DETROIT, MI / ACCESSWIRE / November 22, 2022 / Ana Kraft has emerged as a developing pioneer of women’s safety shoes with her company, Xena Workwear. The company specializes in making safety footwear and work apparel that fits the needs of women in STEM, trades, and other demanding industries. With a growing number of women pursuing these non-traditional careers, including manufacturing, it is important that these women are able to access safety workwear that’s designed for them.
Ana was inspired to launch Xena Workwear out of her frustration with the clunky safety shoes she was required to wear as a project engineer in manufacturing. Her steel-toe boots were too bulky, didn’t fit quite right, were impossible to pair with professional outfits, and didn’t make Ana feel safe or confident at work. She soon realized that this was an industry wide problem that affected other women around her.
Commenting on this, Kraft said, “Safety footwear companies followed the “shrink it and pink it” approach by designing boots for men and then simply shrinking those models down to fit women. Unfortunately these companies either failed to take into account or worse yet ignored the fact that women’s feet are anatomically different from men’s. Every female engineer I met complained that safety boot options were uncomfortable, unappealing, and did not match their business attire. I felt that someone would step up to solve this problem, but when no one did, I decided to do it myself.”
To minimize the risk of injury, safety boots are required on many job sites across industries like manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, construction, etc. However, when women are forced to wear ill-fitted work boots that don’t look professional, they start feeling less confident.
Kraft says, “What you wear has a major impact on your self-confidence, which affects other job-related factors including performance, chances for promotion, and long-term career success. I talked extensively to women who worked in industrial settings to identify their pain points and specific footwear needs that have been ignored for decades. There was no shoe on the market with a superior fit, safety credentials, and a professional look that could go from the boardroom to the facility floor. Versatility was lacking. Women wanted a boot that gives them the freedom to walk anywhere. Inspired by this feedback, I set-out to engineer a safety boot women could be proud of. It took years of prototyping and testing to perfect a design that fit great and that passed the rigorous American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) certification.”
Xena Workwear launched its first steel-toe model, the Gravity Safety Shoe, in May 2019. This functional bootie looked like nothing else on the market without compromising on performance. It was designed from the ground-up to fit women’s feet in all sizes. Just months after her successful launch, Ana secured venture financing which helped her expand product range to address the unmet needs of women in construction, architecture, real estate, and heavy industries. Due to their unmatched versatility, women outside of STEM soon started wearing Xenas while riding motorcycles, going to concerts, and doing house projects. Today Xena Workwear delivers seven unique safety shoe models and two high-utility blazers to women all over the world.
Kraft has lofty goals for Xena Workwear. “We want to build a sustainable brand that will empower generations of women to come. We are not afraid to push boundaries of design while keeping high safety standards and leveraging new developments in material science. Our driven team of self-starters believes that we can contribute to the solution to bridge the STEM gap – one empowering product at a time.”
About Xena Workwear
Xena Workwear is a women-owned company that makes stylish and functional safety shoes for women in STEM and the trades.
Name: Ana Kraft
SOURCE: Xena Workwear
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