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Creative Shop Talk with Wendy Batten

Feb 13, 2020

Who here has spent all day shopping at Market and realized, quite painfully, they wore the wrong shoes?

My guest today got her “retailer start” by going to Market to help her mom sell furniture. There she began her under-the-table shoe business by hooking up other women who were shopping with her comfortable shoes from Mexico.

I can’t wait for you to meet a fellow creative retailer, Neely Powell, the founder of Charleston Shoe Company.

After going to shoe design school, Neely opened her first store in Savannah in April 2010, borrowing the first and last month’s rent from her mother. By July of that year she opened a second store on King Street in Charleston.  Now she has 26 locations and as a wholesale product line in 300 boutiques.

This is so impressive because she did it with very little marketing budget, a baby on her hip, and not many employees.

In this conversation, she shares how she attracted customers to her store wearing two different shoes… how the power of referrals built her empire … and why the store atmosphere is so crucial to the customer experience.

I know you’ll find so much inspiration and encouragement from hearing her “accidental shopkeeper” journey. She’s overcome many obstacles but her fighting spirit is always willing to turn failure into opportunities.

“I love to say I’m a 22-year-overnight success because this didn’t all happen yesterday.”

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