Girl With Grit was created in 2021 by Blythe Zemel with the assistance and hard work of her friends, Briana Huhn and Ashley Robertson. After a wonderful and challenging year, because of the overwhelming increase of boys and young men joining in the activities and classes started for girls and young women, Blythe was encouraged to change the facility name to Come and Make It!
“Girl With Grit continues to be a girl-centered program run in the current facility on South Main in Boerne and with mobile workshop programs serving at-risk women and girls. However, we wanted boys to know they are welcome to attend classes also, since we get that question so much,” explains Blythe. Come And Make It! better describes the vision Blythe strives to achieve. “We offer a space to give young people the skills to become strong adults with great life skills. Makerspace is a place where people create and learn to make things.
The classes offer everything from art to welding to entrepreneurship. An Entrepreneurs Program takes the students out to markets. Classes and workshops are opened first to members, then on a first-come first-serve basis to the public. Classes in welding, skateboard design, 3D printing, photography, jewelry creation have been offered, plus the participants are encouraged to bring their talents to Makerspace to share their unique and varied creations.
An artist, Blythe felt she was categorized into a box instead of an open arena. She felt her art could be directed into strong tools for learning life skills – even with a brush and paint. Teaching art education for fine arts and photography she also felt the need to use a screwdriver to become self-sufficient. Driving and fixing a flat tire was not available in public education. She moved off the beaten path in her art program and talked about life skills. She gained national recognition in the auto industry with her photography as she bought and is refurbishing a 1934 Chevy truck.
She is bridging the gap from sewing to paint to tools. She created a line of safety glasses for women with cat eye shapes that have become popular as women move out of traditional roles. As a teacher Blythe promoted the arts and trades as a place to belong, to excel. She developed life skills and is a “jack of all trades”. And so the next generation of children are exposed to a variety of learning opportunities: from airbrush painting to welding to making crafts – everything is a possibility. There are demonstrations, open studio time and access to tools at Makerspace.
Special needs adults as well as children as young as 3-years-old can learn crafts and life skills that will make them productive and self-sufficient. Go to https://girlwithgrit.com/ for more information and to register for classes.