It’s hard out there for brick-and-mortar businesses. Just ask Charlotte Walsh, the owner of running shoe store Charles River Running, who competes against her vendors for market share.
But her store in Norwood, Massachusetts, offers customers what her direct-to-consumer competitors can’t: a place where new athletes can buy their first running shoes, friendly help finding comfortable footwear for people with active jobs, and a connection point for runners of all stripes to join weekly runs around the neighborhood.
Charlotte, a Marine Corps veteran and a runner since age 13, started Charles River Running in 2012. She’d always dreamed of starting her own business, and though she’s had hits and misses along the way, being a business owner brings her joy. “I didn’t realize how much I was going to love my customers,” she says.
Charlotte is proud to be part of Norwood’s vibrant downtown. She attributes her success to the community she’s built within her customer base, and Constant Contact is her tool of choice for engaging that community.
On this episode of Be A Marketer, Charlotte and host Dave Charest, Director of Small Business Success at Constant Contact, discuss customers, community, and finding your competitive advantage.
Meet Today’s Guest: Charlotte Walsh of Charles River Running
☕ What she does: Charlotte is the owner of Charles River Running, a full-service running and walking shoe store in Norwood, Massachusetts. A Marine Corps veteran with an MBA, Charlotte opened the store in 2012 to provide shoes, accessories, and anything active people need to pursue their goals.
💡 Key quote: “I just want to build a community of people who feel that Charles River Running is a place they can walk into even if they’re a mailman and they’re on their feet all day, or they’re a walker or a lapsed runner. I needed to build a space where people felt super comfortable and not intimidated.”
👋 Where to find her: LinkedIn
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