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Melissa Gaglione, president Milwaukee safety4her.com
In 2018, Melissa Gaglione set out to create a solution to a problem she’d experienced firsthand as a woman working in the male-dominated towing industry: the high visibility safety apparel she was expected to wear at work didn’t fit properly.
Gaglione knew she was not alone. After doing some research, she found that some women in the towing, trucking and construction industries were actually getting injured on the job because their work clothes, designed for men, were too big and would get stuck on equipment or get in the way of movement.
Two years later, Gaglione sells her line of safety wear to women across the U.S. through her company, Safety4Her.
In 2019, the brand was first to market with a pair of reflective leggings. The elastic pants are high-waisted, anti-bacterial, water resistant, have multiple pockets, and are patent pending. The Safety4Her product line has since expanded to safety vests and, most recently, impact resistant gloves.
In its first year, Safety4Her generated $60,000 in wholesale revenue and was on track to reach $200,000 in 2020, but then the COVID-19 outbreak halted its overseas production and distribution.
Despite the interruption, the company later this month will come out with its second line of Class 2 safety vests, which are designed with more stretch in the hip area.
Ultimately, Gaglione hopes to inspire the next generation of women to pursue careers in the trades.
“My goal is to show girls that we can do anything,” she said. “There’s clothing that can fit you, that can be safe. This is not just a male-dominated industry anymore. There’s a lot of women who run these companies.”