“It’s importamt to be open to trying something new. The worst case is you go back to what you were doing before.”
–Lydia Crowder, Drywaller, Boseman, Mont.
Lydia Crowder did the thing that many high school graduates do—she went off to college. But she was fortunate enough to realize early on that not only was that path not the right one for her, but that she didn’t need to keep treading it to find what she loved.
“I was 18, working a boring job, and my dadasked if I wanted to come work for him in his drywall-finishing business,” Lydia says. Although her dad started her off doing grunt work like cleaning floors and taping tiny closets, she found her niche and has been in drywall ever since. Lydia started her own business with her husband (whom she got into the trade). The couple now owns Trinity Drywall, based in Bozeman, Montana, and they specialize in drywall finishing for both commercial and residential projects.
Lydia particularly enjoys the detailed work involved with custom homes and notes that while often overlooked, drywall plays an incredibly important role in producing a quality finished product.
“If you have a fantastic kitchen but a horrible drywall job, it takes the focus away from the things you want people to focus on. We have to start thinking of drywall as the canvas for our homes, and we want that canvas to be the best it can be,” she says.
A crucial part of ensuring quality work is continuing to learn as well as sharing information and resources. Lydia acknowledges that the drywall trade can be a bit secretive about sharing knowledge, but she’s committed to helping change that. She has filmed drywall courses with the Build Show Network to help equip other tradespeople with the tools they need.
“It’s all about building a community and making the trades better for everyone,” Lydia says. “With more education on the process of finishing, hopefully it can create a better environment for the drywall stage of a project.”
—Lana Melonakos-Harrison, digital editor
Photo: Greg Cairns
From Fine Homebuilding #318