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Who Am I: Barbie The Welder
Company: Barbie The Welder
Current Position: HBIC (head bitch in charge)
Years at Current Position: 6.5yrs.
Location: Erin, NY, USA
Barbie The Welder is an American metal sculptor from Erin, NY who has inspired and taught thousands of people to weld art through her three books, her YouTube channel, and her metal art welding kits.
Barbie has designed and created sculptures for major corporations and exclusive clients in 15 countries.
Describe a typical day at work.
I’m an artist, there’s no such thing as a typical day at work!
I wake up at 5 am and work on social media for 2 hours, posting content and interacting with supporters on TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and by 7am or 8am I’m in the shop creating. Because each sculpture I create is one of a kind there are no blueprints so I do a lot of problem solving, working and then sometimes cutting stuff apart to get the look I want.
I get done in the shop between 5-6 pm and answer emails, do interviews, and am back on social media for another hour or so responding to supporters and creating content.
Describe a current job-related responsibility which keeps you on your toes, daily.
Sculpture!! Designing and creating one of a kind sculptures that push my skills past what I feel I’m capable of on a daily basis pushes me and keeps me on my toes!
As a woman, tell us the most challenging hurdle you’ve had to overcome while climbing the professional ladder?
My self-esteem/self belief has been my greatest hurdle I’ve had to overcome in my life, personally and professionally. Believing I was capable of achieving the huge dreams I had for myself when I and others doubted me.
When met with discouragement, how do stay focused and/or prevail?
Fuck You Fuel. I think of everyone who has ever doubted me, told me I can’t, or tried to hold me back and I use the energy from my anger to fuel my success.
Being assertive is considered an asset in business. As a woman, how do you balance the need to be your own champion with the stigma associated with the term, when it’s applied to women?
I guess I’ve never thought of there being a stigma. I unapologetically own who I am. I am absolutely assertive and go after what I want, how else can you give yourself the life you want and deserve?
Someone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. What was your one BIG professional mistake, and what did you learn?
My biggest learning experience in my business was not honoring my art. In the beginning of my career (first 3.5 years as a full time artist) I didn’t honor my art, value the time, creativity, and hard work that went into creating my art. I come from a very poor financial mentality, so to put a price tag on scrap metal I turned into art was a great challenge and for a few years I was almost giving away my art. After I worked on my self esteem it dawned on my one day I was not honoring myself, my art, or my time by putting $35 on something it took me two days to make.
Today I deeply honor myself, my time, and my art. I only take commissions that I’m madly in love with, commissions that if I was to die and that was the last thing I ever made would I be proud of it. I also charge prices that honor my time and my art.
Career defining moment, to-date.
Being an artist has deeply blessed my life with so many defining moments over the last 6.5 years that it’s absolutely mental to think of!! I’ve made 2 sculptures for Harley Davidson, welded live at SEMA in the Miller Welders booth, been interviewed by Maria Shriver on the Today Show, been featured in an ad campaign for the Cotton Industry, was commissioned by the American Welding Society to create a sculpture, presented sculptures to clients live on stage at a Jackyl concert twice, written and published 6 books, but the most defining moment for me in my career was creating my first true masterpiece sculpture. When I decided to be a sculptor I was on welfare, deeply depressed, in a bad marriage, living in the projects, had zero artistic abilities, and had never welded, but I was struck with a moment of pure knowledge from the Universe that that’s what I was meant to do. I had to overcome insurmountable odds to start creating art, but several years later when I finished my first masterpiece, a 5 foot tall angel, I showed myself and the world that nothing is impossible. I now have her tattooed on my arm.
Words of wisdom you received from a mentor;you’d like to pay forward?
Be a rhino. Grow 2” thick skin so nothing bothers you and charge down all your dreams and goals. (From the book Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander)
If you switched career paths tomorrow, what would you do?
Astronaut or scientist who explores deep ocean creatures!
What piece of advice would you share with women keen to follow in your footsteps?
You’re not a princess in a Disney movie, no one is coming to rescue you, it’s up to you to rescue your damn self!!
Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years from now?
Creating the most incredible sculptures in the world in a much larger shop! I’ll have inspired millions of people to follow their dreams and live a life that inspires them! I’ll have taught millions of people how to weld art and support themselves and their families doing something they love. I’ll be the highest paid sculptor in the world. I’ll have a tv show supporting the trades and showcasing the welding industry through art. I’ll have written at least 4 more how to weld art books. I’ll have a foundation that donates millions of dollars of art supplies into low income after school programs so kids can create art to express themselves.
Famous words or motto you live by:
Make each day your masterpiece!
Fill in the blank:
I came. I saw. I created with love.
Morning person, or night owl?
Favorite workout, or best way to blow off steam?
What’s on your music playlist at the moment?
Netflix & chill or a good book?
Hobbies outside of work?
Travel and adventure.
Best motorsport documentary or movie of all time. Days of Thunder. Rush. Ford vs Ferrari. Other?
Ford vs Ferrari.
Name a hidden talent?
I can make my stomach growl and make fart noises on my armpits and knee pits😎
If you won the lottery, what’s the first extravagant gift you’d purchase yourself?
A bigger shop.
Most embarrassing moment?
High school 🤣
Name a pet peeve:
Name someone famous who would play you in a movie:
If you could invite only three people to dinner, who would they be and what topic would you discuss?
Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, & Dolly Parton and I would ask them how can I think bigger, serve more people, and honor my art more?
Charities or Causes you support:
Anything to do with our Military women and men.
How do we connect with you online?