Female Leader Conversations Feature Stacey Head Founder & Managing Director she wear Australia said, “She wear empowers girls and women to fulfil their aspirations and disregard what is considered the norm or tradition.”
A rusty nail through the foot inspired Stacey Head to start she wear in 2013. Her growth has been phenomenal, with she wear now Australia’s largest supplier of safety footwear, workwear and PPE for women. The business also trades internationally, and has plans to continue to expand globally.
Stacey was named 2018 Global Innovation Award Winner by Women2Watch in Business Disruption and 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards.
UNIQUE SELLING POINT
How has she wear achieved television exposure and international success?
We are the only female founded and led Australian safety footwear company and we are also the only company manufacturing and retailing safety footwear just for women. Our competitors are all large companies who focus on the men’s market and don’t see women as a priority. We design our footwear around feedback and comments from our customers and we focus on the comfort and fit specifically for women.
We’ve designed and manufacture one of the lightest safety boots on the market. That was produced around hard working women wanting a lightweight, comfortable boot, especially when on their feet all day. We also don’t believe in selling just our brand product. she wear have a strong ethic and believe in empowering girls and young women to fulfil their aspirations and disregard what is considered the norm or tradition. We love telling our customers’ stories and believe motivating and inspiring women is just as important as our products.
KNOW YOUR MARKET
What decisions have you made to grow the business?
What started out purely as a boot strapped, home based start up with just 2 footwear styles has now grown into a full one stop workwear and footwear company for women. Our growth has been quite organic as we heard customers complain about ill fitting, heavy footwear and ill fitting, unsafe workwear.
she wear now manufacture and retail 7 safety footwear styles in 10 colours, 3 fashion leather boot options, 5 gum boot styles, a collection of socks, boots for kids and we retail a full range of workwear and PPE all designed specifically for women. We have the ethos we will not stock unisex clothing. Everything in our online and bricks and mortar store is designed specifically to fit women.
How did you transition from domestic sales to exporting?
We’ve been exporting our products for quite a few years now and the transition was easy. We have our most popular international destinations set up on our website and customers from all over the world can automatically purchase and receive their order within 1 week. Social media certainly assists in spreading the message to all corners of the world! It is definitely a growth focus for us.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
What is your advice to business owners?
As a small business in an extremely competitive industry, we have so many challenges! Growth, costs, competition and brand awareness would be our greatest challenges. Being a small business in an industry dominated by large multi-national companies can be very overwhelming.
However, with risk comes reward and it’s personally and professionally satisfying when a thought or idea becomes a reality. Do your research and due diligence but ensure to trust your gut instincts. If it feels right and the figures stack up, go for it! Small business is hard work. It takes perseverance, resilience and dedication. Be true to yourself and ignore the naysayers. Never ever copy. Be innovative and be different. Enjoy the ride, and what a ride it will be!