About the Entrepreneur
Scott Hawaii was founded in 1932 by Elmer and Jean Scott. Claiming the title of the “original Hawaiian slippah,” Scott Hawaii makes slippers that are casual, comfortable, and reliable. Now in its third generation, Scott Hawaii prides itself on upholding the same principles, dedication and vision that Elmer and Jean created.
More with Steve & Kaione
How did Scott Hawaii get started?
Steve: Scott Hawaii started in Los Angeles making steel toed boots. When we moved to Hawaii, we went from boots to Hawaiian-style “slippers.” We were the first people to make slippers in the US.
What is the key to your success as a multi-generational business?
Steve: Everyone has to work for the common good of the family. If the company does well, everyone will benefit. You have to put your personal agendas aside.
Kaione: My father put the principles he learned from his father into me, and I hope to pass those on to my kids too, whether they work here or not.
What makes your product stand out?
Kaione: I don’t think there’s a company out there that can match us in comfort and durability. If you bought a pair from us ten years ago, the fit should be the same. The styles may change, but the quality remains.
How do you maintain strong relationships with your employees?
Steve: It’s important to respect what they need, and in turn, they will do the same for you. My thanks goes to our employees; they’ve been very loyal to us.
What are the qualities of a good leader?
Steve: Tough skin, don’t take yourself too seriously. Have a vision and stick with that vision. If you don’t commit to what you believe in and follow through, you won’t be successful.
Kaione: Be a team player. Your workers have to see that you care about the little things.
What advice would you give to someone starting a business?
Steve: Understand your financing. Know what it will take to weather the low points. If you have a bank who you believe in and who believes in you, that solves half the issues. Also know what your product is, understand what you’re selling or providing. For us, we aren’t necessarily a footwear company, we’re a lifestyle business.
What do you love about Hawaii National Bank?
Steve: You need a bank that understands small businesses. With big entities, you are just a number, just a bank account. With Hawaii National Bank, you have a personal relationship. They understand the trials and tribulations that we go through.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?
Steve: I’m most proud of this being the third generation. Most businesses don’t survive the second generation, so to have the third working here now is the best. Kaione believes in us, so hopefully we can get to the fourth.
Kaione: I hope that I can keep it going for my kids, if they want it. I hope to keep learning and evolving forever.
“My father put the principles he learned from his father into me, and I hope to pass those on to my kids too, whether they work here or not.”