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My Path and Startup Story: Juno Jones Safety Footwear by Emily Soloby

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

I was an entrepreneur at an early age, from selling plants in front of my house when I was about 6 years old (yes, I had dug them up from my mom’s garden) to selling up-cycled vintage t-shirts outside of concert venues in Philly when I was in high school (they were super cute). In college I took Women’s Studies, and I knew I wanted to help women in some way, so I ended up going to law school and then working as a nonprofit lawyer for women and children. But when a relative announced he wanted to retire from his small truck driving school, my entrepreneurial streak rose up again.

My husband and I set to work learning everything we could about the truck and heavy equipment training industry, and bought the company. At the same time that we took a leap of faith buying a truck driving school, we also discovered I was pregnant with our first child.

In those early days of running the company, our baby and our giant dog would come to work with us. Our dog Sidney’s favorite thing was getting snuggles from the students, and running full speed around the trucks on our driving range.

As we grew our company, we began to win training contracts with the military and large corporations. This called for business meetings and I was usually in a suit and heels. One day, I was happily working in my high heels when a client called a meeting out on the dusty driving range. While Sidney loved it there, my shoes didn’t. I could have changed into work boots, but they would have looked ridiculous with my outfit, so I opted to keep the heels on. What a mess. They were in shreds.

Later, when I went online to buy attractive safety boots, I realized there was nothing I liked. I began talking to other professional women in similar fields, and I soon discovered I wasn’t alone in being unable to find beautiful boots that also had safety features. Women in manufacturing, engineering, architecture, real estate, chemistry and many other fields were in need of shoes that could take them from office to job site.

As the owner of a business in a field that was not traditionally populated by women, supporting women in these types of jobs was a passion of mine. I realized that by creating comfortable, chic, protective footwear for women in non-traditional fields, we could do our part to help normalize the idea of women in these jobs. Thus Juno Jones Safety Footwear was born.

I spent the next few years learning everything I could about the footwear industry, even studying shoemaking and making my own shoes by hand. I assembled a team and we interviewed hundreds of women to learn about their footwear needs. Working with an amazing designer, fashion industry mentors, and podiatrists, we developed a stunning first style for our Kickstarter launch, which will be coming in 2019. Right now we are vetting factories and hope to have our first prototype in the next couple of months! Once the boots are perfected, we’ll get to work on a photoshoot and setting a Kickstarter launch date. We can’t wait to show you and we hope you love them.

For more information on Juno Jones Shoes:

Instagram: @junojonesshoes @emilysoloby

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