Uniqueness comes in special packages; and so it is of the specialty business of “Couture” athletic foot wear.
Asheville native and entrepreneur Tim Green is the son of Gregg Green of Asheville and Rita Conley of Marion, NC. After graduating from Asheville High School in 2002, he didn’t have any plans to go to college; instead, like many inner-city youth, he got caught up in a culture that was representative of his community.
“You can say I learned quickly and graduated from the school of hard knocks, and found that I had to get a different perspective about life,” he told The Urban News.
Tim started Sole82, which offers high-end athletic footwear and clothing for men and women. The business name is a combination of the year Tim’s father graduated from high school, and his own love of the game of basketball—including being a huge fan of basketball great Michael Jordan.
Tim re-evaluated his business plan when the Covid-19 pandemic hit—causing many businesses to close their doors—and following a robbery that almost took his life; in response, he moved Sole82 to the Block, the historic center of Black commerce in the heart of downtown Asheville. There he went for an almost futuristic take on the typical shoe store: the new shop features beautiful lighting, contemporary interior design, and even touchscreen shopping and ordering.
“This is where I find my synergy,” Tim says, referring to his African American ancestors whose businesses thrived on this very ground and still motivate him to thrive. “Being on the Block helps me to stay focused and bring my business back to a better place.”
One aspect of that “better place” is not the physical location, but community involvement: Green regularly donates shoes to those living in local public housing communities. He also realized that local tourism industry has contributed tremendously to the foot traffic, including from visitors “who recognize the uniqueness of what my business has to offer for today’s trendy, sports-minded clients.”
Shop local: visit Sole82 at 46 South Market Street, Asheville, NC 28801