"People want to connect with the brands they're buying now," Hari Mari co-founder Lila Stewart explains about opening their first brick-and-mortar. "We want to take back control of the brand’s narrative, and that’s a lot easier in your own store."
In addition to their luxe flip flops, Hari Mari's popular water shoes are appropriately displayed on surfboards.
An Instagram moment is key.
A view from Knox Street.
The Hari Mari logo can now be seen from the Katy Trail.
I’m always surprised to hear that someone hasn’t discovered Hari Mari. But then again, the Dallas-based brand only set out to reinvent the flip-flop with high-quality leather and patented memory foam a mere nine years ago. And though the company, founded by husband and wife duo Jeremy and Lila Stewart, has found financial success and partnerships with luxury brands like Peter Millar and Neiman Marcus, Hari Mari has always had a bit of an “if you know, you know” air about it. (For example, if you’re still breaking in Rainbows, then you clearly don’t know.) With the opening of Hari Mari’s first brick-and-mortar location on Knox Street, however, their under-the-radar status may be about to change.
Finding a home in a charming, two-story building (formerly Osgood O’Neil Salon) in the rapidly evolving area (an RH Gallery and The RealReal also just opened their doors), Hari Mari’s first official store brings the brand’s digital presence to warm, welcoming life. A marble top bar stocks complimentary Topo Chicos, surf boards double as shelves, and the wall’s unique design is a mural-sized version of the inside of a web-order Hari Mari box. Upstairs, events and yoga classes with Knox neighbors like Yeti and Lululemon can be hosted. And though great care was taken in the interior design, Hari Mari — and its story — is still front and center.
A timeline of the brand and its milestones is on display right as you walk through the doors, and Hari Mari’s product evolution can be seen lining displays. Led by former Billy Reid CEO Jake Szczepanski (the Dallas company appointed him as president this year), clothing additions like women’s windbreakers, tees made with recycled material, and comfortable men’s shorts mix in with the brand’s sought-after sandals and Vogue-approved flip-flops. There’s even a signature candle hand poured in Dallas. By fall, Hari Mari plans to debut their first full apparel line.
“We originally set out to create a premium footwear brand, but as time went on and the brand’s DNA flourished, all of this just kind of happened,” Lila tells PaperCity. “If you had asked me if we would have our own store a couple of years ago, I probably would have laughed, but here we are.”
Ultimately, Hari Mari hopes to find additional brick-and-mortar homes in cities like Charleston, Austin, and Florida’s Seaside community, but like they do with every product launched under the brand’s umbrella, they’ll be sure to keep listening to what their customers want.
The Hari Mari store is now open at 3213 Knox Street Monday through Saturday (10 am to 7 pm) and Sunday (noon to 6 pm). Visit harimari.com for more.