Today, 65 years ago, an icon of a store opened its doors for business in Charleston, SC, and King Street is proud to claim it. Stationed ever so beautifully on the corner of George and King, Bob Ellis Shoes began its journey in the retail industry as one of today’s most well-known, family owned and operated boutiques in the country.
Boasting large storefront windows (that are extremely hard to ignore) beneath the unmistakable, black script that reads ‘Bob Ellis’ ‘Distinctive Footwear’ … the store is a true retail landmark.
The store’s first ad from the 1950’s!
For decades, Bob Ellis has been making headlines. The late Mr. Morris Kalinsky, founder and President of Bob Ellis, began his venture as the third generation to own a highly successful retail store. Paving the way for big accolades, he was named best retailer in the United States in 1992 by the Fashion Footwear Association, among other high prestige awards in the industry.
Catering to locals and visitors alike, Bob Ellis continues serving the very best in footwear for men and women, while providing the variety to suit most occasions — all while delivering exceptional customer service.
The store currently carries an exclusive style of Stuart Weitzman shoes.
These gorgeous suede wedges can only be found at Bob Ellis.
Wondering where to go for a pair with the infamous red soles?
Just when you thought this classic couldn’t be a more perfect go-to sandal … they carry a style that’s meant for monogramming.
Naturally, their men’s selection is always equally enticing with a wide variety of styles.
Swims loafers for men are perfect for warm weather, boating and the beach.
Last week, I had the pleasure of sharing two of my most memorable experiences in Bob Ellis with the store’s Vice President, Barry Kalinsky. The first, occurring in 2002 while attending CofC, I had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of cowboy boots and spotted them in their store window, practically beaming and calling my name. Days later, during the middle of exam week in chilly December, I remember walking in and experiencing a level of customer service that was truly unforgettable (and much appreciated during such a busy week). My other favorite memory was the day I discovered the shoes for my wedding in 2008. A gorgeous pair of slingbacks, covered with tiny pearls; they were the epitome of what I had envisioned. The meaningful service I received when buying these only made that purchase all the more special.
Make no mistake, Bob Ellis carries the very best in handbags as well. Locating the perfect bag for spring won’t be a difficult feat when perusing the store. This Saint Laurent clutch is perfection, and the suede stunners are by Nicholas Kirkwood.
Loving this cork tote by Stuart Weitzman! Cork wedges are by Donald Pliner.
As one of the most widely recognized and sought-after names in retail, congratulations on 65 years of impeccable service and taking great pride in family tradition with beautiful footwear, handbags, and window displays that catch our eye every time. Happy 65th Anniversary, Bob Ellis!
Barry Kalinsky, Executive Vice President of Bob Ellis.
* Written for Charlestoninsideout.com in February 2015