Aloha from Hawaii
Co-owners: Kent Untermann and Wayne Heck
Island Sole has landed on the mainland. Founder Kent Untermann partnered with friend Wayne Heck to open the first store outside of Hawaii.
The Newport Beach, Calif., store opened last summer and is similar to seven Hawaiian locations, says Heck, but is perhaps "a little more sophisticated because of our location." Glass walls on the front and one side of the 2,200-sq.-ft. store let customers see the colorful interior.
"When you walk in, you see a plethora of sandals hanging right in front of you," he says.
The product mix features top brand footwear lines like Ugg, OluKai, Sanuk, Island Slipper, Havaianas, Reef and Freewaters, all in customized displays. OluKai's fixtures are made from Hawaiian Koa wood engraved with tribal prints and patterns; the Sanuk section has a garage/fun shack motif with bungee cords on a pegged wall holding the shoes on display.
A "museum piece" section highlights images of the Hawaiian Islands, the Nene goose (Island Sole's logo) and seashells "to create that feeling that you're in the islands," Heck says, "and to create that Aloha spirit that we try to express through our service." StORES - Liz Parks