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Business Description
HONOLULU, HI - Island Slipper, the last remaining original manufacturer of made-in-Hawaii footwear, is set to open Island Slipper Store at Ward Warehouse on April 1, 2011. There will be a Grand Opening celebration on Saturday, April 16 with live in-store performances by Makana, Jeff Peterson, Puamana, and Ernie Cruz, Jr. "We're calling it a Slippahpalooza, " joked owner John Carpenter. The new 1500 square foot store will enable Island Slipper to better serve their customers and showcase their brand. "Our desire was to create a fun place to shop where our customers feel at home. The raised pinewood floor with board and batten walls create a warm feeling that is reminiscent of old Hawaii. Woven throughout the store we honor our founding family, our current Ohana, and what makes Island Slipper special. We are fortunate to have a great team and expert help in bringing our retail vision and concept together, " Carpenter states, citing these companies: "There should be a deep connection between who you are and where you're from. For more than 60 years Island Slipper has made sandals for all of Hawai'i. We've always tried to remain true to the lifestyle and people of this place, " says Carpenter, Island Slipper continues a tradition of authenticity and innovation. Today they produces more than 80 styles for men and women, all featuring comfort and durability in looks that range from local style slippers to high fashion. Island Slipper got its start in the early 1940s when Takizo and Misao Motonaga opened their factory in the Kakaako district. During World War II there weren't many supplies around so they used old tires for shoe soles. The Motonagas produced a premium high-end product that stood out in a growing sea of cheaper rubber slippers. Within ten years their products found their way to U.S. Mainland markets. In 1985, the Motonaga family offered the company to Carpenter, who was familiar with the local industry and was the only person they wanted to take over their business and continue the Island Slipper tradition. Carpenter had worked in the local footwear industry and knew the manufacturing end of things inside and out. His dream since boyhood had been to run his own business and he jumped at the opportunity, bringing his wife Daisy with him. The Motonagas taught them the fine points of the business and introduced them to their network of suppliers and wholesale buyers. This gave the young couple a solid foundation to continue the Island Slipper into the next generation. Today John and Daisy run the company together. Daisy oversees production and purchasing and John looks after sales and business management. "I'm the one who sees everything as an adventure and I'm blind to the risks, " Carpenter says. "Daisy keeps me grounded." For Daisy, Island Slipper is family. She holds employees to high standards but also respects and truly cares for them. Daisy says, "It's hard work, very hard work. I work with them and we have fun. We all need to get up in the morning and not be reluctant to come in, so we make it a good place to be." "The people in our factory take pride in what they do, " John says. "We use a craftsman approach as opposed to an industrialized one. Each craftsman has special skills and takes care to maintain the product quality. What I've learned is that there's a market around the world for this type of authenticity." Under Carpenter's leadership, Island Slipper broadened its mainland market, expanded to resort and island communities in the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific. The love for Hawaii and the cultural significance of slippers made Japan a natural match for the company. Due to the expert brand management by their Japan distributor, Island Slipper has become a fashion icon there. Through their Japanese partnership the company is expanding to select international markets. In 2000 the factory moved to a new and larger location in Pearl City and in 2006 Island Slipper opened its own retail outlet
Hours

Regular Hours

Payment method
discover
Location
Ward Warehouse
Neighborhood
Ala Moana - Kakaako
Category
Shoe Stores
Other Information

Parking: Garage, Lot, Free

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