After we tore our ceiling down to discover an old growth pine ceiling, there was a line of brick at the top that dipped down behind the drywall. Without knowing the condition of the brick wall beyond, we tore an irreversible hole in it. And in doing so, chose to tear the layer of the wall down. Behind the wall was a wall of silver painted brick with a large black band across the center, the bottom edge of an old advertisement that had been built over and perfectly preserved for 75+ years. It was like finding treasure.

It’s strange poetry when something in your life feels like a metaphor for something else. Varitone Architecture was founded over a year ago, in 2015, by an architect, a 30 something year old woman. She entered the fold of the 17% of women that make up owners and partners of architecture firms. And in that time, outside of the office, we watched the first female candidate of a major party lose. No matter what your political beliefs, even running in that election displayed great bravery and strength. We have made great strides, but there is a lot of work left to do.  Right now, for us, we are building a place for ourselves. And it felt really good to start by blowing the ceiling out and tearing down a wall.  Two inherited challenges we were not prepared to deal with when we bought the building. But we did. It is possible.

This year has taught me that people are not inherently brave. Bravery is something we learn to be, like an architect or a designer. And more than that, it’s bravery is a choice. Sometimes it’s choosing to not give up one day. Other times, it’s choosing to blow the ceiling out.

We may be a day late to post this, but from everyone here at Varitone, we want to wish everyone a happy International Women’s day.