On April 20, Dovetail Workwear co-founders Kyle Marie Begley, Sara DeLuca and Kate Day provided entrepreneurial insights and talked with current and future occupational professionals about the tools they need to succeed at two renowned Oregon trades conferences.
SkillsUSA’s nationwide classroom career and technical education programming works to ensure America has a skilled and balanced workforce. Begley and DeLuca will judge the SkillsUSA State Conference in Clackamas, where 900 Oregon high school students will participate in various competitions to showcase learning in both hard trades skills, from welding and plumbing to commercial baking, and soft skills like public speaking and job interview techniques.
“Women make up half of SkillsUSA’s student members, proving that the growth of American trades lies in careers for all,” Begley said. “By observing these student’s talents, we can help motivate them to change the world, while learning what workwear will best benefit the young women who will build and create our future.”
Governor Kate Brown previously highlighted Dovetail as a top female-led business during Women’s Small Business Month. As the entrepreneurship contest judges, Begley and DeLuca will share advice on how they have built a meaningful business to serve women forgotten by traditional workwear.
“We asked Kyle and Sara to judge because they’re two of Oregon’s foremost female entrepreneurs who found a problem that no one had paid attention to and solved it,” said SkillsUSA Oregon’s state director Teresa Mankin. “There may be a student at the contest who doesn’t have a tool they need to succeed in the trades. We want to see them inspired to create their own solutions, just like Dovetail has.”
On the same day, co-founder Kate Day traveled to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) PNW 2018 Forum in Salem to share Dovetail's story, speak with established female construction professionals and help them find the perfect pair of work pants during a pop-up shop.
Founded in 1953, NAWIC has become a top force in enhancing the success of women in the construction industry. The PNW 2018 Forum seeks to provide Oregon members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service and workwear that allows women to work succeed in this sector.
“Being a woman in construction is tough enough. Why show up to a job site looking like I borrowed my brother’s clothes?” NAWIC Pacific Northwest region director Lauline Mitchell said. “Dovetail’s functional, flattering and durable workwear will benefit all NAWIC members.”
For Day, it was also an opportunity to talk directly with women in construction about their specific workwear needs.
“I always look forward to meeting a leading group of women changing the face of traditional occupations,” Day said. “I want to hear what they need in their workwear and what issues they’re most concerned about, both in their work apparel and in the larger occupational context of their field.”