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Meet Timberland PRO Ambassador Haley the Fabricator 

As a welder and fabricator, Haley Kontenis puts Timberland PRO gear to the test. Her professional opinion? It's up to the job.
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Ever since she can remember, Haley Kontenis has loved working with her hands. Her favorite childhood memories involve being outside, spending time playing with her cousins on her grandparents’ 5-acre property in Ontario, and riding dirt bikes with her dad and his friends. 

“I struggled in school, except for math, gym class, and auto,” the Timberland PRO ambassador recalled. High school auto shop was where she first learned about welding, from a female teacher who became one of her first mentors.

That class introduced her to general car maintenance, welding, plasma cutting, and sandblasting. And after a field trip to the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) center in Milton, Ontario, Kontenis knew she wanted to see where this path could take her. 

Haley wears the Hood Honcho Sport Hoodie and Gritman Bib Overall while working; (photo/Haley Kontenis)

Her first job after school was as a production rigger for a local company, learning to assemble and put in long, hard hours. She quickly discovered how challenging this field could be; standing just 5’2” tall, the physical aspect of the job wore Kontenis down, and after a year she thought about giving up and switching trades. Encouragement from a mentor helped her stick it out, and once she sought a new job as a welder fabricator, things started to click. 

Now, Kontenis is coming up on 5 years as a welder fabricator and she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. “I love having the ability to build and create new things that are helping build and develop the world around me,” she said.

Kontenis has built beams and columns for new homes, railings and cages for schools and businesses, tire-cutting machines that have been shipped all around the world for recycling companies, and carts and hangers for a company that builds aircraft landing gear. “Along with some of the coolest and biggest things I’ve built, I’ve also been able to fix things for small companies as well as being able to help those around me,” she added. 

Timberland PRO Footwear Is Built to Work

The welding world isn’t exactly chock full of women. Kontenis was lucky enough to find a strong female role model early on in high school, and she’s been using her growing platform (find her at @haleythefabricator on Instagram) to help inspire other women in her field.

Prior to wearing Timberland PRO’s women’s-specific workwear, Kontenis says most of the work clothes in her closet were ill-fitting men’s clothes. “It was one of the happiest days of my life when Timberland PRO reached out to me asking me to become an ambassador for the company,” she said. 

At the job site, Kontenis lives in her Timberland PRO 6″ Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boots; (photo/Haley Kontenis)

It’s no easy feat to find comfortable and protective women’s-specific workwear, so partnering with Timberland PRO was huge for Kontenis. Walking 6-10 miles per day and spending 10+ hours on her feet isn’t out of the norm for Kontenis, and the Women’s Direct Attach 6″ Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boots provide all the protection she needs, with crucial anti-fatigue technology to help keep her comfortable, hour after hour.

“They’re light but snug and comfortable in all the right areas,” she said. “I’ve never had any breaking or rubbing areas in them and that’s why I love them so much.”

Timberland PRO Workwear Performs

The Women’s Timberland PRO Hood Honcho Sport Hoodie is another daily driver, sturdy enough to get roughed up around machinery, but soft and cozy for all-day wear. “It’s warm and durable and that’s key when I’m out and about, especially in Canadian fall/spring weather,” said Kontenis.

Long hours on the job demand pants that are easy to move in, but don’t compromise protection, which is why the Women’s Timberland PRO Morphix Athletic-Fit Utility Pant are another favorite. “They fit so perfectly in all the right spots where men’s work pants just never do,” Kontenis added. Built with cotton-blend twill fabric and Timberland PRO Flex technology, they’re comfortable and unrestrictive for active days on the job. 

While Timberland PRO’s workwear plays a huge role in Kontenis’ comfort at work, plenty of Timberland PRO pieces work double duty when she’s off the clock. She’s logged plenty of hours at work in the Women’s Timberland PRO Gritman Bib Overall, a rugged canvas bib to throw on for an extra layer of protection, with plenty of tool loops and functional pockets to keep essentials close by. Plus, they’re ideal for house projects that need a little extra coverage to go all in on.  

The Women’s Timberland PRO Hypercore Insulated Jacket is an ideal insulated layer to throw on for chilly work days or weekends around town, with a cozy fleece lining and quilted insulation that ups the warmth without bulk (plus, it’s water-resistant). The Women’s Timberland PRO Morphix Jogger Pants are lighter than what Kontenis typically wears for a day on the job, but the breathable nylon and elastane fabric and tapered legs are ideal for adventures after hours. 

Off the clock, Haley enjoys a hike in the hills; (photo/Haley Kontenis)

Working Hard, and Playing Hard

One of the most rewarding parts of her job isn’t something she’s created, but rather someone she’s helped along the way. Earlier this year, Kontenis spent a few months training a co-op student that was also a good friend of hers as she’s begun her own path in welding.

“I’ve been able to teach her what I know in hopes that she can fast track and skip all the mistakes I had to learn the hard way,” Kontenis said. “Teaching her to weld and fabricate was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my career.”

Outside of work, Kontenis loves to travel, camp with friends and family, and see concerts. She also loves dressing up for Halloween photoshoots with her friends, a tradition each year. But sometimes, long work weeks can catch up to her, and she spends the day at home, gardening or curling up with a good book. Her dream is to have her own garage, so she can work on metal projects for fun, like she used to do when she was first learning about the trade. 

Still, even the best workwear in the world can’t change how hard welding and fabricating is. But for Kontenis, the challenge is what keeps her coming back day after day, along with the motivation to empower other young women to get into the trades. 

“With hard work comes great rewards — I know it will continue to be a very hard and challenging career, but that’s what makes it feel so rewarding.”

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