Sheila McCullough is the victim of her own success.
McCullough—a beaming, boisterous woman with kind eyes and an easy laugh—has spent the last decade as owner of Fleet Feet Sports, and in that decade, she’s played a huge role in promoting running and fitness in Greenville. However, that thriving community of runners is what forced McCullough to move her store from its location on the corner of Augusta and Aberdeen streets. “We basically outgrew our old location about six years ago,” McCullough says. Now, McCullough oversees a newly outfitted space on Augusta Street near the West End.
GPS WATCHES. (“GARMINS AND TOMTOMS ARE HUGE RIGHT NOW. I THINK PEOPLE LOVE SEEING THEIR PROGRESS,” SAYS MCCULLOUGH. “WE USED TO HAVE TO WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN IN TRAINING LOGS. NOW, EVERYTHING UPLOADS INTO OUR COMPUTERS AND OUR PHONES AND WE CAN CHART AND TRACK OUR PROGRESS.”)
With the new store, McCullough found an opportunity to better integrate Fleet Feet into the local community of runners. “We really wanted the store to feel like it was connected to the walkability of Greenville,” says McCullough. A mini- plaza—complete with benches for sitting and stretching—and a wide garage door dominating the store’s façade are the products of that philosophy. “I really spent some time on the front of the store so it tied in with the sidewalk, and with the big garage door, we wanted people to feel like they could just flow in here.”
Just beyond the garage door is the full array of Fleet Feet’s arsenal: brightly colored running shoes and apparel from Adidas, Asics, Brooks, Hoka One One, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, Pearl Izumi, and Saucony; nutritional supplements and water bottles; GPS watches; and more. But while the gear is fresh and dynamic, McCullough reminds that Fleet Feet’s training programs are the real attraction.
“It’s one thing to sell someone a product, but it’s quite another to sell them that product and then train with them for 12 weeks to get them to the goal they’re shooting for,” says McCullough. “I really want hundreds of people running in groups down the street. It doesn’t have to be how fast, or how far, just that you’re out there building a strong, healthy body. Even though there are all shapes and sizes, that doesn’t mean it should limit your ability to get out and play and enjoy yourself.