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Barbara K
the Martha Stewart of the Bronx

She's been called the Martha Stewart of the Bronx. But Barbara Kavovit (known as Barbara K) targets the home repair market instead of Martha's home and lifestyle target.

Barbara K is a single mom who followed the advice given to entrepreneurs everywhere: Find a need and fill it.

She had some exposure to construction and repairs from her father who included her and her sister in his work. When she saw the number of strong, independent women forced to waste time waiting for contractors who didn't show up or have to call in a man to do a simple home repair, she began thinking.

Barbara knew that women were just as able as men to fix leaks, add a shelf, hang a picture and the myriad other things that are required in a home. While watching an episode of Sex in the City, she saw the character Samantha have to call her boyfriend over to hang a curtain rod. Barbara thought, "This is a totally modern, independent woman and she can't put up a curtain rod!" That's when the light bulb went off.

Barbara designed a set of tools that are attractive and sized to fit women's hands better. She's turned this into a home improvement empire with tools, craft items and peripherals such as this book.

It can be very empowering to complete a home improvement task. As she says, "Home Improvement = Self Improvement"

Room for Improvement : Change Your Home! Enhance Your Life! With Tools, Tips, and Inspiration from Barbara K!

Barbara's book, Room for Improvement, begins with a guide to tools. It explains what the tools are and what they do along with a picture of each. Then she gets into a variety of household projects starting with walls and floors and going through windows, plumbing, outdoor work and even some basic electricity.

There are a lot of Safety Notes and "Barbara's Best-kept secret" tips throughout the book. You will probably want to read the beginning and then browse through to find a particular project you want to tackle.

The 266 page book is worth having on your shelf as a reference when a quickie home repair is needed or you can't remember what a coping saw is used for. It will give you the basics you need to avoid Samantha's predicament.

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