After a career in operational management, Stacey Head was project managing and “flipping” Brisbane properties full time. Standing on a nail during a renovation project in Brisbane 6 years ago helped spark (another) new career direction for Stacey. Rather than just thinking; “If I had been wearing the right shoes that wouldn’t have happened”, she decided to do something about it and her company, she wear, was born.
The company is focused on purpose-designed footwear for women where compliant safety footwear is required or mandatory.
“After I had the accident, I searched for women’s safety footwear and all I could find were men’s boots in scaled down sizes. They were heavy, uncomfortable and just plain ugly.” Stacey said. “I ended up importing a pair of women’s boots and they fell apart in no time."
Stacey set about designing safety footwear specifically for women that performed the job well, were compliant and functional yet stylish and comfortable. She wear was launched to market in 2013 as a manufacturing e-commerce retail business.
The small boot-strapped business started from her home and quickly outgrew the space. She moved the business into a shop/office/warehouse in the Brisbane suburb of Northgate where she retails, warehouses her stock and runs the company. There are now 7 safety styles in 10 colours on offer and due to feedback from customers wearing she wear as a fashion accessory, she introduced 2 fashion lines without a safety toe, a range of rubber gum boots and also a junior range for kids.
From humble beginnings as a one-woman show Stacey now employs three staff and has over 50 outlets selling her products within Australia and New Zealand. She is also exporting globally, with plans to boost the international market. Also due to customer demand and requests, she wear now retails a full range of workwear and PPE designed to fit women correctly, comfortably and safely. She wear is now a multi award winning business including Stacey being named 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Australian Small Business Champion Awards and a 2018 Global Innovation Award for the Women to Watch in Business Disruption.
Stacey believes keys to her success have been listening to what her customers want and being an innovator in the market.
“She wear has come a long way since our launch. We are constantly updating our designs and using more advanced technologies in our footwear to ensure they are lightweight and comfortable. We design our styles from scratch specifically for women and gather feedback from our customers about what they want in their footwear. We manufacture one of the lightest women’s safety boots on the market and we use an anti leg and foot fatigue material in our most popular style and our customers love them!”