November 23, 2020

How Okabashi is Using Technology to Promote its Made-in-America Products

When Sara Irvani went to Washington, D.C., in July, she was on a mission to make American manufacturing great again.
The 29-year-old executive, who took over the CEO role at her family’s Okabashi footwear company in March, was invited by the White House to participate in a panel discussion about domestic production, as part of the themed Made in America Week.
“I have a strong belief that eco-conscious, responsible manufacturing can flourish in the United States, if we focus on consumers and are disciplined in our approach,” Irvani said in a statement at the time.
It was a high-profile moment for the Buford, Ga.-based firm, which has been manufacturing recyclable, injection-molded footwear since 1984, when Sara’s father, Bahman Irvani, founded Okabashi.
Sandals being made at the Okabashi factory in Buford, Ga.
And indeed, raising the profile of the firm has been one of Sara Irvani’s key goals.
“Throughout our history, we’ve sold more than 35 million pairs of shoes, but still not that many people know our name,” she told FN recently. “We’re trying to get the message out there about our product.”
One of her greatest challenges early on was fine-tuning the message around the company’s two footwear brands: the Okabashi wellness line and the more

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