This Family Lost Its Footwear Company in the Iranian Revolution. Now, it Makes 1.2 Million Shoes a Year in Georgia |

The lives of Bahman Irvani and his daughter, Sara Irvani, have followed the same trajectory. Both were born to successful entrepreneurs and worked, as children, in their parents’ shoe companies. Both attended boarding school in England and studied finance at Cambridge. Both intended to take over their family businesses.

But Bahman never succeeded his father. The 1979 Iranian Revolution swept away the family’s footwear company–a multinational enterprise with 60 factories–15 months after he joined full-time. Sara’s succession looks more propitious. Last year she became CEO of Okabashi, a plastic sandal and flip-flop manufacturer founded by Bahman in 1984. In March she unveiled a fresh direction for the business with a new line of eco-friendly shoes under the name Third Oak.

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