I'm Dottie Bonn, one of 2.5% women working in skilled trade division of construction And I own the company I work for. I am a leader, a creator, a teacher, and a mom. I specialize in all types of flooring, tile backsplashes, and tile showers. With 22 years on the job I'm a Jill-of-all-trades. I love all aspects of building… plumbing, electrical, decks, framing, siding. On a more personal level I love teaching skills to other women, I love watching them hold a hammer for the first time. It's funny when they get their first callus or they hit their self with a hammer. I also love supporting their growth in this industry, and they take this knowledge home and work on their own houses. Most of all I love being their voice. I grabbed my posters and my pink construction pencils then I take road trips and show up in some meeting somewhere; mainly Washington, having a conversation about women in construction. I am that girl that knows what she's talking about and you cannot deny me who I am. I am the lower-level blueprint of women entering the constructions trades.
Failure is not an option.
Survival was the goal .
I'm from small-town Ohio my life is tough, abandon by my mom and sister at 5 years old, abused by perverted old men by 6, and I spend the rest of my childhood being conscious of what sounds I heard so I know whether to run and hide, or if I could stay inside. That’s how I lived until I was 16 and moved out. Funny thing about trauma it never really goes away, it just hides in the shadows. Then a couple years I met a man, had a couple kids, And lo and behold he was abusive. Sorry I got to go! So I ran again knowing he would try to find me and try to convince me to work it out. So, I hid. It was a day like any other day I dropped my kids off the babysitters and I went to work and when I returned CPS and taking my kids. For eight months I fought them I was never sighted was one reason why. I will never forget my $1,000 a day lawyer asking the judge to approach the bench and suggesting they go in chambers to talk. Everything was dropped and the kids were to return home. As I was going to pick them up I got a phone call that I needed to go to the Local hospital and when I got there I was escorted to the Intensive Care Unit or I saw on my two babies with pneumonia, black and blue, and scratches all over their body. That was one of the worst days of my life counting the foster parents abused my children to the point they spent three days and ICU. We got lost I felt beaten. How does your mom ever survive when the world's against her. I developed a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder And my oldest son developmental lobe damage. I may be a runner but I'm also a fighter. Years of counselors and mental treatment centers for my son. The system destroy us both that day. In 27 I married again had two children and my youngest was a girl. Three years later divorced single mom. I couldn't make ends meet no minimum wage in for kids so I did what all girls do, I Hustled. When you need a roof food and electricity you will tell a man anything he wants to hear so you can support your children. Every single mom has secrets that she won't talk about but she survived. At 37 I was working in a factory, barely over minimum wage, and barely surviving Except for my hustle. He was a flooring contractor and he make good money. This was the year 2000. I wanted to learn but he said women shouldn't work construction and I was forbidden to touch the knife and tools. Then one Sunday so it's a knock at the front door and he was carted off to jail for failure to pay child support by the federal government. I saw that and I thought, if this idiot can make that money so can I and I have to support my kids somehow there was a van full of tools and the only thing I like those knowledge. YouTube wasn't invented yet so, I bought a book. I drove to the company he was working for and I beg them to hire me and train me but the answer is no. Every morning for the next 5 days when that man came to work I was sitting on his steps and he finally gave in and gave me a chance. I made several mistakes but I never gave up. Because I didn't have the skill yet I wasn't making the good money show me and my two children slept in the van behind the carpet store for 3 months homeless. Another flooring guy told me he'd give me a job but I have to start out entry-level at $12 an hour. I work my 50 hours there and on weekends I would do side jobs and make $300 a day. I was on top of the world that was 1200 a week and I learn earn that in less than six months.
Well you know a girl can't get a break. The contractor asked me if I consider moving up to assistant manager $15 an hour and a company truck and that's right I did. After two months I'm doing all the extra work out of my vehicle not getting the raise or the company truck I decided it was time to go so, I gave him back his phone and his credit card and left. Then he filed charges and had me arrested for stealing 200 tubes of caulking. Who's still caulk? Seriously though I was facing 30 years in prison. I was charged with four felonies in five misdemeanors and yes we're still talking about caulk. I was scared to death because I did nothing wrong that he was going to make an example out of me. I walked away with one misdemeanor and no time in jail that my life changed forever because no company it's going to hire female in construction with a misdemeanor larceny charge. That was the day I created Joe floors. Everybody by Joe on the company and I was just an estimator. It worked And by 2004 Joe Floors had 7 employees and $30,000.00 In sales every month