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She Slangs Wood helps Black women carve out a space for themselves

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A woman with a bright smile standing in front of cut lumger holds up a circular saw.
Tonda Thompson of She Slangs Wood.

Tonda Thompson spends her days covered in sawdust. With power tools or perhaps something with a little more finesse in hand, she measures twice and cuts once. Quite a journey for someone who began her career as a runway model.

Thompson’s new path started during the pandemic with, of all things, the Mickey Mouse hot dog dance. Her son chose their coffee table as his stage and, as fate would have it, broke the table. With the whole world shut down and facing a moment of frustration, Tonda turned instead to inspiration and decided to build a new one herself.

This singular incident sparked a ripple effect, leading to the creation of She Slangs Wood, a carpentry company dedicated to empowering women through the skills of woodworking. Thompson’s unique path eventually gained national attention, most prominently when she appeared as a featured guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Thompson’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary. From her early days as a runway model to advocating for maternal health, her experiences are as varied as they are life-altering. Listen to this episode of Uniquely Milwaukee as we delve into her incredible story, exploring the twists and turns that led her to create a space where creativity meets empowerment.

Audio Storyteller / 88Nine On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee