She offered a warm smile back and said, “I’m good. . .”
Camera in hand I asked, “May I photograph you?”
“Yes, but I don’t take good photos” was her bashful reply.
“Just keep doing what you are doing, and I’ll take care of the rest. . .”
It all started with the intent to rise from bed at the early morning hour of 5:30 AM to catch the sun as it peaked over the horizon. My camera was eager for an adventure and the sun-lit ocean surface would make an attractive background for the photos I was to present to my client. In theory this was going to be an amazing photoshoot. However, at that hour my body had other priorities; like sleep. Needless to say my agenda was altered when I missed my alarm clock’s wakeup call. This now meant that I had to catch the sunset if I was going to capture some stellar photos by the water’s edge for my client.
As I concluded my other duties for the day I watched for the perfect time to venture to the beach. I suppose it was around 6:30 in the evening that this prime time presented itself. With my gear in tow I made my way toward the coast and found an elegant area of sand to support my shoot. The sun was peaking in and out from behind the dark blue clouds in the sky. The wind was maturing to a point of being noticed. The ocean was having its typical conversation with the shoreline but today their connection was especially soothing and smooth. It was my camera’s favorite weather conditions and the products I was shooting looked great against this backdrop. Naturally as I concluded the product pictures my lens got curious about its surroundings. As I glanced up from where I was stationed my eyes were met with a delicate view. At some point while I was preoccupied with my original shoot the section of beach directly in front of me had been cleared of its inhabitants. In the void sat a lone soul. My lens was quick to act as I arose to my feet. I gently stepped forward as if approaching a rare bird in its natural habitat, but not wanting to spook it. In view, all alone with only her thoughts, a peaceful young woman sat in the sand penning her mind to paper.
The wind was ever so gently brushing her hair from her neck and face. Her sun-kissed skin made an attractive contrast against the bleached sand. She sat with her toes eagerly reaching toward the water’s edge. Disappointed in the water’s distance she let her toes play freely in the sand. Piled on her righthand side was a small collection of belongings. The only thing she seemed concerned with in the moment was embracing the free feeling provided by her surroundings and capturing her thoughts with pen and paper.
Approaching from behind I took a knee in the sand. Like a sniper preparing for his shot I made my camera adjustments and composed my photo. My index finger found home. Snap! What a beautiful picture. I smiled to myself and thought “This is my favorite type of photography. The world rushes to the beat of time and often misses the little details of life. However, for me, getting lost in time with my camera. . . seeing beyond the surface of life. . . and exposing a story with a photograph is true bliss. This is the future of Fourth Dimension Photography.”
I am a photographer by profession and my work takes me all around the world. I rely on my gear, and that includes my footwear. I believe in employing the best gear available so I make it a point to wear my favorite OluKai sandals during every shoot (even weddings). My sandals get a lot of attention, especially when worn to formal events and during cold seasons. I take these opportunities to suggest that OluKai shoes are the most comfortable shoes in the world and that I am most productive with comfortable feet. That being said I recently made a special request to OluKai.
My letter to them is as follows.
“Hello My Friends at OluKai,
I’d like to start by thanking you for creating the world’s best shoes. Seven years ago I discovered OluKai sandals and I’ve been hooked on them since. I’ve lost track of how many pairs I’ve owned over the years. I share my love for your shoes by suggesting OluKai as a ‘must own’ at every opportunity.
The last three pairs of OluKai sandals I’ve had the pleasure of owning share the same unfortunate fate of the one’s in my attached photo — the thongs broke. Granted, I’ve been to four continents and trekked many miles in this particular pair of shoes in the last year. If my shoes could talk then they would fill your ears with vibrant stories of the many adventures on which they have taken me. However, it was during a photoshoot this past week that my favorite shoes met their demise. I had to continue the photoshoot barefoot. This caused me to ponder a remedy. What if my OluKai sandal thongs were reinforced with steel cable? What if underneath their beautiful leather straps were a thin cable that somehow looped through the sandal base and thong? In theory this would eliminate the ability to rip the thongs in my next pair of shoes. I am writing you now to ask about this possibility. I am willing to pay extra to have a custom pair of OluKai flip flops made for me. I will wear OluKai shoes for the rest of my life. Therefore, why not have a pair (or many) made that are even more equipped to withstand the adventures ahead. I still intend to buy new OluKai shoes every year — I feel one can never have too many sets of the best shoes in the world. I simply need the sandal thongs to be more durable if I am to continue to sport them as my first choice for any and all adventures.
If you have an alternate idea for a remedy to the thong issue or would like to discuss the cable idea further then I am all ears. I simply wanted to make this special request before befriending my next favorite pair of OluKai sandals.
Thank you again for all that you do! I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
After my email to OluKai I received the following reply.
Thank you for contacting OluKai and for your support! It sounds like you have been on some amazing adventures. We will be glad to pass your inquiry onto our design team.
Also, we do have a one year warranty that covers manufacturer’s defects. At this time, we do not offer any repairs; however, I would be able to have them replaced for you if they are within the warranty. Please provide us with a few more details below:
Photo of the inside strap. . .
. . . size and color
Date of purchase. . .
Shipping address. . .
Once I receive this information, I will review the photos and respond to you as soon as possible. Please note, without providing all of the information above, I am unable to process your request. Thank you for your patience in the matter and I look forward to hearing back from you. Have a wonderful day!
Consumer Customer Service Rep
As I read over Amery’s reply I was a bit eager to hear what the design team had to say about my cable idea. Knowing full well that my sandals were outside of their warranty I readied myself for my next purchase. My feet were missing their best friends. I offered Amery the requested information, thanked her for her reply, and informed her that I had owned said pair of sandals for over a year and a half so I understood if they could not/ would not replace them. They had served me well. I reminded Amery that I will always be a big supporter of Olukai and I hinted that if she were feeling generous enough to replace them then I could in turn suggest even more sales for Olukai with my story. I had stirred quite a bit of excitement among many friends and clients prior to my correspondence with OluKai so many were awaiting the outcome.
In fact, I was meeting with a future client when Amery’s next reply came through. Amery thanked me for providing the information requested then continued to inform me that OluKai was glad to make an exception and replace my footware. She went on to tell me that she had already placed the order and that my new sandals would be arriving at my door within 5-7 business days. Amery concluded by thanking me once again for supporting OluKai and wished me a wonderful day. I was overjoyed after reading this last email from Amery. My client, Randy, noted the smile on my face after I glanced at my phone and asked me, “what’s all the excitement about?” I quickly caught him up on the story and by the time I finished reading aloud Amery’s last reply I was being requested to bring up OluKai’s webpage. Randy was now just as excited as I was as he browsed through the collection of shoes on the webpage in front of him. I was busy telling him how well OluKai shoes support my arched feet and how much more comfortable my entire body is when wearing OluKai compared to other shoes. I started saying that OluKai makes the best shoes money can buy, they take care of their customers, and I’ve worn my last pair for countless activities like: hiking in three continents, skateboarding the streets of Medellin, touring numerous big cities, a year behind the bar mixing drinks, casual running. . . Then, suddenly, Randy eagerly exclaimed “I am going to get a pair for my wife! I’ve been looking for something to surprise her with and I believe these are just the thing! I’m also going to suggest to my son that he needs a pair. . .” If I ask Randy today it wouldn’t surprise me if everyone in his family now owns a pair. I’ve since met a few others who have purchased OluKai shoes after hearing my enthusiasm for them and they couldn’t be happier with their investment. Several more have proclaimed that their next shoe purchase will be a pair of OluKai sandals. More and more people are learning about the best gear one can acquire for their feet.
If I asked you today what your favorite shoes are then what would you say?
Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a pair of OluKai Sandals.
Justin Mohr is a native to Greenville, South Carolina, where he currently resides. He is a fun-loving guy who has big dreams. Coupling his vibrant piano talent and his passion to serve people Justin aims to set the world on fire. He is passionate about bringing the people of the community together. You can find him on Main Street in downtown Greenville street-performing on an upright piano when the weather is warm. So the next time you hear the sweet sound of piano hammers humming against their strings it just might be this mastermind at work. The donations he gets from “busking” on Saturdays all support local charities.
Justin is also co-owner of Domojam Productions, which is a production studio that does recording, mixing, mastering, music, and video production. Check out his website at www.domojam.com and follow him on Instagram at jmoplay123.