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  • You don't know what CEO means until you become one.

  • It's really "Chief Everything Officer."

  • My name is Sara Irvani.

  • I'm the CEO of Okabashi Brands.

  • I've spent 30 plus years running the factory

  • and it's time for a change.

  • And Sara, the person who she is,

  • raised her arm and said, "I can run it."

  • And it took me about 15 seconds

  • to say, "done, deal."

  • When I started,

  • I really tried to understand the story of Okabashi on a deeper level.

  • My grandfather was actually the largest shoe manufacturer in Iran

  • and from there he came to Buford.

  • In the 1980s, when Okabashi was founded,

  • about 60% of shoes were made in the US.

  • Now it's only around 1%.

  • For my grandfather it was very important that you could

  • talk to the people making the shoes,

  • understand the quality,

  • and I think that's something that

  • we didn't think that we could keep if we moved

  • our factories thousands of miles away.

  • What matters is

  • how something is made, what matters is who makes it.

  • We've got about 63% women

  • and we have a women's leadership team.

  • Sara has absolutely reinvigorated the company.

  • We're looking at how can we really be

  • lean and mean

  • and stay here in the US.

  • And so one of the ways was to look at how can we utilize

  • reusable materials so that you don't have to throw away your scrap.

  • And what was started out of necessity

  • really yielded a process that's very green and is sustainable.

  • There are a lot of people who really care passionately about

  • sustainability, about made in USA products.

  • And it's so important that we reach these people,

  • that we tell them that we're here

  • and Google Ads allows us to do that.

  • We figured out that made in USA

  • has been one of the best performing search terms.

  • You can take something that intuitively makes sense

  • and then test it in the real world.

  • And have the numbers to say

  • what aspect of it works and what doesn't.

  • Currently 64% of our online sales come from Google Ads.

  • In the last two years we've sold

  • 320,000 more pairs of shoes since when I started

  • and we sell over a million pairs of shoes per year.

  • This relates to higher levels of activity in the factory,

  • more jobs being created.

  • I think that in terms of the amount of time that

  • people stay with a company,

  • that they really become part of the Okabashi family.

  • I think it's about how we make our shoes

  • that we're part of the remaining 1% of made in USA.

  • Whether it's our women's leadership,

  • or it's us really at the forefront of sustainability.

  • We are growing in a really real way,

  • and I think Okabashi is really so much more than just a shoe company.

  • It has a soul.

You don't know what CEO means until you become one.

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Okabashi: The next step in American made

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/06
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