Two Ten Footwear Foundation partnered with Footwear News and their FN Labs to celebrate our 80th anniversary with a series of opinion pieces written by footwear people from across the industry.
The Strength of Family.
In today’s world, we may spend more time with our colleagues than at home with our families. At our company – perhaps at yours, too – we have fostered our own community and become a family. A family where each person has a voice, an impact. It is through our creativity, passion, and dedication that we are able to collectively redefine the playing fields of work and life.
Since 1984, Okabashi Brands has been making footwear in the US. At a time when only 1% of shoes are made domestically, I am focused on proving that sustainably Made in the USA can flourish at scale. We succeed because our accomplishments are defined, pursued and achieved as a result of both individual contribution and the collective strength of family. As a business owner and third-generation CEO, it is invaluable to know that our team – our family – has a resource for support, where they can confidentially share their challenges and know that they will be heard unconditionally.
Two Ten Footwear Foundation provides college scholarships, rent support, and disaster relief, among other valuable forms of assistance, to keep our footwear families moving forward with dignity in times of trouble. For the past 80 years, Two Ten has been there to provide a hand up.
The Footwear Cares program serves as a rallying call for our industry. They bring together our community to share meaningful experiences and create real impact. The Women in Footwear Industry (WIFI) program fosters conversations, relationships, and ideas that inspire learning and growth, illuminating the various paths ahead. Through these programs, I have been inspired by personal stories and expanded my own networks across the industry. Our entire team, from machine operators to graphic designers, bonded when we came together for the Two Ten Associate Board’s Fit Your Sole event. We always look forward to participating in the next Two Ten opportunity – as individuals and as a family.
Please join me in thanking the Two Ten Footwear Foundation for bringing us together as an industry and, especially, for supporting our families since 1939.