Business Matters: Scott Slippers

Business Matters

In Hawaii, the name Scott is synonymous with slippers.

“That’s my father in front of the original location which is on Cook Street. 332 Cooke Street now back in the 1930s and 40s and that’s when we used to make shoes or boots and steel toed shoes. It was pre-slipper time,” explains Steve Scott, pointing to an old black and white picture on his wall. 

The company was started by his grandfather is a far cry from what the company produces now. 

At first, the company started making steel-toed work shoes for plantation workers, and dockworkers at Pearl Harbor. 

Steve says the transition to slippers was largely out of necessity.

“As Hawaii got closer to World War II ending we had the zori which was from Japan and they were to disappear and there was a tremendous amount of demand for something casual something that was something that you can wear without socks,” said Scott.

So the company converted to making slippers and there was no turning back. 

“That’s our lifestyle today casual shorts or slippers,” said Scott.

Although other companies would come and go, Scott was the only one to go in the direction of a more formal slipper. Something he says was a byproduct of wanting to make a product that was simply the best.

“We always pride our self on the quality and how long it lasts. And as a matter of fact we’ve been accused by several customers that they last too long. And we tell them to at least try to get a different color, and do something like that,” he said.

Today there’s nearly a different color and style for every day of the month. 

Scott considers himself lucky that the company founded in 1932 has only been in four locations. Or as he puts it – one for each generation.

But naturally there have been challenges along the way.

Chief among them: the cost of doing business here in Hawaii.

The company produced all their product right here on Oahu until the late 1990s before ultimately outsourcing the production to Asia. 

“Just the cost of doing business here is higher than her competitors,” said Scott.

But make no mistake about it. Scott is a local through and through.

“This is how we keep ourselves grounded. We keep reminding ourselves we are local. Hawaii based,” he said.

And when it comes to the secret to the company’s enduring success, Scott says it all comes down to quality.

“That’s what we’re known for. Obviously like a shirt there’s not much wear and tear something that you were on your feet though constantly being worn just abrasive on the ground. Again, it’s just a testament to the pride of that we put into our footwear.”

And what does this third generation shoe manufacturer see when he looks into the future? 

“Obviously just taking it no pun intended one step at a time. I have my son now my youngest son here working with me and he has two boys so we’re on our fourth generation right now and see if we can make it to the fifth generation,” said Scott.

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