Introduce yourself! Who are you? My name is Judaline Cassidy and I am a Feminist Plumber.
Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career? I certainly knew that I wanted to be a superhero like Wonder Woman. That didn’t happen so I figured I could be a Lawyer.
Even that choice didn’t become a possibility because my great grandmother died and plumbing became my new way out. I wanted to save myself because I knew that I was the only person that could do it.
Were you scared to start the process? I don’t think I was scared back when I was a young girl. I was driven to succeed and that lives and is a part of who I am. Fear is a learned behavior that attaches to you as you get older so, I make a conscious decision to fight through it to accomplish whatever I’m scared of. It’s not always easy. Starting Tools & Tiaras’ was terrifying because I knew it was going to be a lot of work but, here I am making it happen one day at a time.
What were some reasons you became an activist? I think that I have always been an activist since I was a little girl. I grew up in the islands, Trinidad and Tobago. At that time girls and women were encouraged to be homemakers, that never sat well with me.
Why is it important for others to get involved? It’s really important for others to get involved and invested in what’s happening in their communities and the world at large. Someone before you and I cared enough to put up a valiant resistance and make changes that we inherited and live a privilege from.
I walk life free as a black, immigrant woman and enjoy my union salary because women like Lucy Parsons and Dolores Hut cared. Now it’s my duty to do the same.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Once I was considering a job offer and I would have had to take a loss in salary to follow my passion and my friend told me “As a woman, we must stop taking less money for jobs because we are passionate about them! You are worth every dollar you’re asking for.” That resonated with me so now show me the money and pay me what I’m worth.
What would you say to 16 year old you? I would tell her to love her self. She’s beautiful and should live in the now. She’s going to be an awesome Plumber one day. And by the way, wear the two-piece bathing suit and take lots of pictures because you are going to regret not doing it. Trust me.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel? As a woman that’s 4 foot 11, 7 out of 8 people are always doubting me but I use that negative energy and burn it as fuel in my positive engine.
During my plumbing apprenticeship, I was told, “you’re never going to last,” sometimes I believed them and wanted to quit.
Many people didn’t like the name Tools & Tiaras when I was beginning T&T, I ignored them and now that’s the first thing people say to me, “ Oh I love that name.”
What message do you think every woman should hear? That you hold the power to change the world one victory at a time and revolution requires you.
Have you always had confidence in yourself? No, I didn’t always have confidence in myself. I didn’t like or even want to be me. I built it up over time. Now I walk in every room knowing that I belong and my presence is adding value.
What do you love most about yourself? What I love about myself is my strong will and captivating smile.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity? As a woman of color adversity is a shadow that follows and hovers over me. That being said I have found peace in co-existing and triumphing like a Boss.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way? The only constant in life is change.
What motivates you most? Hope! That is what motivates and surges me forward. That every action I’m taking will have a benefit for someone else.
How do you manage your work-life balance? I heard this once from an amazing woman that I was on a panel with, Carol Lugg. She said, “don’t balance, blend.”
This is how I navigate the two.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward? I’m a very ritualistic person, I function better with routines. Every morning when I wake up I exhale gratitude that I’m above ground for another day and ask the creator to use me to make someone’s day better.
I make up my bed and meditate on most days.
Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you? I have many mentors. I’m constantly learning from my tribe of sisters that I don’t have to face my struggles, disappointments, and victories alone. I still struggle with asking for help but they hold me accountable.
What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you? That despite growing up on an island surrounded by water, I only recently learned how to swim.