by the New Homemakers

Lee (left), Erin (right)

We help people - especially women - create their ideal homes to fit their lifestyle goals.

The New Homemakers is a collaboration between HardHat Diplomat and Kotierra.

As two women who figured out how to live affordably and creatively in one of the nation’s most expensive cities, we are redefining what it means to be a homemaker. We've renovated multiple properties, built a tiny house community, and created rental units and shared living spaces in our homes. We’ve started businesses from our hobbies, worked as career counselors and mentors.

This summer we are sharing our knowledge and tools with the DC summer workshop series “Creative Approaches to Home and Career.” By demand, we are taking our program on the road this September on a tour of 15 cities across the Midwest and Southeast United States.

Erin Helland, HardHat Diplomat

Erin is an entrepreneur and cultivator of community. For seven years, she built and owned an independent coffeehouse in Richmond, Virginia. She's now founder of HardHat Diplomat, a specialized consulting service created to make the home improvement process more approachable and help homeowners confidently navigate renovations. Erin is experienced in commercial and residential rehabilitation, and is a certified DC home inspector. She is a homeowner, landlady, and Airbnb Superhost.  A cultural enthusiast, Erin lived several years abroad, has traveled to 40+ countries, and spent a decade working in international education and diplomacy.

Lee Pera, Kotierra

Lee is a geographer and community builder.  A "third culture kid," she lived in 27 houses in six countries before landing in Washington, DC where she built her own tiny house on wheels and started a tiny house community. Founder of Kotierra, Lee shares her expertise as a tiny house consultant, helping communities and cities implement zoning changes for tiny house development and leading workshops for individuals curious about the movement. Previously, Lee worked in higher education as both a career advisor and study abroad advisor.


Our core home renovation workshop is designed by women, for women, and open to all. Attendees are ethnically diverse and span the ages of 28-70, most of whom are working professionals. The majority of participants are women, and two-thirds are already homeowners who are hungry for practical resources and information on how to successfully take on major home improvement projects. Ninety-eight percent of our participants say they feel both more informed and more prepared for their home renovation.

“I feel more confident expressing expectations and feel like I will save a ton of money.”

”Workshop was extremely informative and well organized.”

”I now know I can do this. Thanks for helping build my self-confidence.”

“I attended the inaugural session of this FANTASTIC workshop and I highly recommend it for womxn who are dipping their toes into the renovation waters. Even if you have a general contractor who will be overseeing the work, this is the best $ you can spend on your home.”

”This workshop was everything I expected and more. I learned so much about the tiny house process. I am now even more certain of my dreams to live tiny and can’t wait to get started.”

For detailed descriptions of workshops and to purchase tickets, please visit the New Homemakers website.


For media inquiries, general questions, or workshop and national sponsorship opportunities, please visit the New Homemakers website.


National Tour

  • Atlanta, GA

  • Chicago, IL

  • Cincinnati, OH

  • Columbus, OH

  • Des Moines, IA

  • Durham, NC

  • Indianapolis, IN

  • Kansas City, MO

  • Louisville, KY

  • Milwaukee, WI

  • Minneapolis, MN

  • Nashville, TN

  • Pittsburgh, PA

  • Richmond, VA

  • St. Louis, MO

  • Washington, DC

The New Homemakers Collaborative is pleased to partner with Femme Fatale DC to bring a summer series called “Creative Approaches to Home and Career” to the DC area. All workshops are on Tuesday evenings at the WeWork Apollo (H St Corridor). Please see the Events page for course descriptions and tickets.

Summer Series 2019