It’s a typical Sunny California Day. Mark is pumped full of caffeine, the trunks of Naot samples are packed and he’s ready for the 4 hour drive home from Visalia to Sacramento. He’s eager to get back to his wife and precious little girl. As he embarked on this long, lonely journey home; he plugged in his Bluetooth and took some time to chat with me about his life in the shoe business.
How long have you been in the shoe business?
It’s been 7 years now. I was representing some outdoor sport companies and also working part-time in an office job when a colleague introduced me to the Naot rep in Northern California who was getting ready to retire. I’ve been with Naot ever since.”
Tell me about Naot. What makes their shoes unique in the industry?
The Naot Company is based in Israel. Since 1942, they’ve designed and manufactured sandals, clogs, boots, and work shoes out of their factory in Israel. They don’t outsource their manufacturing. They differentiate themselves from other comfort shoes because of the unique “negative” foot bed. Similar to stepping on sand, they are soft, absorb shock and alleviate pain. Travel reviews have picked Naot as “the one shoe to take on vacation” because they provide all day comfort and are fashionable enough to wear into the evening.
They also listen to their retailers about product design and ideas. I just came back from a design meeting where they invited a small selection of reps and retailers to choose the styles and colors for 2015. My retailer, who has one small store but does a good business with Naot, was blown away at the amount of input that they were able to give towards the new line. It was amazing to be able to be part of that process with one of my retailers.
What do you love about your job?
I love to work with the small, local retail stores. I have great relationships with store owners. Every day and every store is different. I enjoy the opportunity to serve each shop’s unique needs.
How long have you been coming to TRU Show?
It’s been about 7 years. TRU Show is more relaxed than the big national shows. It’s more personal and a hands-on place to work with people outside their stores. I also love being around other sales reps.
Bare Your Soul
What is your most treasured possession?
My Daughter, SaraBeth
What inspires you?
People pursuing their passion
What historical figure do you admire?
What is your favorite time of day?
Early Morning! I like to get up and get things done!
What is your least favorite word?
What are you currently reading?
START by Jon Acuff. He is, hands down, the most real and relatable motivational author I’ve ever read.
What do you like to do on your day off?
Spending time with my wife and daughter
What is your favorite city to travel to?
Amador City, it’s an hour away from home, but there is a restaurant there called Buffalo Chips that makes the most incredible pie.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
I’ve been told that I look like Ryan Gosling. But, I’d probably say that Jim Parsons (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory) is a better representation of me.
What was your first job?
I was a paper boy. I loved getting up early.
What was the worst job you ever had?
I temped at a bulk mail office. I spent a whole day stuffing envelopes too small for their contents.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
What makes you think I don’t have a superpower? But, I can’t tell you what it is… it’s more powerful if I keep it a secret.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Listening to the Beastie Boys
What are you wearing on your feet?
Naot of course!
Come meet Mark and preview the Naot line at our next TRU Show event