This article is from our series on inspiring women in Revelstoke for International Women’s Day on March 8.
Three years ago Kim Remiraz traded in her daily makeup and hair routine for a pair of Carhartts and work boots.
After working in the beauty industry for 20 years, Remiraz said she had nothing left to give, so she went back to school to be an electrician.
“In Revelstoke options are kind of limited, you can get a university degree and still end up serving at a restaurant,” she said.
Talking to other women in the industry, she decided learning a trade would be the best way to go.
At 40, she was often the oldest in her class but now, during her fourth year, she said it’s not as weird as she thought.
“I’m really happy with my decision,” she said. “I didn’t want to have any regrets so I thought I would try it. I didn’t want to be saying when I was older, ‘I really wish I would have tried that.’ What’s the worst thing that happens? I quit and go do something else? Not the end of the world.”
Remiraz is apprenticing with Canyon Industrial Electric and plans to stay on with them as long as she is in Revelstoke. There are four other women who work for the company, which is almost unheard of, she said.
“I don’t know if it is the same everywhere but in Revelstoke it is an awesome place to be a woman in the trades.”
The pandemic has changed the classroom portion of the program.
In the last three years Remiraz would spend her 10 weeks in class at Okanagan College in Kelowna.
She stayed with her mom and step dad while there, saying it was nice to develop a relationship with them as an adult.
She took her third year final exam on Thursday, March 12, 2020. By the following Monday everything was shut down and now her classes are online, eight hours a day, which can be tough.
So far, what she likes most is the variety – different work sites, different people, always doing something different.
Though it’s a lot more math than she expected, she is doing well, despite failing the subject all through high school.
“It’s kind of funny,” she said.