Walking in Comfort and Style: Oka-B’s American-Made Footwear Revolution

Today, Oka-B offers dozens of styles and colors adorned with natural seashells, gemstones and ribbons, without compromising on comfort. The company makes a shoe or sandal for every occasion from bridal collections to casual weekend flip-flops. Oka-B shoes and sandals are sold for $24 to $50 in upscale resorts, spas, hotels and fine gift shops around the world.

Built for Comfort

Oka-B designs and manufactures its shoes and sandals at its headquarters and prides itself on offering American-made products, Conrad says. “Less than two percent of shoe manufacturers are based in the United States and that’s a huge part of our brand marketing,” she adds. “Our brand is affordable luxury because we make our products in the U.S. and know it is made of the highest quality.” The company is unique from other footwear manufacturers because its shoes and sandals are crafted using a single piece of proprietary Microplast material and made with an ergonomic foot bed. “The design process for a new product is a longer process for us because our shoes are designed from a mold,” Director of Sales Page Timmerman says. “It takes six to 12 months to create a design, so we really need to know what’s going on in the market to bring on a new product that we can guarantee will be successful.”

Oka-B is a just-in-time manufacturer and has the ability to perform quick turnaround times because it’s located domestically, Conrad says. “We house inventory on foot beds and basic designs, but we are continuously running production based on what we have on order so we can fulfill those orders in a timely manner – about 72 hours,” she adds.

The company’s customers include the Ritz Carlton, Wynn Resorts and Montage Hotel and Resorts. “We are very proud of who carries our shoes,” Timmerman says. “We respect our customers and like to have partnerships with them because it’s more about the relationships we have with them than the number of accounts we have.”

To build those deep relationships with its customers, Oka-B stays in constant communication over the phone, by visiting the stores and meeting regularly. “We try to make sure we talk to our customers at least once per month to just check in and see how they are doing,” Timmerman notes. “Not every call is a sales call to buy product. We pride ourselves on these relationships and make sure they have a relationship with us where they can talk about how business is going and what is happening in the industry.”

Targeting Trends

Oka-B’s target customers are women who are conscious of what brands they are wearing and who follow fashion trends closely, Conrad explains. “We look at the marketplace to determine what is going to be in style so we can translate that to make sense on a plastic shoe,” she adds. “We bring in pops of bright colors for spring and summer seasons and earthy tones for the fall. We follow trends in apparel, but accessories also come into play with our designs.”

Although following the trends is important, Oka-B is careful not to design too trendy of a shoe because it will not last on the market as long, Timmerman explains. “When creating new designs, we try to introduce new foot-beds that our customers will enjoy wearing season after season,” she adds.

Oka-B will launch three new products this year, including a t-strap buckle sandal, a t-strap wedge sandal and a peep-toe wedge shoe. “Our goal is to continue to get new customers who will love Oka-B,” Timmerman says. “Most people buy more than one pair of Oka-B shoes and we hope our followers are interested in the new designs we create and love our shoes because we create shoes that love them. These shoes won’t hurt your feet and we really just want to keep selling shoes that people love.”