Celebrating 10 Black Women & Men Making An Impact on the Atlanta Home Industry

By Wyndi Kappes
To celebrate Black History Month, My Home Improvement Atlanta is shining the spotlight on several Black designers, builders, and gardeners, who are leaving their mark on the home improvement industry.

Monet Masters & Tavia Forbes

Monet Masters and Tavia Forbes, Forbes + Masters

Helmed by acclaimed enterprising designers, Monet Masters and Tavia Forbes, Forbes + Masters is a full-service interior design team that specializes in curating the essence of you or your brand into custom-tailored residential and commercial spaces from coast to coast. A 2019 Tour of Kitchen & Bath Showrooms Influencer partner, you can see their tips from the tour here. Plus, follow them on Instagram at @forbesmasters to see their beautiful designs and stay up to date on the latest trends.



Myles Cardenas Standing in front of Construction Materials

Myles Cardenas, McKinley Homes and Edge + Hill 

As a kid, Myles Cardenas, 24, promised himself that one day he would design and build his own home, which led to pursuing a degree in construction management. The Kennesaw State University graduate was the recipient of the 2018 National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters One to Watch Award. Now, as a construction manager, his sights are set on offering affordable housing for low-income Atlantans. Read more about the My Home Improvement Rising Star here and stay current with Cardenas‘ latest ventures by following @emmceethree on Instagram.

Egypt Sherrod sitting on a couch

Egypt Sherrod, Egypt Sherrod Real Estate Group

HGTV show host, speaker, author, and powerhouse CEO, Egypt Sherrod‘sradio shows has been syndicated in more than 60 cities in the U.S.She’s also landed critically acclaimed interviews with Prince, Oprah, Tyler Perry and more. Sherrod takes her time to educate homeowners and homeowners-to-be by offering helpful tips and tidbits through her book, blog and social media platforms. See her 5 Renovation Tips to Boost Your Home’s Value here and visit EgyptSherrod.com for her book, blog, and more.

Joe Washington Horizontal

Joe Washington, Joe Washington Speaks 

During his many years in Atlanta, Joe Washington has been a news anchor and reporter, sports anchor, HGTV show host, corporate spokesman, and professional speaker. But the role the former “Groundbreakers” host enjoys most might be that of a do-it-yourselfer. A certified Master Gardener, Washington recently worked with the Atlanta Home Show as a presenter and spoke about aging in place and adaptive gardening. Read more about Washington here.

Beautiful, African American lady smiling in black and white striped blouse

Erika Ward, Erika Ward Interiors, LLC

Erika Ward, owner and principal designer of Erika Ward Interiors, LLC, specializes in educating homeowners on the benefits, both financial and intrinsic, of a well-designed home. Dubbed one to watch, Ward crafts timeless interiors, which have been seen in Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautifuland more. Read our latest article detailing her approach to global-inspired design here. You can also follow along with Ward on Instagram at @mrserikaward



Courtney Stewart at ribbon cutting

Courtney Stewart, Right Hand Foundation

In 2015, Courtney Stewartmusic manager forKhalid, Bobby V and others, founded the Right Hand Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to support women and children’s shelters and group homes in the Atlanta area through financial donations, mentoring programs, and more. Most recently, he made it his mission to invest in and revitalize College Park homes to make them comfortable, rent-free “havens” for single moms and their children. To read more about Stewart and the Right Hand Foundation, click here. You can also visit RightHandFdn.org to find ways to donate and volunteer.


Irene Kagika with toolbelt standing in front of house

Irene Kagika, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity

For over a decade, Irene Kagika has worked as a House Leader for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, responsible for the entire “build” of a Habitat house, including the crew. Now, she’s been promoted to a Repair with Kindness manager, in charge of rehabilitating homes in need of critical repairs throughout entire neighborhoods where the organization builds. Kagika has touched hundreds of lives through her work building and rehabbing homes and continues to selflessly give back to the community. To read more about Kagika’s life as a female construction manager in a mostly male-dominated field, check out our Women in Remodeling article here. You can also find ways to volunteer with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity by visiting AtlantaHabitat.org.
Jennifer Ward Woods and Barbar Elliot in black dresses

Barbara Elliott and Jennifer Ward-Woods, Decorating Den Interiors/The Sisters and Company

Throughout their 22 years in business, Barbara Elliott and Jennifer Ward-Woods have seen their brand, grow into a million-dollar design firm—all while maintaining a strong family bond. This award-winning designer duo has been featured multiple times as a winner of our Kitchen & Bath Designer contest and were recently a 2019 Tour of Kitchen & Bath Showrooms Influencer partner. You can see their award-winning project here and follow @thesistersnco on Instagram for even more design inspiration.
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