This week’s Industry Person of the Week is Emily Soloby, Founder and COE of Juno Jones Safety Boots.
Q: How did you get started working in your field?
Emily: I started out as an advocate for domestic violence victims, which led me into the legal world. I practiced law for a few years as a legal aid attorney, helping women in divorce, child custody and abuse cases. After a few years I made a shift into the transportation industry, taking over a family business with my husband. We grew that business over a decade. During my years there, I’d often be running from office to job site, and could never find safety boots that I actually wanted to wear. The traditional ones I had were too clunky, and didn’t look good with my professional clothing. I had always been a boot lover, and had trained in shoemaking, so when the idea got into my head to start a new women’s safety footwear brand, it had to happen. I assembled a team and together we launched Juno Jones, The Stylish Safety Boot Company.
Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Emily: Although I am still involved with my transportation company, Juno Jones and our community and podcast Hazard Girls is my full time gig. The thing I love the most about it is the wider community of women working in nontraditional fields like construction, manufacturing, industry, engineering, and more. Even though I was already involved in the trucking and transportation communities, a new world of friendship and support was opened up for me when I met women in other male dominated fields. Through our Hazard Girls Podcast and Facebook community, as well as through other communities like Empowering Women in Industry, I get to work with so many amazing women every day. The inspiration and friendship never stop flowing!
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Emily: My number one piece of advice to women in these fields is to get your support system in place. That can include your family, your partner, your friends, but also your professional organizations and communities like Empowering Women in Industry, Empowering Pumps and Equipment, Hazard Girls, and many others. Put your hope and dreams out there, and you will find others who will encourage you, provide you with advice and connections, and help pick you up when you’re down.
Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Emily: My big project has been bringing the Juno Jones steel toe safety boots to market! Footwear is mostly dominated by a few big corporations, so breaking into the industry as a startup is no small task. We spent several years doing market research and developing our first style, the ASTM Certified Steel Toe Meti Boot. We worked closely with our customers, designers and production partners, creating and fit testing about a dozen prototypes before the Meti Boot was ready for production. We had to embrace each issue we encountered as a new challenge, and it was an exciting and satisfying journey. Now the Juno Jones Meti Boot has made it through production, and is in stock! It can be purchased through our website www.junojones.com.
Q: Anything Else you would like to add?
Emily: Don’t be afraid to throw yourself full throttle into something totally new, despite any naysayers. When we started talking to footwear industry professionals about creating Juno Jones, we were told that the footwear industry is too set in stone, there was no room for new categories, and that we wouldn’t be able to get our boots produced. We took that as a challenge and haven’t looked back. When somebody says something is impossible, that just means it’s impossible for them, so do your thing!
Connect with Emily on these social platforms!
THANK YOU, EMILY! WE LOOK FORWARD TO KEEPING UP WITH YOU THROUGH THE #PUMPTALK COMMUNITY!
KNOW AN AMAZING PERSON WHO IS MAKING VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS WITHIN INDUSTRY? NOMINATE THEM TO BE AN “INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE WEEK”!