Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. I know many of you, including us here at May Meets June, took a little extra time off last week for the 4th of July holiday. We are into the middle of summer and here in the south, it is very steamy. I can’t walk outside without my sunglasses fogging up and it only takes minutes before beads of sweat begin to form on my body. I was warned and all I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning!!
My current wardrobe on these sultry days is usually a sundress and sandals. Comfy sandals. However, I also want my sandals to be stylish and transition from daytime to dinner out. When I first arrived in Charleston, I came across a great little shoe store called Charleston Shoe Company. There were so many styles and colors and although I tried on a few pairs, I wasn’t yet ready to make a purchase. After hearing more about the shoes I went back, and I’m now the proud owner of two pairs of sandals, and I have a feeling there may be more in my future.
I had them on all day while traveling with no sore, tired feet plus I’ve walked all over downtown Charleston in them, even on the cobblestones! Oh, and you can machine wash many of the styles too. I also love that they come in wedges as well as a chunky heel. A little extra height on my 5’2″ frame is always a good thing.
Neely Woodson Powell is the founder of The Charleston Shoe Company. I loved reading about her journey and want to share her success story with y’all.
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 villagers and visitors alike. It was Kismet.
With suitcases stuffed with the made-by-hand shoes, Neely and her mother boarded a plane home, plotting to sell sandals alongside her mother’s own burgeoning import business at furniture markets. The shoes were embraced by young and old, and before they knew it a wholesale business was created. 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 with her young daughter, Gigi, in tow. 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 then called Savannah Shoe Co.
An entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Neely’s family – her father developed a five star resort in the Florida Keys and her mother started the wholesale interior furnishings mecca, Worlds Away. An idyllic childhood on Little Palm Island, where swimming and snorkeling were the order of the day, gave her an appreciation for the relaxed ease of island living. Coupled with the fact that she had highly creative and artistic parents, it’s no surprise that her design influence errs towards laid back sophistication meets comfortably chic.
In 2010, Neely opened Savannah Shoe Co in Savannah and then a small storefront called Charleston Shoe Co. on a quiet and historic section of King Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. This proved a pivotal moment for the brand as the community and tourists alike embraced the collection and the charismatic proprietor. With locations in Charleston, Savannah, & Del Mar, they still could not meet the demand for the “cobblestones to cocktails” shoe and the wholesale line launched in January 2011. The Charleston Shoe Co. line is now currently sold in over 150 boutiques nationally.
From Boca Grande to Nantucket & Del Mar to Carmel, 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!
Her stores are popping up all over the country but if one is not near you, no worries. You can buy all her shoes online and if you sign up for emails, you’ll receive 10% off your first pair.
Have a great week! ~May
‘Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.’ – Marilyn Monroe