Tamara Blanchard is a welder, mother, and entrepreneur. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Technology from Purdue University, where she was the only African American Woman in her program. Currently, she owns her own Interior Design and Catering Company under the brand name, Her Line. After obtaining her welding certification through Latina’s welding Guild, she hopes to begin a line of furniture for her interior design brand.
Below is our full interview with Tamara:
Tell us about yourself;
I’m a single mother who loves raising my 9-year-old daughter, Jai. Jai is my biggest cheerleader. Growing up, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve always been a one-person operation. I started college part-time in my 30s while also working on the launch of my hair salon. I currently own a brand called Her Line, where I have my interior design company and catering services.
How did you first learn about welding?
I know several men who are welders and I have always been intrigued by creating objects that contain metal. When going to Purdue for Engineering and Technology in order to become an Interior designer, we had to build models of residential and commercial buildings. One of the main components that connect a structure is metal.
What inspired you to pursue welding?
As an Interior designer, I always wanted to make furniture. My next adventure is to create a line of furniture for my interior design company. Welding will provide me with a different perspective and will help add creativity to my furniture designs.
Do you have a preferred weld?
I enjoy MIG and TIG. I would love to master TIG welding to create clean-cut designs.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve seen of other Black Woman Welders in a white male-dominated industry?
I haven’t worked in the field yet, but I know it’s challenging being an African American woman in any field. I was the only African American Woman in my program at Purdue. It’s a challenge to find women of color in many industries, such as interior design AND welding. It can be challenging to understand the complexities of being a Black Woman in business.
How did you hear about the Latinas Welding Guild?
I found out about Latina Welding Guild on Facebook. There was a free kid-friendly class that was teaching how to make flower pots. So, my daughter (7 years old at this time) and I went to the class. I ended up joining the cohort. The classes were very educational and the skills we were learning were very hands-on and real-world examples. My favorite part was just getting to weld.
What was your biggest takeaway from Latinas Welding Guild MIG Cohort?
Feeling empowered knowing that I am an African American Woman certified welder and that I can be just as talented in welding as a man.
To learn more about Tamara and Her Line:
Facebook Pages: Tamara Blanchard & Her line interior design
Thank you for sharing your story and helping to pave the way for others who want to join the industry!Latinas Welding Guild Inc,