Go to content

Creative Sparks: From Florist to Welder

In welding, inspirational stories like Maria Höök's illustrate bravery and dedication. Transitioning from florist to mechanic workshop, Maria's journey exemplifies the transformative power of passion. As a Swedish welder in the mechanic and hydraulic industry, her career underscores the vital importance of workplace safety.

A Leap of Faith and a Flourishing Career

Maria Höök's journey as a welder began with a desire for change. After spending years working in a florist shop, she decided to explore a completely new path that would allow her to express her creativity and work with her hands. In her own words, Maria reflects on her decision, "I got bored from working in a florist shop and decided to try something new. I wanted to work with my hands and do something creative, so I looked around for education to learn a new craft."

This search led her to a welding school, where Maria found a medium that allowed her to combine her love for gardening and her newfound interest in welding. This union of passions sparked a fire within her, ultimately paving the way to a flourishing career.

The Diverse and Fulfilling Role of a Welder

As a welder in a mechanic and hydraulic workshop, Maria Höök's work is diverse and multifaceted. Her workplace specializes in repairing machines and vehicles, along with executing custom projects that involve constructing unique materials and products for clients. From crafting parts for house constructions to creating steel beams, pillars, and custom vehicle components, Maria's skills are put to the test daily.

"My work is very diverse, which allows me to practice most of the common welding techniques on a daily basis," Maria explains. This diversity keeps her engaged and constantly improving her skills, as each project brings new challenges and opportunities for growth.

Maria Höök

Welder and entrepreneur. Follow Marias inspiring and exciting journey on her Instagram - kvinnligsvetsare

Maria's Instagram

Safety as the Cornerstone

In the welding industry, safety is of utmost importance. Maria understands this and takes significant precautions in her practice to maintain a safe work environment. Regular equipment maintenance, clearing the workspace of flammable materials, and utilizing proper safety gear are just a few measures she takes to protect herself and those around her.

What personal protective gear that you consider essential for your welding work, and from what type of injuries do they keep you protected?
-The strong UV light is a danger both for the eyes and the bare skin. The light is so strong that it easily creates burns. Therefore we use helmets with eye protection and we cover all bare skin with protective clothing. Heat and burning sparks are always occurring and obviously a danger to every part of your body. Again, the helmet, clothing, welding gloves and safety shoes are a must to protect yourself from that.

The hands are the most exposed to the heat which is why high quality safety gloves are crucial. And they need to be specially designed for welding with long sleeves and thick high quality leather.

Welder boots play a special important role in my workday too.
It protects my feet from burning sparks, but also from crushing injuries when heavy objects might drop on them. And last but not least, a good shoe provides support for my feet, back and basically my entire body throughout the day. Being a welder means being on your feet during the entire day. And that will quickly be tiring to your whole body if you use low grade shoes.

Strong levels of noise and hazardous smoke are two more risks to take in consideration. For that we use ear protection and a respiratory mask or portable smoke extraction devices.


Have you encountered any close calls or incidents during your career that made you realize the importance of safety precautions in welding?
- One time I was using a grinding machine, and at one point the machine slipped and did a recall up and back and hit my head. Luckily I was wearing my welding helmet with a full facial cover. If it wasn't for the helmet, that grinder would have hit my forehead.

Another time I had lifted a 6m long beam with the overhead crane. While I was lowering the beam, I miscalculated the distance and got my foot underneath it. The safety shoe took the hit and the most damage. Had I not been wearing those boots my foot would have been crushed. I got away with some pain. These two events have taught me to never compromise safety.

A Driving Force for Change

Maria Höök's impact extends beyond her work as a skilled welder. She actively advocates for more inclusive and supportive workplace cultures, particularly for women in the welding, mechanics, and metal industries.

-The blog I ran for some years put a spotlight on the somewhat more ugly side of this industry.
There are many stories about unequal conditions for men and women and even outright harassment on workplaces in this nicé of work. I’ve had friends who quit their jobs because of bad jargong, unacceptable behavior from colleagues and sadly, no support from the employer. It has been a male dominated industry for so long, and just like any other workplace that is dominated by either men or women, that unbalance will affect the overall jargong in a bad way.

I would say though, after MEETOO happened, there was significant change. I noticed that behavior among workers changed for the better. Employers got their shit together and started to work proactive for a better work conditions and working environment.

A Love Affair with Safety Shoes and Work Gloves

We discovered you on Instagram since you 're using safety shoes from JALAS and welding gloves from TEGERA. How long have you been using these products?
- I’ve used TEGERA gloves right from the start of my welding career. I've tried other brands too through the years, but so many workplaces in this industry provide TEGERA gloves for their employees. And there is a very simple reason for that; it’s because they are absolutely superb and superior. Now that I am a freelancer, I invested in welding gloves from TEGERA and safety shoes from JALAS myself.

Which safety gloves do you use in your work?
- For welding I use TEGERA 130A. The long sleeves offers great dexterity, thick leather gives me superb protection. For other work around the workshop I use TEGERA 32 which is both cut resistant and heat resistant.
When I do assembly work I use my TEGERA 511 which makes it easy to grab and hold on to smaller objects.
Welding gloves are quite pricy, so I really appreciate the quality of TEGERA and the fact that these gloves have such a long lifespan. Quite a bit longer than other glove brands that I’ve tried out to be honest.

And what kind of safety shoes do you use at work?
- I’ve had some challenges finding a proper protection shoe that fits a woman's foot.
My JALAS 3358S has been great! I’ve had them every day at work for six months and I can hardly notice any wear whatsoever on them. It’s very durable since it is made completely of leather.

Welder Shoes

Unfortunately, we are phasing out Maria's favorite shoe, 3358S, but JALAS 1258 Heavy Duty is very similar. We also offer a wide range of welding shoes. JALAS 1228W is our most comfortable welding shoe ever and a big favorite among our customers.

Click here to discover JALAS WELDER SHOES >>