Native Shoes Announces New CEO and President

Scott Hawthorn, Native Shoes | BCBusiness
Freshly named Native Shoes CEO Scott Hawthorn is focused on expanding the company’s global reach, specifically in the U.S.

The global brand is acquired by private investors and names a new executive team

Vancouver-based company Native Shoes has announced Scott Hawthorn, one of the company’s original founders, as its new CEO. Hawthorn, who has played an active role in the brand since the beginning, will have big shoes to fill, following previous CEO Damian Van Zyll De Jong, who is also one of the Native Shoes founders. The company was recently acquired by a small group of private investors, including Hawthorn.

In his first move as CEO, Hawthorn appointed Darren Hawrish, a seasoned retail and apparel-industry executive, as Native Shoes’ new president. “We put a management team in place that has some history in building brands,” says Hawthorn. “The board and the management team will focus on streamlining operations so that the business can be further scaled up to the global level.”

Distributed in more than 45 countries, the global brand is known for its lightweight and durable EVA footwear—which are washable, waterproof and odour-resistant. Hawthorn says the dynamic brand demonstrates forward thinking and describes it as “a fresh take on shoes.”

New Native Shoes president
Darren Hawrish.

Hawthorn says he realized early on that he wanted to tap into a broader sales market and sell products on a global scale. “We’re sitting next to the biggest influential consumer market in the world, the United States, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to access that market,” he says.

As a company that found success globally while being headquartered in Vancouver, Hawthorn says challenges have arisen, but they haven’t held back the company’s growth. “You can pretty much do anything from anywhere in the world. If you accept and move forward with that philosophy, there are a lot more things that become possible.”

The Native Shoes e-commerce site has been active for about a year and is just starting to gain traction. “So much so,” says Hawthorn, “that we brought product in for the summer and our web store sold out in about a month.” He adds that one of the biggest challenges is meeting the demand. “Consumers are used to getting anything anytime that they want. We’re still a relatively small company right now, but with global aspirations. And when consumers go online they expect that they can get something shipped wherever they are.”

Hawthorn says he is excited to lead Native Shoes in the next phase of its development by focusing on expanding efforts in the U.S. and strengthening the supply chain to further meet the needs of consumers.