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March 16, 2018
#WomensWork Feature: Martha Clifford
Written by Kate Racculia
Building a house is challenging enough. But finding a home? That’s where Martha Grubbs Clifford can help. Director of Marketing for local custom homebuilder Tuskes Homes, it’s Clifford’s job to listen to customers, and match them to the ideal home and community. Bethlehem is her community too: it’s her hometown, and she’s inspired by all the progress—and all the future potential—she sees in the area. “There are powerful, smart, creative women behind so much of its growth,” she says, citing the city’s flourishing arts and culture, and great restaurants and shops. “I love bragging about where I live!”
Even in a place you love, real estate and home building can be risky business. Clifford was laid off from her job of ten years when the real estate market turned in 2008. But she didn’t quit: in 2011, after taking time to enjoy becoming a new mother and explore other careers, she joined Tuskes Homes. Even with all the risks, she says, “there is no other industry I would like to work in.”
Risks—and loss—are also how we grow. “I am still a work in progress but I constantly whisper to myself to simply show up, worry less about being perfect, and not be afraid to fail,” she says. “Your biggest lessons, successes, and growth will come from failure.”
Her personal growth goals now include finding more time to get involved volunteering with her kids, who she hopes see her as an inspiring working mother, who’s “firm but always fun.” Professionally, she’d like to conquer her fear of public speaking. And she’ll be continuing to watch her home (and yours), and the people in it, grow and develop. To that end, she has some advice. “Have fun and be you,” she says. “Take care of yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other women. Find other women you identity with as role models and mentors. I think it is a very powerful time to be a woman; with the encouragement of other women, amazing things can happen.”