MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A Milwaukee mom watched a YouTube video, picked up a hammer, and now has a thriving business.
Tonda Thompson finds peace in the buzz of a circular saw.
"Working in this woodshop was therapeutic," said Thompson, founder of She Slangs Wood.
Constructing functional furniture got this mother through the coronavirus pandemic. She even had a mantra she would repeat every time she went into her garage, now woodshop.
"It was my way of empowering myself," Thompson said. "I would say it every day, 'Boss up, little dusty.' Every day."
Thompson's little helper around the shop was also her inspiration after her 4-year-old son jumped on the coffee table and broke it. With limited supplies in the stores, Thompson got to thinking.
"All I had was Home Depot. I went and bought some two-by-four lumber and made a coffee table," said Thompson.
A do-it-yourself Youtube video and a dozen orders later, She Slangs Wood was born.
The self-taught carpenter does more than just tables, though. She has also constructed standing flower beds and even built her own backyard fence.
Last month, she was featured on "The Kelly Clarkson Show."
The quick-fix-turned-side-hustle has now outgrown her garage. Through crowd-sourcing, Thompson was able to purchase a building. Next year, she plans to expand and teach other young girls how to "slang wood."
Thompson is carving a path of her own, but the journey has not always been sweet.
WTMJ's Shannon Sims first interviewed Thompson in 2016 after the loss of her first child. The loss pushed her into advocacy for infant mortality. Her second blessing, Jehlani, was only 2 months old when he made his TV debut on the Sunday show 414WARD.
Thompson admits juggling motherhood, advocacy, a two-by-four, and a new business isn't easy, but it's worth it.
"The best part is having peace and joy, and having power within myself to do what I want to do," said Thompson.
To learn more about Thompson's business, visit www.sheslangwood.com.
This story was originally published by Shannon Sims at WTMJ.