Time to put a face to a name!
Have you ever shopped our shoes at your local boutique or seen Charleston Shoe at a trade show? Now you can meet the amazing lady responsible - Michelle E.! Michelle has been part of the Charleston Shoe family for the past 9 years (yes you read that right!), and we couldn't do it without her. We caught up with her this week to chat about the wholesale division, her all time favorite shoes, and her most memorable moment!
(P.S. Stay tuned for cute pup pictures.)
How have your roles changed throughout the years?
When I first started, I was in college and worked as a store associate. I helped to open the Market store went on to managed it. When I graduated, I really wanted a business role and a 9-5 style job so when Neely pitched the wholesale division, I jumped at the opportunity. I would do everything from top to bottom: write the orders, pull the shoes, and ship. It was a crazy time, and tons of fun - jumping in head first allowed me to learn a lot, quickly!
How has your team grown in wholesale?
Internally, Peri came on board when she graduated college 5 years ago and did everything from top to bottom with me. She has been pivotal in the growth of the business and I’m so thankful to have her as part of the team. Over the years, we have brought on independent reps to help us manage new territories and support our expansion. Everyone we bring on is just passionate about the brand, and I’m excited to see how we continue to grow!
We now exhibit at 25 trade shows a year and have over 300 wholesale accounts… crazy!
What do you love most about the wholesale side of the business?
Two things - First, I love representing Charleston Shoe Co within the industry. We present the brand to other apparel and footwear companies, sales reps, owners, creators, etc. So it’s really cool to get to tell the story of our brand and see the excitement in others when they learn about us.
Second, I just love the people. Our customers are so amazing! Whenever I go to a trade show, it's like catching up with family. People make everything in life anyway, but my extended family at trade shows makes me so happy.
Could you pick a favorite shoe? (Then & now)
The Monterey in Coral has been my go-to for years! It’s so fun and the coral matches everything, even though it's a pop of color I wear it as a neutral! Now, I have to admit that the new Sully is my favorite shoe, especially since it's named after my yellow lab, Sully. You need this sandal because it’s (almost) as cute as he is!
What do you miss most about Charleston now that you live in D.C.?
What is your most memorable moment working for CHS shoe?
There are so, so many! Over 9 years, there are many defining moments for the company and me personally (QVC airings definitely jump to mind!). But I will always remember my first few weeks while working in the store on King St. Back then, before it was renovated, you had to duck to come into the doorway. The store was a small shoe box. It was packed, shoulder to shoulder full of women. Even with 3 employees, I had to work 3-4 customers myself. I had their different shoe sizes in my head and carrying stacks of shoes in my hands hoping that they wouldn’t tip over. I was 20 years old and I was obsessed with coming and selling shoes to all these amazing women. I spent my college years working between classes, on weekends, and over the summer because it was so much fun and I learned so much! I wanted to be there with the customers, the shoes, and my coworkers. After 9 years, that energy hasn't changed.So many things are uncertain in life but I'm so thankful this has been one constant. We always say ‘it's just shoes’ but it is so much more.