Kicks Exceptional Owner (& Shoes).

kickspicI don’t usually write on Tuesday nights, but given I posted a giant image of a “SALE” sign with the Kicks Exceptional Shoes image on Facebook I thought it might be wise to explain why. Early Monday afternoon I got the email from Kicks that the doors would be closing forever next month.

As owner, Jackie Scott Howie, put it, “After much thought over the last year I am announcing that Kicks Shoes will close its doors in August 2014. This would have been my 16th year in business…” I’ll stop right there with this. What a run! Kicks has been a staple, and part of the overall brand that has become Columbia’s coveted, “Devine Street Corridor”

Taking this post up a notch, Jackie and I are buds. By buds, I mean friends. Jackie and her husband and my buddy Tige, my wife Jennifer, and I have traveled many times and eaten countless dinners together. I was at her magical wedding and Cody’s birthday party (her beloved dog). She was at my 30th and 40th birthday diddys, and (God willing) will be at my 50th. We’ve had an fun, awesome connection since we met for the very first time.

Before I entered the real estate industry I can remember 12/13 years ago sitting next to Jackie at Sato’s on Beltline. I was flying solo and she was with my buddy Tige (this was after my late wife passed away and before I met Jennifer). I told her I had noticed her ad in a magazine and wanted to know more about it (I think it was Jolie). We started talking marketing stuff and Tige leaned over and said, “Are y’all talking about advertising Kicks?” I responded, “Yup…I brought it up. We are good.”

Taking it a step further, I’ve said many times over that Stephen and Amy Scott (Jackie’s brother and sister in law) are how I’m still in the real estate industry today. I just looked it up, and sure ’nuff on 9/16/2004 they closed on my fourth sale ever, allowing me to afford to keep doing what I’m doing. I told this story in front of about 30-40 friends at Saluda’s restaurant in 5 Points. She had no idea, and her facial expression and reaction was priceless for me.

Back to Jackie stuff. You know, “Get In The Pink?” I never doubted this effort, but have to admit I never thought it would be what it has become. That’s Jackie Scott Howie.

Over the years Jackie has also given her time, talents, and treasures to The Junior League of Columbia which of course I admire.

For male shoppers, Kicks has been an outlet of fantastic customer service and ‘help.’ I can think of many times where Jackie, Trenholm, or Bayless have helped me through some happy and ‘get out of the doghouse’ times. Personally typing, I’ve bought heels, flats, boots, sling backs, and hammered earrings for wife and friends.

IMO, Jackie has been one of the pioneers of local businesses in downtown Columbia. Business/advertising/marketing folks constantly approach her asking what she ‘thinks.’ That said, after 16 years in retail, and two beautiful children, I can understand how and why it’s time to turn the page.

In her email, Jackie described closing the store as, “I’m taking my swan song this month…” My initial, arm’s length thoughts; “I’m droppin’ the mic, and walking off the stage.” #HerWay

Well done, Jackie Scott Howie, and Kicks Exceptional Shoes.




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