Native Shoes CEO Scott Hawthorn On Purchasing The Company
After entering a letter of intent to be acquired in February, the deal finally came through yesterday for the acquisition of Native Shoes by Co-founder Scott Hawthorn and a group of investors. As the first order of business, Hawthorn moved from acting to full-time CEO and named Darren Hawrish president.
We caught up with Hawthorn to learn more about the path ahead for Native and what specialty retailers can expect from the brand.
Congratulations on the purchase Scott. It sounds like you guys are infusing a significant amount of capital into the brand with the new investors. What is going to be the first order of business to grow the brand?
We have appointed a new upper management team and Board of Directors with relevant experience in the footwear game. From the top down we will be streamlining operations and implementing procedures that will enable scalable growth in USA and abroad in our 45 plus countries of distribution.
What can specialty retailers in the action sports space expect from Native in the near future?
Native will continue to be progressive in design and bring products to the market that are casual, fun, and accessible to all. We are a new company and we are committed to building relevant product for the specialty retailer, offering exceptional customer service, and delivering on time.
Why did you tap Darren Hawrish as the new president and how do you see his skills and background growing the company?
Darren has 20 years of experience as an owner and operator of a distribution company. His experience on the operations, sales and finance side will be valuable as Native builds a scalable distribution business in the USA and continues to build business partnerships with distributors abroad.
What will John Vance’s role be going forward?
John Vance has been an advisor to Native over the past year and now will come on as an active board member. His experience as president of Sanuk will be valuable in guiding Native as we focus on operations and systems over the short term so we can plan for long term growth. John will assist Native in defining its long term plan and implementing industry standard operational procedures.
What are you most excited about in this deal?
I am excited that Native now has resources to enable it to plan for future growth and to deliver product on time to retailers and customers that love Native products and the brand. I am excited for the future for all the people at Native that I am blessed to work with. They have worked hard to make this deal happen.
Native is a great brand that will continue to develop and design forward thinking products. The new management and board team will power growth by implementing a new operational structure and bring on a new USA sales team for men’s and women’s shoes in the very near term.
Here’s the full release:
(VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA) July 2, 2013 – Native Shoes (Native), the global brand known for its lightweight EVA footwear has been acquired by Scott Hawthorn, one of the company's original founders, in addition to a small group of private investors. Hawthorn, who has been actively involved in the brand since its inception, will move from acting to full time CEO effective immediately.
"This significant investment will provide Native with the resources to strengthen our business partnerships and grow our global position, and I'm thrilled to lead the next phase for such a dynamic brand," said Hawthorn. "We are laser-focused on expanding our efforts in the U.S., bolstering our operations, strengthening our supply chain and implementing systems globally that will better serve our partners and support our long-term growth."
Hawthorn appointed seasoned retail and apparel industry executive Darren Hawrish as company president. Additionally, a Board of Directors will advise the brand as it pursues its global alignment and future growth initiatives. Board members currently include Hawthorn as well as long time brand advisor and footwear veteran, John Vance. Additional Board appointments will be named in the weeks to come.
After an extensive search, the Hawrish appointment came in June 2013. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the retail and apparel industry to the helm of Native. Most recently as CEO of No Limits Sportswear, Inc., where he founded a single branded distribution company in 1993 that grew to an 11-brand operation in 2012. In his new position, Hawrish will oversee sales, operations, production, design, marketing and finance from Native's Vancouver headquarters. He will also guide the company's global operations and international growth strategy.
Native’s playful brand marketing and imaginative product range has helped to firmly establish it as a leader in the global footwear market. Building on this momentum, Native delivered its Summer line on schedule in May 2013 and is on track to deliver its Fall collection in August 2013. The brand will show its Spring 2014 collections at the upcoming Agenda Trade Shows in New York, Long Beach and Las Vegas.
Native (www.nativeshoes.com) was established in Vancouver, Canada in 2009 with a vision to combine the best of evolving technology and great design. Inspired by classic, casual silhouettes, Native Shoes are made from foam-injection molded-EVA, a lightweight, durable and comfortable material. Along with a unique, low-emission manufacturing process, Native Shoes are washable, waterproof and odor-resistant. Native is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is currently distributed in more than 45 countries.