Entrepreneur: Jaime Glas
Photography by Brian Baiamonte
POSITION Founder and owner
WHAT THEY DO Upscale women’s brand of flame-resistant clothing and safety wear
NEXT GOALS Secure corporate accounts to expand product availability
From the moment Jaime Glas put on her first fire-resistant coveralls—required safety wear for a petroleum engineering internship with Chevron in Bakersfield, California—she saw an opportunity to cater to the needs of female engineers in a male-dominated industry. “They handed me a huge monkey suit and called it unisex,” Glas recalls. “I thought, ‘Why aren’t there women’s brands and men’s brands for this clothing that you have to wear all the time?’” Having identified a potentially unmet need, Glas resolved to one-day save up enough money to launch her own line of fire-resistant clothing that would be safe, comfortable, stylish and flattering for women.
After graduating from LSU in 2014 with a degrees in petroleum engineering as well as international trade and finance, Glas’s job again required her to wear fire-resistant clothing, so she began investing time and money into launching a line of work wear for women. It took a year just to research the safety requirements and another three for designing, making samples and selecting a manufacturer. “When you think of work wear, it is all rugged and manly looking, but after doing research on the clothing, there is no reason it can’t look like normal fashion trends.” Finally, in January, Glas opened for business selling her safety clothing line, HauteWork, online.
Each month since launching her specialty clothing line, Glas has watched her sales double. She attributes her early success to strong word-of-mouth advertising as more women wear her work suits in the field. HauteWork sells a variety of jumpsuit styles, pants, shirts, hats and even steel toe shoes in a wide selection of colors, cuts and features, everything from zippers and pockets to hoods and collars. This summer, Glas will make the jump from a one-woman show to two, hiring a friend who has long supported her vision to help with sales and focus on establishing corporate accounts with oil and gas, petrochemical and related service companies.
TURNING UP THE HEAT
Glas has recently received inquiries from nearly two dozen investors or firms interested in HauteWork. While she’s met with a handful of them, she’s focused on learning more about the market demand for her product, updating her business plan and ultimately deciding where outside investment might fit in to her overall growth strategy. Her lifelong interest in fashion and knowledge of the industry—combined with strategic support from the Louisiana Business and Technology Center and a former Chevron executive who has become a strong female mentor—makes Glas feel that she is uniquely positioned to transform women’s work wear in the years to come.