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Star-Telegram.com

Shoe retailer confident that this charitable effort won't flop

Posted Thursday, Jul. 05, 2012

By Barry Shlachter, Scott Nishimura and Sandra Baker

Star-Telegram Staff Writers

Hari Mari, a new, high-end flip-flop company -- no, that's not a misprint -- will donate $6 for every $60 pair it sells online in July to assist cancer awareness programs at Cook Children's Medical Center and help families secure crucial medicine and treatment.

As part of its "Flops Fighting Cancer" initiative, the husband-and-wife-run footwear startup from Dallas will also donate the same amount for every shoe bought wholesale during the month at any of its 30 brick-and-mortar retailers in six states.

Fort Worth sellers include Luke's, Squire Shop and The Lady Squire.

After July, the 3-month-old company will earmark $3 per flip-flop to Cook's year-round. Moreover, 100 percent of proceeds from a "Flops Fighting Cancer" T-shirt will go to the Fort Worth hospital.

When Jeremy and Lila Stewart decided to start the company, integrating a philanthropic element was part of the plan, Lila Stewart told us.

Then, she said, "we got pregnant, so we wanted to do something toward children."

The Dallas natives settled on Cook Children's, impressed by its pediatric cancer program.

It has the only high-radiation treatment room in the Southwest for neuroblastoma -- malignant tumors found on nerves, usually in children.

After living and working in Jakarta, Indonesia, the flip-flop-loving Stewarts returned to Texas to find that little had changed in designs and materials used for the rubbery sandals in the years they were away. Jeremy could find men's flip-flops only in black and brown.

They were convinced that they could create a better flip-flop that was eco-friendly and incorporated a worthy cause, said Lila Stewart, who handles national sales while Jeremy handles design and relations with their Chinese manufacturer.

All are made of recycled foam and rubber, she said.

Neighborhood Market

North Arlington residents may see a grocery store in the former Albertsons on North Collins Street.

Wal-Mart is considering the site, 2121 N. Collins St., for a Neighborhood Market, according to a filing with the state.

Daniel Morales, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said the retailer is "interested in bringing everyday low prices and convenience to this part of town." He said that it is reviewing the property and that a decision hasn't been made.

"We hope to make an announcement soon," he said.

Albertsons shuttered the location nearly three years ago. Wal-Mart operates a Supercenter to the south at Collins Street and Randol Mill Road, across from Cowboys Stadium.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

sabaker@star-telegram.com

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808

snishimura@star-telegram.com

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

barry@star-telegram.com

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