No small feat
Pioneering Texas flip-flop brand steps out with something new for men
Husband-and-wife duo Jeremy and Lila Stewart launched flip-flop company Hari Mari nearly seven years ago. In the time since, the Dallas-based brand has skyrocketed to success, distributing its colorful and comfortable flip-flops to Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Zappos.com and specialty retailers around the world.
“We’ve learned so much along the way,” says Lila. “And over the years, there’s been constant discussion about how to bring more customers into the fold. Men, in particular, have been asking for shoes [in addition to flip-flops]. So my husband and I thought about it for a long time and explored ways to incorporate the Hari Mari DNA, as a flip-flop brand, into a shoe.”
It was no small feat. But two years in the making, Hari Mari’s first collection of men’s shoes is here.
Debuting the week of January 21, the new collection features three different styles — chukkas, boots, and runners — incorporating the Hari Mari tenets of color and comfort.
“We took the shoes to market and showed them to all our retailers,” says Lila. “The response was overwhelming. It’s exciting to bring customers this new year-round category.”
Styles feature a patented memory-foam toe and premium materials made to withstand the elements, such as water-treated suede, organic hemp, and high-traction rubber. The aesthetic is clean and simple, with prices ranging from $85-$140.
As with all Hari Mari styles, one percent from each pair sold goes to those battling pediatric cancer.
The Stewarts founded Hari Mari fresh off a three-year stint living in Indonesia, where Jeremy produced a documentary on malnourished children and Lila volunteered in orphanages, and remain passionate about helping children. Through the company’s socially conscious program, Flops Fighting Cancer, they’ve honed in on those in the U.S.
“[Volunteering in Indonesia] was the most rewarding and also the most difficult experience we’ve ever had,” says Lila. “When we moved back, well before set our sights on flip-flops, we decided whatever we started was going to give back by helping kids here in the United States. It’s something we’re super proud of.”
If their growth trajectory to date is any indication, Hari Mari stands to help many more — one pair at a time.
Along with the new styles for men, the Spring/Summer 2019 Collection boasts the brand’s broadest assortment of flip-flops to date, including a return of the Hari Mari x Peter Millar collaboration, which sold out three times last summer. It's the first collection under the creative direction of Trisha Hegg (of Sanuk, Reef, and Oakley fame), who was brought on to lead product management and design last year.
Shop the full line online or at the Hari Mari storefront the next time you're in Dallas. The shop is tucked into the company headquarters at 208 South Haskell Ave. in East Dallas, and is open from 9 am-5 pm Monday through Friday.