At Xena Workwear we design and manufacture fashionable steel toe boots for women in STEM and the trades. I started this company out of my own frustration, working in a manufacturing environment for many years where the only options were ugly, bulky work boots. What you wear has a major impact on your self-confidence, which in turn impacts a number of other job-related factors, including performance, promotability and long-term career success. I knew that a more versatile category of workwear was needed that defines the intersection of safety and fashion.
Just a few days ago on August 26th, we celebrated Women’s Equality Day. Our society has come a long way but there’s a lot of work ahead to make sure that women feel confident, comfortable, and welcome in historically male-oriented fields. We don’t necessarily need to reach equal numbers of men and women in every industry but I’m convinced we can do better than having 15% of women in Engineering.
I was equally shocked to find out that only 2.2% of VC capital is given to female founders and feel incredibly fortunate to have just received a portion of that small percentage. With that encouragement, I have big plans to create products that women have been patiently waiting for. The tired concept of “shrink it and pink it” is over. Women deserve something better than a smaller version of a man’s workboot with a splash of stereotypically feminine colors.
We offer solutions
That’s why we wanted to make a bold statement with our first product, the Gravity low-cut boot. Its fashion-forward design pairs well with professional attire, giving women the opportunity to express themselves. We have received such positive feedback from our early customers that we are expanding the Gravity portfolio. A wide version with Static Dissipative properties is in the works with a planned release date in October. Ladies in the Chemical and Chip Manufacturing industries have been asking for this since we first launched and we are thrilled to be able to meet their needs so quickly!
We’re also developing a new design, the Omega, that will have a lower heel, full ankle coverage, and Electrical Hazard protection. This will be an ankle bootie with special appeal to women in heavy industry and construction. Their ideas directly contributed to the final design and we can’t wait to release it this Fall.
The best thing about building this brand are the uplifting messages I receive from women all over the country.
“These shoes are a game changer!”
“I’ve been looking for something like this for forever – THANK YOU!”
When you open your inbox to that, you know you’re doing something meaningful.
Working for a cause
I couldn’t accomplish this amazing mission alone and I’m so lucky to have an amazing team and an equally awesome group of investors including our lead investor Ezra Galston from Starting Line and Ginger Rothrock from HG Ventures. We’re building something special and everyone is bought in on the vision to empower women and inspire the next generation of girls going into STEM and the trades.Xena will always be a brand that is solely focused on the needs of women. “For women, by women” is not a gimmicky slogan, it’s a commitment to create workwear for our foot shapes, body types, and specific use cases. I will continue listening to the needs of the inspirational women that are shaping the future of these traditionally male-centric fields. I promise to deliver the tools they need to break down barriers and I invite everyone to join me on this journey.