When Ana Kraft worked in the manufacturing world, she often had change from office shoes to work boots that did not fit so well before going onto the manufacturing floor. This set Kraft apart from her male counterparts and left her unsatisfied with the existing work boot options, which she found uncomfortable, unprofessional and unappealing.
“How you present yourself and what you’re wearing has a major impact on your self confidence,” she said. “It’s already an uphill battle for women to fit into certain industries and a lack of confidence caused by awful workwear is an unnecessary barrier. Professional women deserve to feel their best on the job.”
Kraft later founded Xena Workwear, which offers products designed for women in construction, manufacturing, engineering, architecture and other trades. Its first model was the Gravity Safety Shoe, which was a low-cut product with a steel toe that was designed to be stylish and functional. This October, the company will launch the Nova EH Safety Riding Boot and the Everywhere Blazer.
“As a company, we differentiate ourselves because we listen closely to our female customers and respond to what they’re looking for.”
According to the company, the Riding Boot is a first-of-its-kind steel-toed shoe which hits a few inches below the knee for extra coverage. It also has a low heel with a slip-resisting outsole and electrical hazard certification. The Blazer, however, meets the needs of women of STEM and the trades by giving the functionality of a utility jacket and the look of a professional blazer, which is appropriate for meetings, facility visits and extended travel.
“As a company, we differentiate ourselves because we listen closely to our female customers and respond to what they’re looking for,” Kraft said “Based on their feedback, we’ve introduced a bootie with ESD certification, introduced the Omega style, which has a lower heel and higher ankle coverage, added more sizing options and colors, developed models in vegan leather and in the coming months, will offer a fashionable safety boot with metatarsal protection.”