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Contractor Kait in Real Life

The Rise of Kait Doulou and Build Ventures

Kait’s signature red-bottom heels announce her arrival as she walks through an arched entry and into the dimly-lit restaurant. I sit perched on my barstool watching her presence command the room. Beyond the allure of her impeccably styled exterior, there’s a vulnerability and a realness to her that makes people who have met her only a handful of times feel like she’s a close friend. Someone calls out, “Kait!” and she stops to exchange hugs with another familiar face. I’ve known her for about three months at the time of this interview, and I find her essence to be a glowing combination of authoritative and inclusive with an ever subtle quirky nerd streak. She’s always running from place to place, whether at a community event or a board meeting. 

You’ll find her effortlessly exchanging ideas about real estate or her passion for affordable housing and politics.

Like many women who dominate the business world, Kait finds comfort in conversations where she can ask a lot of questions and solve a lot of problems. People see her long platinum hair and look into those Disney Princess eyes and want to underestimate her. Sizing up a woman based on how she looks? Never! She and I share a laugh as she reveals that ten years ago this theme about being a woman general contractor and not being taken seriously would rattle her cage, but rather than live with an Achilles heel, she wrestled her ego to the ground and fast-tracked her way through an industry that is tough to break into for anyone, and typically foreign to women. 

“I love fashion and I love shoes. I don’t want to change how I like to dress. I don’t need to show up to a meeting in Dickies and a hard hat to prove that I’m a real GC, but I realize that sometimes my looks result in an extra step. I have to take control of the narrative. I know that being a woman, and choosing to look this way – it only means that what I say in a meeting and how I handle myself is even more important than it might be to my male counterparts… so I take control of everything I can, and I outwork everyone. Behind all this glam is 100 hours a week of pure hard work,” she says as she glances at her phone and exchanges a quick text. 

If you convince her to share her self-made journey as a woman general contractor and founder of a multi-million dollar vertically integrated design/build firm and real estate brand, she’ll exude a great deal of pride. One might mistake her pride for a large chip on her shoulder accompanied by a rant about sexism or nepotism, but if you’re paying attention to the way her high speed sentences are strewn together, you’ll deeply understand and appreciate the fact that she did this all by herself.  

Although the national statistics reveal a landscape in flux, with a once male dominated field now seeing a growing cohort of formidable women, Kait is still being served daily reminders she’s part of a class that makes up less than 10% of the industry. While she shares stories of times it was hard being the only woman in the room, it turns out being a woman has been her superpower all along. 

“There’s power in harnessing your womanness but also empathy goes a long way. People aren’t honest with themselves. Men struggle to admit their shortcomings where women are often overly critical of themselves. I have witnessed people become completely demolished because of their ego. If you can’t admit you’re wrong or that you need to improve, growth won’t be happening.” 

Stereotypes crumble as the layers of her story defy convention. This is a tale of ambition and unapologetic success that I know can only be the result of years of shedding one's ego and choosing sheer tenacity. 

We delve into the business. Build Ventures is a woman-owned general contracting and real estate development and investment firm providing vertically integrated full service construction, real estate, and property management services.

Backed by a previous career in sales, PR/marketing, and hospitality, Kait was uniquely positioned to launch a company that set out to disrupt the status quo of general contracting.

“Being a woman in a male dominated industry has its challenges. Yet, my communication style, attention to detail and investigative mindset have been my edge.” Kait says. 

I ask Kait to share with me the one piece of advice she wishes she could give her younger self. Without a moment’s pause, she lays down her wisdom.

“I would tell my younger self to shed my ego and embrace being a woman sooner. Men who are with you for the business, they will carry you on their shoulders across turbulent waters while they drown if they believe in you and know the value you bring. Focus on the unique perspective you have. Women are brilliant communicators and provide a comfort and accessibility that people crave. I just wish I could have leaned into my intuition and female energy sooner and shed my ego sooner, because when I finally did, the floodgates opened.” 

We talk about the future. Kait is working on writing a book while preparing for speaking engagements. Her hard work is indisputable. She’s balancing being a mom, working on large scale hotel and housing development projects, speaking on stages and rocking an effortless superwoman vibe, and it has us all rooting for her.

For more information about Kait Doulou and Build Ventures visit

“Being a woman in a male dominated industry has its challenges. Yet, my communication style, attention to detail and investigative mindset have been my edge.” - Kait 

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