Okabashi CEO Sara Irvani is a third-generation shoemaker. The company she leads has been manufacturing shoes in Georgia since it was founded by her grandfather, an Iranian expatriate, in 1984. Sara is proud of Okabashi’s tradition of not only making shoes in the U.S. but doing so in an environmentally and socially conscious way. Sara is also proud of the improvements the company made to usher itself into the digital age—such as automating operations with G Suite and selling directly to customers via a Shopify-enhanced website.
Digital enhancements like these proved critical during the pandemic. “The digital side of the business was important for making sure sales could continue during quarantine and proved essential for communicating with our customers,” Sara recalls. She describes the ability to connect with customers via social media as “invaluable.” Digital tools, she says, “allowed us to connect in a whole new, more intimate way, showing who we really are.”
“I was determined to find a way to make sure that Okabashi could become a fourth-generation company,” Sara says. “That’s why I was particularly grateful to have digital tools that allowed us to not only survive a pandemic but also come out so well positioned afterwards.”