Sarah Listi: Tool Girl’s Garage

Episode 33: Welcome to the She Builds Show, I’m your host, Stefanie Olson. Today I’m excited to introduce you to my amazing guest, Sarah Listi of Tool Girl’s Garage. Listen in and hear about her journey through woodworking, projects like furniture builds, home decor, home improvements and all things DIY.

Ready? Let’s go…


•  And as I got older, obviously, it was more and more interesting to see what he was doing, he ended up starting a construction business on the side, so I got to really see it from that side, not only from the inner workings of construction itself, but also the business side of it. And then I would say one of the most pivotal things as a kid was seeing him build an addition on the back of my house. So that was crazy, because, I was 12 and we were all sharing one room, and now all of a sudden all of us had our own bed rooms, and it was like the biggest deal, and it was such a hero moment for sure, because he did everything from literally for the lab. So I think the one thing he’s paid out was the roof, like that was it, so it was really neat. And as I got older and they bought my first car, he helped me rebuild a lot of that, really, I would say I helped him rebuild that, and so he was just into everything, I was just always around it. (02:25)

•  At times I think that that’s how creativity works and how you can’t force it, and if you force inspiration and creativity, then you’re always fall flat, you have to wait for it to arise, and that means not pushing yourself too much and overbooking. Burnout is really real, especially in this industry, right? It’s great to have ideas and goals and to be like, Oh, I can get this done in a day, well, if you can, doesn’t mean you will… And life gets in the way, and as a mom, it’s like there’s nothing that works and you have that deadline that you’re like, I have been delaying this, I’ve got to get this done. And then my kids are sick and that’s just life. But there’s no two ways about it, that’s just how it goes. And so you have to kind of really be realistic with yourself and what you take on and then allow yourself some time to just kind of veg. Don’t do anything if you’re not really feeling super inspired or motivated. And on a Saturday afternoon, it’s okay to just sit still on the couch and watch movie with the kids. (09:35)

My life is somewhat back to normal now, but I was filming in Los Angeles for seven and a half weeks, I was back and forth. Yeah, it was intense. It was funny because it happened in the beginning of December, my husband had been in the car business for 17 years, he’d work like 70 hours a week, and it was really crazy, and we had obviously been talking for quite some time about needing to make a change for our family, and last year was a hell of a lot of transitions in that realm… He left his job the first week of December and left in two days later, I got the call for this specific TV show, and it was like the craziest thing, because had they asked me a month as before, I would have been like, There’s no way I can be gone that much. And I just don’t have the… Our life wasn’t built that way… Yeah, yeah. It just isn’t built that way. And by design, I wanted to be the one who’s picking my kids up every day and cooking dinner and whatever. And the fact that he was working, it never bothered me because that was what I made my life… It’s how our life was designed. And so anyway, it became just this really cool thing, and it was really crazy because I’ve been offered opportunities like that before, I’ve done small little things where it’s like a one-episode deal or whatever. But that was just a weird opportunity in the company that was producing it, or owns the rights to the show, had just reached out to me randomly, and I was like, Hey, we’d like to talk, and then I just fell in to. (15:23)

•  Somebody asked me the other day what my goal to future was, and I said I wanted to write a book at some point, I don’t know if that’s a five-year goal though, I just want to write a book, just because I want to write a book. There’s really no reason. But for the business, I don’t know, I think in the last year, it really taught me, if I put less expectation on what I want to happen, it’ll happen sometimes more than what I would have hoped, and so I think that allowing myself the freedom to say no to the things that I just don’t feel good about it. Bi trusting those instincts and saying like, Hey, this may be a great money or this may be a great thing, But it’s just not a fit, it doesn’t fit with myself in ever finding my brand a little bit, if that makes sense, and what I want to happen, what I want to be showing people. I’d love to obviously start teaching some… Maybe if I could just put that into the schedule, that would be nice. I’d like to just find balance, keep finding balance, get my kids more involved, I don’t know, all of my goals are really, keep doing, doing what I’m doing and hope for the best. (32:41)


With a passion for all things construction, Sarah Listi started Tool Girl’s Garage- a woodworking company based out of Texas. With unending curiosity and enthusiasm, Sarah tackles projects of all kinds of renovations as well and shares the process via social media and her blog. If Sarah isn’t in the shop, she is likely spending time with her family, her long time husband, kids, and dogs, on their property in Texas.


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