Neely Powell
Founder & CEO, Charleston Shoe Company
Industry: Fashion, retail, and accessories
WPO Member-at-Large
WPO Member Since: 2017Neely Powell Member of the Moment

How has being a WPO member helped your business?
Being a WPO Member has connected me with some of the smartest, most thoughtful and generous women. It’s such an incredible community of knowledge sharing, and the ability to bounce ideas off other women with the same goals has been one of the best parts about being a member.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in business?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is trusting that people love the business as much as I do. When you spend so much time building a business, it’s hard to remember that others’ level of dedication and passion may not be the same as mine.

That’s another reason I love being a part of the WPO – because these women are working through everything that I am with as much passion.

What inspired you to start your business?
I knew that I wanted something bigger – something greater in and for my life and the life of my family.

What’s your favorite WPO event you’ve attended? Why?
The Annual Conference is by far my favorite event! Not only do I get the opportunity to be amongst the WPO community and listen to their ideas, but I get to sell shoes and share my business with them at the same time! There’s nothing I love more than being on the front lines of my business, and the Conference is such a great opportunity to do that!

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Get a good lawyer and an even better accountant!

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Always continue to push yourself to reinvent the wheel. No matter what our company is, there is always a way to grow and do something totally new and unexpected.

Have you or your business won any awards?
Our stores have won quite a few local accolades which are voted on by our customers. To me, these are the most important awards because it shows the personal relationship that we have with the women that shop with us!

How has Charleston Shoe Company addressed COVID-19-related issues?
Given today’s uncertainty, we believe more than ever in the importance of spreading positivity, love and support to those around us (one of the many reasons we joined this group of amazing women!). As part of this, we launched a Buy One, Give One Campaign dedicated to helping the incredible women working in our healthcare industry. Since the inception of the program in April, we have donated over 1,600 pairs and counting to 23 different hospitals, in nine different states. We’ve received such incredible feedback from the women who are receiving the shoes that we really want to spread this positive impact far and wide to give us more opportunity to donate.

Connect with Neely:
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