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A Face In The Crowd

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Lady Labour. It’s the name of a superhero, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s the title of some timeless, extradimensional force represented by a female form, like Lady Liberty or Dame Fortune. Or it could be the name of an independent contracting service in Nashville started by a woman halfway inside your kitchen cabinets trying to unclog the sink. All those who went with the latter, pat yourselves on the back, you nailed it. Lady Labour is an average small contracting business—but conceived from a woman’s perspective and with female clients in mind. (Do you ever worry about your grandmother alone in her house but for a burly, cliched repairman and his exposed buttocks?) The founder and sole employee of the service is Reba Tyler, the woman under the sink. “Actually, I love electricity. I love to solve the problems that come up with wiring and circuitry and anything electrical,” the neophyte Nashvillian says in her native Texas drawl. “What I hate is plumbing. But I know how to do it, so I look at it as a challenge.” Add carpentry and roofing to her list of skills, and it’s easy to see why Tyler calls Lady Labour a general contracting service. At the end of a job, though, she likes to remind people of the other side of their contractor: “I like to put a little pink bow on finished jobs to distinguish myself from your average contractor,” she says. Sometime in the near future, Tyler hopes to expand her business and hire other women. As for hiring men, Tyler’s got it covered. “I guess I’d hire some male employees if it ever gets that big,” she says. “It’d be illegal not to.”

—By Bill Ditenhafer

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