When Hurricane Harvey struck Houston in August 2017, Jane Henry, her husband and two young daughters were left stranded in their flooded home.
“Our house was wrecked. We lost our clothes and our cars,” recalls Henry.
Volunteers helped them in the immediate aftermath of the storm. “But after that we were on our own,” she said.
So for the next four months, Henry donned a pair of construction gloves and started filling up dumpsters with debris from inside and around the house.
Physically, she was prepared for the work. Henry, who is now 41, was a Division 1 golfer at the University of Arkansas and had stayed in shape since.
It was the gloves that let her down.
“I tossed a large piece of board into the dumpster and one glove went flying off. My hand slammed between the board and the dumpster,” she recalls.
The gloves, which she bought from the local hardware store, were the correct size. But because they were a unisex cut, there was still an extra inch of space between the tip of her fingers and the tip of the glove.
As an athlete, Henry knew well how ill-fitting clothing or the wrong size equipment could impede performance. So she tore apart her gloves and restitched them to correctly fit her hands.
Other women started noticing her “customized” construction gloves when she would visit the hardware store and would ask where she got them.
That’s when Henry realized there was a need for workwear made specifically for women in commercial, industrial and emergency response jobs, like plumbers, electricians and EMTs.
“What’s available right now is unisex workwear, but it’s really designed for men. This creates a safety issue for women,” she says.
A few months later, in January 2018, she launched her women’s workwear company SeeHerWork.
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