If 15 years ago you told Santa Clara small business owner Misha Homara she would be running her own construction company, she probably would not have believed you. After all, construction is a far cry from the career path she started on right out of high school.
“I actually started my career in Cosmetology. So, I was going to cosmetology school, the end of my senior year, and ended up graduating with my license,” said Homara.
Homara worked in a salon for two years, but in 2014, things changed. She got into a bad car accident and could not stand or sit for long periods of time. Suddenly, her cosmetology career was over with and Homara wasn’t sure what was next. Her father, Sean, had just started his own business, Tricore Panels, and invited her to join him part time, helping out in the office.
“I ended up joining him just part time. And it was working hand in hand with the office manager at the time,” said Homara. “I realized there was a lot of things that I saw that I can help the company and help my dad in a way.”
When the office manager retired, Homara took over full time. She helped build the structure of the company, all while going back to school for communications and media studies. Homara stepped into a safety and operations role and a few years later, she was invited to take over the company.
“I [felt] that I was able to make a lot of changes to number one, build this company up in a way that is culturally unique,” said Homara. “Our team, we love being together. We love working together. It’s a fun environment. And at the same time, allowing my dad to kind of step down and take on a role towards retirement.”
Some of those changes included bringing more women into the industry that she loves. Construction is a male-dominated industry and Homara has dedicated herself to changing that. She is a board member on the National Association of Women in Construction and helped organize the Bay Area’s Women in Construction week this past March.
It was through the event that she was able to bring in another one of her loves, cycling.
“I do cycling once a week. That’s what we did for our kickoff events. I actually taught the cycling class up in San Francisco and donated all the funds to the Grateful Garment Project,” said Homara. “They help victims of sexual violence and assault, kind of get out into the real world and help them go out to therapy and kind of get back on their feet.”
Homara says it was cycling that helped her find a new inspiration after her accident.
“[Cycling] was a huge, life-saving workout for me during my recovery of my back injury. I was the girl sitting in the back and kind of just riding along. And eventually, I was able to push myself to try the fun dancing and the choreography in there,” said Homara. “One day, one of the teachers pushed me to kind of push myself to teach…I tried it out. And I actually loved it. I think for me, I just really liked to empower others and help others see that nothing is really impossible.”
For Homara, everything seems to happen for a reason and she’s happy with where she is now, leading a construction company and helping to change an entire industry for the next generation of women.
“I just feel blessed and grateful to have had this opportunity,” said Homara. “I always say that like the plan changes, right? So, 16-year-old Misha thought I was going to do something totally different. In an awesome way life changed for me and I’m very grateful and blessed.”