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Business // Entrepreneurs
Alana Folen

Hawaii’s One-stop Flip Flop Shop

Steve Haugse

Steve Haugse. Leah Friel photo lfriel@midweek.com

Here in the Islands, slippers, aka flip flops, are a way of life, so when it came to an entrepreneurial venture, Steve Haugse and his business partner Kurt Haller wasted no time getting off on the right foot with the opening of Flip Flop Shops, a one-stop shop for all of your flip flop needs.

“Kurt and I formed SunSide Islands in September 2009, and I moved to Hawaii from California in January 2010 and hit the ground running,” says Haugse, who was born in Saudi Arabia.

Today, Flip Flop Shops has two convenient locations, one in the heart of Waikiki (2377 Kalakaua Ave.) and another in Ala Moana Center (first floor, near center stage). And according to Haugse, Flip Flop Shops caters to everyone, offering a vast selection of flip flops for men, women and keiki.

“The concept is fun,” he explains. “Here you can find the hottest brands and latest styles of slippers and flip flops. Our staff is very knowledgeable on all the styles/brands, and can help you find the perfect slip-pah!”

And don’t be surprised if you’re slightly overwhelmed with the merchandise selection, as more than 2,000 pairs of stylish flip flops, ranging from Havaianas, Reef, Flojos, Quiksilver, Roxy, Ipanema and more are available.

“Being able to live the life of an entrepreneur is a dream come true,” says Haugse, who graduated in 2009 from University of California-Santa Barbara with a degree in business economics and a minor in sports management.

“The friends that you make along the way and the experiences you have are priceless – I have made friends through a mutual passion for business who have been so valuable.”

Haugse says that when it comes to being an entrepreneur, the rewards go hand in hand with the challenges.

“You have the freedom of making your own schedule, but you are also on call 24/7. There is no one else but you to fix issues that arise – it is all on your shoulders.

“In the first year of business, working 14 to 16 hour days was standard, and when I worked for six hours a day it felt like a day off,” he says with a laugh.

Catering business to both tourists and locals, Flip Flop Shops is currently looking to open a third store, though the location is yet to be determined. For now Flip Flop Shops continues to spoil your footsies with its stylish merchandise.

Flip Flop Shops Kalakaua store is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the Ala Moana Center shop is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information on Flip Flop Shops, call 237-2590 (Waikiki) or 946-0812 (Ala Moana Center). Also find Flip Flop Shops on Yelp.

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