About Charleston Shoe Co.
Charleston Shoe Co. takes pride in offering an affordable, comfortable and versatile shoe for the everyday woman. Offering many cobblestones-to-cocktails shoe styles, we are geared toward designing for the modern woman who needs to be on her feet while staying fashionable all day long! Walk through the cobblestone streets of Charleston, then dance into evening cocktail parties in a pair of shoes that won’t let you down. All of our styles are custom designed right here in Charleston to be both comfortable and stylish while the sturdy construction will last for many years. Don’t hesitate to pick up a pair today…. you’ll want one in every style!
Neely Woodson Powell
Charleston Shoe Company founder Neely Powell spent her childhood summers in a colonial town in central Mexico. In the summer of 1996, while at the College of Charleston, she met a cobbler whose simple sandals were a wardrobe staple among the locals and visitors alike. It was truly kismet.
Loaded up with suitcases stuffed with the made-by-hand shoes, Neely and her mother boarded a plane home with the idea to sell sandals alongside her mother’s own burgeoning import business at furniture markets. Neely knew that the amazing women working these tradeshows were style conscious but also on their feet all day, and she had a suitcase full of shoes that would keep them comfortable. The more she showed the shoes, the more she knew she had something special, and before they knew it, a wholesale business was formed.
In 2009 when dreams of her own brand began swirling in her head, she enrolled in an accessories design program at the Savannah College of Art & Design. Neely drew upon her shoe and accessory design coursework and, in collaboration with a fourth generation cobbler in Mexico, launched her own line of hand-sewn footwear.
With an entrepreneurial spirit that runs in her veins (after all her father developed a five star resort in the Florida Keys and her mother started the wholesale interior furnishings mecca, Worlds Away) Neely was ready to take the next step into forming Charleston Shoe Co. In 2010, she opened her very first storefront in the iconic Savannah Market and shortly thereafter, a small storefront on a quiet and historic section of King Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. This proved a pivotal moment for the brand as shoppers quickly embraced the collection and the charismatic proprietor.
With locations in Charleston, Savannah, & Del Mar, the brand was really starting to take off which is when demand for the “cobblestones to cocktails” shoes reached a new height. In an effort to expand past retail, Neely created a true wholesale line that launched in January 2011. Since then, stores around the US have jumped at the chance to sell our wide range of styles and The Charleston Shoe Co. line is now sold in over 300 boutiques in the US.
From Miami to New York and Newport Beach to Nantucket, women can’t get enough of the comfortable, versatile and stylish shoes. When she is not in the stores in Charleston & Savannah you’ll frequently find Neely traversing the East Coast selling her shoes to adoring fans of the Charleston Shoe Co line, with Gigi still in tow!
Want to hear even more about Neely's story straight from the boss babe herself? Check out her appearance on James McKinney's, The Startup Story podcast!