Meet Emma Kinkade, a badass woman and welder who never gives up on her dreams. She believes that hard work and a willingness to learn will take you wherever you want to go. Hear more about her inspirations and career journey below. 

First & Last Name: Emma Kinkade

Location: I am from a small town called Fairbury, IL, population 3,800. Best known for dirt track racing, a great welcoming environment, and strong in the agricultural community. 

Image of a woman welder posing for a picture

Style of Boot

I wear the American Heritage 8" crazyhorse safety toe, moc toe boot - 804-4478

What I do

Right now, I am working over in a paint/collision semi shop called Leman Paint works. What I do over there is prep and sand the semi before it gets primed and painted. As well as welding parts onto the truck that we fixed or need to add. I also put up panels and decals on new trailers.


My mom is definitely one of the people I look up to. She is strong, independent and doesn’t give up. And a movie from the 80's called Flashdance. It is about a woman who is a street dancer and comes to love welding at a steel mill. She didn’t let being a girl stop her from doing a man’s job or get in the way of her dancing.


My purpose is for myself. I drive myself to be better every day, and I don’t like to fail. Me being hard on myself is for the future and the family I want to support. In the next year I would like to get a rig truck and start my own business for the locals.

Why Thorogood

Thorogood boots help me with my daily work because they are durable, comfy to wear all day, and supportive. Those are the reasons I wear them. I don’t have to buy a new pair of boot every two months anymore. Hands down the best boots I have worked in.

How Did I Get Started

I was actually going to go to college for nursing, but the trades are something I always wanted to get into. Learning different ideas, skills, and techniques. So, I went and applied for welding school, then I was on the road and in and out of different fabrication shops.


The struggle I encountered when I first started in the trades was learning everything from the ground up. Definitely wasn’t the easiest, but I just kept going and pushing myself to do the best I can. Another one is being on the road and missing your family. That opened my eyes and made me appreciate home little more.


The advice I would like to give someone who is just starting: don’t let the little things get in the way of your big dreams. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Emma is also a strong supporter of Fairbury Fastener and Supply. It is a family owned hardware store/ industrial supplier located in her hometown, Fairbury Illinois since 1981. They cover all of central Illinois and are known for having one of the largest inventories in central Illinois. They specialize in power tools, bolts, lubricants, building products, hard to find tools and hardware and many other industrial items. They are big on Made in USA and high quality products.

For more information on Fairbury Fastener and Supply, click the link below.

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