The DIY Academy eV in Cologne offers home improvement courses, including those only for women.

DIY stands for "Do it yourself".

The association has outsourced the course business to an AG.

Customers are gradually introduced to DIY.

In the Corona crisis, of course, only free online seminars were offered for all genders.

But face-to-face courses will be held again as soon as possible, says Katja Fischborn from the DIY Academy.

Fischborn doesn't know any institution in this country with a comparable offer.

The courses are organized in cooperation with hardware stores such as Bauhaus, Globus, Hornbach and Toom.

Some of the courses take place in the hardware stores themselves;

they are often free of charge for the participants.

Or you can ask for a small nominal fee to ensure that the course will appear on the day of the course, Fischborn reports.

Up to 20 people can take part in the courses;

they last 3 to 5 hours.

The hardware stores pay the DIY Academy for the placement.

Hardware stores are very interested in holding such courses, says Dominik Raabe from the management of Toom in Alzey.

It's all about customer loyalty.

Educating customers in particular is important, as there are some manual activities that can be done on your own.

In addition, one wants to break down prejudices against the manual skills of women.

Break down inhibitions

“We offer the courses for women, because women are always referred to as the weaker link when it comes to handicrafts,” says Raabe.

“We want to dispel this idea completely, because it does not correspond to the truth.” For example, the courses have helped many women to paint or plaster their own walls.

According to Fischborn, the DIY Academy focused on women as a target group 20 years ago.

Then in the course of time the idea for courses for women only arose.

They want to encourage people to try out the work themselves.

"With women, it is primarily about breaking down their inhibitions."

Among the customers are both young people who are renovating parts of a house and women who are over 50 years old and who enjoy trying out do-it-yourselfers.

Since 2002, the DIY Academy has chosen a “Miss DIY” every couple of years in a high-profile competition, which she says is “Germany's best DIY enthusiast”.

She is then on the road as an ambassador for the topic of women and home improvement and, for example, the contact person for the media.

In 2013 Martina Lammel won.

The designer publishes her do-it-yourself ideas in books and magazines;

some know them from television programs such as the ARD buffet.

No other devices

According to Fischborn, seven people and the managing director Peter Wüst work for the association and the AG. "The currently around 80 trainers are self-employed and are commissioned by us," she explains. In pandemic-free times, the DIY Academy organizes around 260 courses for women every year. The courses in the workshop are usually fully booked; eight to ten hobby craftspeople take part in them. A course lasts 8 hours and costs around 115 euros. The trainers address each participant individually. Because it is about areas previously unknown to many women.