What is Xena Workwear?
Xena Workwear makes stylish safety shoes & work apparel that empower women in STEM and the trades to feel confident in any workplace. Designed for women by women, Xena products combine function with fashion so professionals in demanding environments can express their style without compromise.
The birth of the company
Ana Kraft, Xena's founder and CEO, was born in Kazakhstan and moved to Germany with her family when she was 10 years old. She earned a bachelor's degree in International Project Engineering from Reutlingen University and, after graduating, moved to work in the United States as a project engineer.
As part of her work in the manufacturing world, Ana regularly went from a meeting room to the manufacturing floor but, unlike her male counterparts, had to excuse herself to change from office shoes into bulky work boots that never fit quite right. For Ana, the existing work boot options were uncomfortable, unprofessional, and unappealing. She founded Xena Workwear, and after exhaustive research, design, prototyping, and development, launched her first steel-toe model in May 2019.
About the company
The Gravity Safety shoe was its first shoe and features a feminine design that doesn't compromise safety or functionality. It is ASTM-certified, OSHA-compliant, and resistant to impact, compression, oils, chemicals and slips.
Ana and her team expedited and hand-delivered the very first pair of the Gravity safety shoe to a woman who desperately needed her zip-up Xenas following shoulder surgery- the resulting limited mobility prevented her from tying the laces of her regular work boots. Jenn Kovac, an advanced manufacturing engineer at GE Healthcare, knew that the Xena Gravity steel-toes had convenient zippers to solve her problem but noticed that pre-orders were not ready to ship. So she reached out to Ana on Facebook to see if anything could be done. She shared that she'd be flying into Milwaukee on Friday evening and hoped to meet with Ana over the weekend. The Xena team knew right away that they needed to help. A plan was hatched and put in motion to surprise Jenn with her pair of Xena safety booties at the airport!
This unforgettable first delivery meant the world to our customer, but it was just as meaningful to the Xena team. Her delight reinforced the importance of listening to customers and establishing a human connection with them. In an e-commerce world filled with digital coldness, it's more important than ever to have genuine and personal moments.
About the team
Amazingly, Xena Workwear consists of only four employees. Ana's husband, Dmitry, serves as the chief operating officer and manages shipping. The company's social media, customer experience and design expert, is Hayley Albright, and Eugene Furman is the marketing and brand coordinator. This small but mighty team has cultivated a dedicated following that's fallen in love with the comfort and safety of Xena's apparel.
Xena plans to continue to grow by expanding its offering, launching the first metatarsal work boot, a functional blazer that's machine-washable and has pockets for PPE, and a clasp for the jewelry you always have to remove to go into a factory. They also have a larger focus on developing products for women in construction and food production. And as Xena forges ahead, Ana is committed to helping women in ways beyond their footwear.
Check them out: https://xenaworkwear.com/
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