Ashley O’Neil is a wildland firefighter in British Columbia. She says they had a helluva season in 2021.
But not only was Ashley fighting fires, running into the flames as others were running out, but she has been growing her business, AshFireWear
When Ashley started firefighting several years ago, she was one of only a few females fighting fires in her region. There were no companies that made firefighting clothing, specifically designed for women. Now that more women have entered the field and after coming home from a particularly challenging tour a few years ago, Ashley realized that not only was her clothing ill fitting but it also felt unsafe.
So she started to research. And as a proud indigenous woman, a member of the Ktunaxa First Nation, she thought, I have aunties who can sew…
It took her a few years, and she was sidelined a little bit with the COVID-19 pandemic, but she’s been moving forward with a line of clothing not only for firefighters but also for folks working in the mining industry. AshFireWear isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone. And it’s environmentally friendly.
At one point, I asked Ashely what compelled her to take up such a noble career as firefighting and she was quite open in saying that in the past, she got into an unhealthy lifestyle and got tired of waking up hungover, so she decided to enter the career and she hasn’t looked back.
AshFireWear is soon expanding into a line of undergarments, specifically designed for her target customers.
Vancouver Sun article
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