Nikki Spracklin, one of the stars on HGTV Canada’s Newfoundland-based home reno series Rocks Solid Builds, was a stay-at-home parent for years (a tough job at the best of times!). But with her extended family far away and her husband travelling for work, she eventually started to crave more interaction with other adults. At about the same time, she and her husband were having their house renovated – and that’s when the penny dropped.
“Every step of the way I was watching the progress, and thinking ‘I love this, I could do this’,” says Nikki. It was then she decided to take a leap of faith and go back to school for training.
After setting her goal on getting into the renovation business, Nikki registered with The Office to Advance Women Apprentices, an organization with offices throughout Canada that helps women break into the male-dominated construction sector. She received the information she needed and registered for a nine-month Carpentry Program at Carpenters Millwright College in Paradise, Newfoundland.
“I was coming into this completely blind,” she says. “I bought my first hammer a couple of days before I started school. I’ve been going at it ever since: Learning every day and just taking the challenges [as they come].”
Nikki graduated as a Carpenter in 2018, and reconnected with Randy Spracklin (no relation) who she had met when they were both teenagers. Randy heads up Newfound Builders, the east coast family business featured in Rock Solid Builds. He offered a place where Nikki could succeed.
“I graduated on a Friday, and by Monday morning, I started to work with Randy. He took me under his wing and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
“I had myself convinced that this is going to be hard. ‘Oh my God, I’m a woman. I’m not going to be able to lift as much as them. I’m not going to be able to do what they can do,’ but my team never treated me different – not once.”
Nikki’s success even has her young daughter, interested in the trades.
For Christmas one year, Nikki gave her a kids’ tool belt and hard hat, and says she was so proud. “‘I’m going to go and work with you mom.’ So she sees me every day coming home, full of sawdust and dirt. And she’s like, ‘what did you do today?'”
Check out Nikki’s work on Rock Solid Builds, Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada. Also available on the Global TV App, and STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels. HGTV Canada is available through all major TV service providers.