Neely Speaking at CofC Business School
Last week, our CEO & Founder took center stage in front of 60 young entrepreneurs at the College of Charleston School of Business. (Which may have been her most intimidating crowd yet!) From the inception of Savannah Shoe Company - which is our company’s original name - to building out her 22 retail stores, Neely did not hold back her passion and enthusiasm for building her business.
She began with telling her incredible story – from the floor of a furniture showroom to the tv screens of QVC and everything in between, Neely’s entrepreneurial spirit permeated the room. Enjoy these words of wisdom from our fearless leader!
“I looked around the City Market in Savannah, GA and thought to myself, ‘What if someone could take home a pair of shoes, instead of a trinket?’ So I went to my cobbler in Mexico, borrowed $5,000 from my mom, rented a little shop in Savannah and I opened up! I had about 20 pairs of shoes in there and no one came. That whole saying ‘If you build it, they will come’ is not really true.
I knew I had to reinvent the wheel.
I walked back in my store, put on two different shoes and stepped out onto the cobblestone streets. I BEGGED people to come in, and they either came in because they felt sorry for me or they completely ignored me and walked past. Word of mouth got around and more and more people started stopping by for the experience. It was like walking into your best friend's closet. It kind of became a tourist attraction! Just a short four months later I decided to open a second store in Charleston, SC.
It’s about the idea and the dream, but it’s really about the hard work and the hustle.”