LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — From writing for “Romantic Homes” magazine to building tool sheds customized for women to relax, it’s time for this week’s STEAM profile, which focuses on engineering and art.
A dynamic duo built a business empire based on their concept of a “she shed” – a decorated, cozy place for women to enjoy me-time.READ MORE: Lynne Thompson Announced As 2021 Los Angeles Poet Laureate
Erika Kotite and her partner, Sabrina Contreras, are owners of She Shed Living.
“A She Shed is basically an outbuilding, an accessory building in your backyard,” Kotite said.
A traditional storage shed is designed to house equipment or tools.
In contrast, the She Shed is designed for hanging out and doing the things that you love.
Kotite studied literature in college and her initial goal was to become a writer.
“I would never have imagined myself building ‘she sheds’ for a living,” she said.
She edited magazines dealing with homes and found her niche in outbuildings, so she starting writing books about them.
In the process, Kotite learned how to design and build them herself, and that’s how the idea of She Shed Living was born.READ MORE: Mayor Eric Garcetti Urges Property Owners To Sign Up For City's New Program
“I actually took lessons to help me hone my basic skills using saws and power drills and measuring properly,” Kotite said.
Together with her partner, she started formulating new material combinations and their own brand of color schemes.
Before long, loungers were in place, tiny fireplaces were installed, the outgrowth of their brainstorming started to become reality, and a new career path took shape.
Of all the STEAM disciplines, designing and raising an accessory outbuilding relies most on engineering and art.
“We use very basic engineering. I will sometimes consult with engineers who I know to help me with very simple formulas,” said Kotite.
Kotite says the art of collaboration has also been critical in their business.
Contreras, an entrepreneur, helped her understand that to keep any business afloat,
“You have to be a numbers person,” Contreras said. “Whatever you do in your life, measure it, whether it’s the dimensions of a door frame or your bank account.”
As this dynamic duo reviews what went right or wrong in past projects and perfect new ideas for the next ones, Kotite Erika has this advice for creative young girls trying to identify a career path.MORE NEWS: Restaurants Hopeful Orange County Will Soon Move To Red Tier, Allowing Indoor Dining To Resume
“Keep an open mind and know there are so many niche businesses that you could cultivate that no one else has,” Kotite said. “The world is wide open.”