Lila Stewart is the co-founder of Hari Mari, a high-end flip flop brand sold in stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Zappos, and by hundreds of other retailers as well as through the company’s own website. These flip flops are made with high-quality materials and feature bold, bright colors and extreme comfort. They have been featured in Forbes Magazine, Vogue Paris and Business Insider among other global media outlets. Hari Mari believes in the Ripple Effect, donating 1% of their sales to the fight against pediatric cancer.
Lila’s journey began in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she and her husband lived for three years. During her time there, Lila volunteered for human rights organization American Women’s Organization of Jakarta. Upon returning to the United States, Lila and her husband realized how stale and low-quality the flip flops available here were, so they set about revitalizing the market with their own high-quality brand. Lila’s philanthropic roots continue today with Hari Mari’s donations to pediatric cancer research.
Lila believes that great leadership stems from lifting up the people around her, treating everyone with fairness, and tackling every challenge with a positive outlook. Lila Stewart is a phenomenal example of how the Ripple Effect can bring lasting, positive changes that go far beyond the profitability of a business and extend outward to the community at large.
What makes a strong business leader? Certainly, guiding the organization toward success is a factor, but an exceptional leader is also a champion for positive company culture, employee engagement and satisfaction, and a sense of family and community. An exceptional leader uses the Ripple Effect to not just run a business but to make lasting positive changes to everyone around them.
Lila Stewart understands that the role a leader plays goes far beyond the bottom line of the business. Lila and her husband co-founded Hari Mari in an effort to bring a quality product to a stagnant and uninspired market. In doing so, they have built a strong organization that offers great value to its customers, takes care of its employees, and gives back to its community through giving a portion of its sales to the fight against pediatric cancer.
In this episode, Lila shares how the idea for Hari Mari came about, and how her philanthropic spirit became interwoven in the company’s culture from its beginning. Lila discusses how her gratitude, mindfulness and passion have all contributed to her success as a leader and to the success of Hari Mari itself.
As you know, I deeply believe in the tremendous power of the Ripple Effect. It is one of the guiding principles of my own work and one of the main themes of the Absolute Advantage podcast. Lila’s story is an excellent example of why the Ripple Effect is such an incredible force and how it can enrich our organizations and our lives. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Lila and are inspired to allow the Ripple Effect to work its magic for you.