#TXVoices: Jeremy and Lila Stewart, Hari Mari Owners

by Lisa Davis on May 7, 2020 in Lifestyle, Fashion, Dallas/Fort Worth,
00 Cover Hari Mari e1588777086472

Hari Mari was created by a husband and wife who wanted to wear comfortable and colorful sandals. So, they went out and created their own flip-flop company.  

Living in Indonesia provided Jeremy and Lila Stewart with the inspiration they needed to take a piece of Southeast Asia back with them to the United States. Walking the streets of Jakarta, the duo quickly realized their footwear was uncomfortable, subpar and the color choices were limited.

Lila and Jeremy Stewart were unable to find the perfect pair of flip-flops so they decided to design their own with Hari Mari. Photo courtesy Steven Visneau Photography

After four years of discomfort and settling on basic sandals, the Stewarts would return to Dallas—where they were equally unimpressed with the footwear choices. It was then that they decided to do something about it—and design their own flip-flops. 

With no training in shoe design, they began with rough sketches of colors and materials they knew needed to be included as the foundation of every pair of flip-flops. They were determined to make Hari Mari stand out from other brands. In 2012, Hari Mari made its debut with the Parks line of flip-flops. The Dallas-based shoe brand was designed for comfort, fashionability and real-life wear.

“When we started, our inspiration came from looking at what other brands were doing, and heading in the opposite direction, but realized that probably wasn’t a far-sighted strategy for a growing brand. So we started to create a distinct look and design voice for Hari Mari”, says Lila Stewart.

In Indonesian, ‘Hari’ means ‘of the sun’ and ‘Mari’ means ‘of the sea’ in Latin. The aptly named shoe company is steeped in Lila and Jeremy’s appreciation of Southeast Asia. Photo courtesy Hari Mari

The clean aesthetics of Hari Mari shoes are constructed for a timeless look combined with the extreme comfort the Stewarts had been searching for in Indonesia. Made with premium quality products, Hari Mari flip-flops were built to last and provide its wearer with the creature comforts all flip-flops should have.

With a focus on sustainability, every Hari Mari flip-flop can be repurposed and recycled after many years of providing comfort to feet. Using natural hemp fibers and harvested rubber as foundational materials, these shoes are made with Mother Earth specifically in mind.  

The Hari Mari brand is equally committed to helping fight pediatric cancer. In fact, Flops Fighting Cancer was created as the Stewarts’ initiative to give back to their beloved community by donating 1% of Hari Mari flip-flop sales to pay for medical treatments and mounting medical bills for families battling pediatric cancer diagnoses. However, the company’s philanthropy doesn’t end there.

Photo courtesy Hari Mari

Hari Mari recently donated over 400 shoes as a way to thank the inspiring first responders at Dallas’ UT Southwestern Medical Center as well as Houston’s TIRR Memorial Hermann Center. Both Texas facilities are located in cities with the largest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the state. And, Hari Mari also launched their “Nominate a Nurse” program to send free flip-flops to healthcare workers across the country.

When the flip-flop connoisseurs were asked how many designs it took until they found the perfect flop, they said, “We’re still searching! Nothing’s ever quite perfect in our world. We’re constantly tinkering to make our footwear better.”

Hari Mari sandals really are the most comfortable flip flop my feet have come in contact with for quite some time. The Dallas-based shoe brand is designed for comfort, fashionability, real-life wear and helps brave kids with every step along the way.

Cover photo courtesy Hari Mari

Lisa Davis lives in Austin and is the Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine, content writer at Ziff Media and an honors graduate of Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations.