Meet Cara Brookins – an Arkansas-based mother of four who did something so extraordinary, it left thousands of people in awe. After abusive relationships, two marriages filled with violence, and being stalked by a man with a mental illness, “my kids and I needed something,” Cara said. “I felt ashamed and I was worried that they had no self-esteem and no confidence.” So, the woman set out for a fresh start for both her and her family. Unfortunately, Cara couldn’t afford a new house but that didn’t stop her. Instead, she decided to build one – on her own with zero experience and zero knowledge.


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It all started in 2007 when Cara spotted a tornado hit house with only the foundation left… “It made me think, ‘what if we bought some 2’x4’s and sheetrock and put that together? What would our dream house be? Would we want to build it?,’” Cara said. Her kids (then 2, 11, 15 and 17) were absolutely up for it, as after all the domestic violence, this was a way for them to improve their lives.

So, using a bank loan of $150,000 for materials, lots of Youtube tutorials, and team work – the family did it! They learned how to frame a house, pour a foundation, and before they knew it they had built a 3500 square foot house with five bedrooms, a three-car garage, a huge shop, and a two-story treehouse – and the family was stronger as ever! Cara and her family have been living in the ‘Inkwell Manor’ for the past eight years and she can bravely say her kids are “now fearless”. “They dive into anything. There’s nothing you could suggest to them that they could not do. it’s an incredible thing.”

You can read more about Cara and her family in her new book called ‘Rise’, which will be available to purchase through Amazon on January 24th.

More info: carabrookins.com | Amazon (h/t)

Meet Cara Brookins and her kids Jada, Roman, Drew and Hope

Image credits: Ashley Murphy

Cara has been in abusive relationships, two marriages filled with violence, and was stalked by a man with a mental illness – it affected the whole family

Image credits: Cara Brookins

“My kids and i needed something,” Cara said

Image credits: Cara Brookins

“I felt ashamed and I was worried that they had no self-esteem and no confidence…They had been powerless”

Image credits: Cara Brookins

So the whole family (kids aged 17, 15, 11, and 2 at the time) set out for a fresh start by building their own house, as they couldn’t afford buying one

Image credits: Cara Brookins

The only problem was they had zero knowledge and zero experience – but that didn’t stop them

Image credits: Cara Brookins

Using a bank loan of $150,000 for materials, lots of Youtube tutorials, and team work – the family did it

Image credits: Cara Brookins

While they learned how to frame a house

Image credits: Cara Brookins

How to pour concrete

Image credits: Cara Brookins

How to lay bricks

Image credits: Cara Brookins

And how to work together

Image credits: Cara Brookins

They also learned how to rebuild a broken family

Image credits: Cara Brookins

And before they knew it…

Image credits: Cara Brookins

They had built a 3500 square foot house with five bedrooms, a three-car garage, a huge shop, and a two-story treehouse

Image credits: Cara Brookins

And the family was stronger as ever

Image credits: Cara Brookins

Cara and her family have been living in the ‘Inkwell Manor’ for the past eight years

Image credits: Cara Brookins

 And she can bravely say her kids are “now fearless”

Image credits: Cara Brookins

“They dive into anything. There’s nothing you could suggest to them that they could not do. it’s an incredible thing”

Image credits: Cara Brookins

You can read more about Cara and her family in her new book called ‘Rise’, which will be available to purchase through Amazon on January 24th