner of a Curry Ace store, said, “We have always catered to women and do-it-yourselfers.” Events like the ladies night, she said, “give women the confidence to approach and shop in a hardware store.”
Daryce Morris, owner of Interiors by Daryce, a vendor at the event, said more women are taking on home improvement projects, and without hesitation.
She attributes the do-it-yourself movement to television programming like ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” and the 24-hour cable station HGTV, which highlight women taking on beginner- to expert-level projects while spotlighting women in the construction industry.
McClintic, 48, admits to not always being “handy,” but she says that with some education and a lot of elbow grease, she can scrape, paint, plumb, make custom-made window treatments and do some good, old-fashioned yard work.
What makes her do it? Gratification and how it affects her pocketbook, she said.
“I like the change of it and I like to walk into a room and see immediate gratification,” she said during a recent tour of her home.
For a mere $35 to $40 worth of paint and some supplies, you can transform a room as often as you like, she said.
Other home improvement retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot have also seen the value in marketing to women.
Seamus Coen, specialty assistant store manager at the Home Depot in Rockland, said do-it-yourself projects can be completed at a fraction of the cost of professionally-done projects.
“Over the past few years, we have focused on women do-it-yourselfers,” Coen said.
His store held a “Do-It-Herself” workshop earlier this fall, focusing on kitchen remodeling projects and color consultations.
“…With a little bit of help from our associates that have worked in the field, it gives (clients) the stepping stones to take on and complete projects,” he said.
With the holidays quickly approaching, McClintic has a short list of projects to accomplish, and she’s not going to stop until they are completed.
“I made a list: Paint the downstairs bathroom, put up wainscoting with a new faucet and fixtures,” she said of her holiday to-do list. “When my husband comes home, he says, ‘Oh, God, I smell paint. What did you do?’”