Success story of the only Black woman who owns a store in Charlotte’s most expensive mall

Abu Mubarik March 26, 2021
Charity Washington, owner of Captivate, has closed one Charlotte retail location to invest in online shopping capabilities for customers. Courtesy of Captivate CHARLOTTEFIVE via charlotteobserver

Charity Washington has been working in the fashion industry for over 18 years. She started her career in the industry by styling athletes and entertainers including Grammy-Award-winning artists and Super Bowl champions. In 2019, she launched a women’s clothing store, Captivate, at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, North Carolina.

She subsequently opened her second store at the luxurious SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, becoming the only Black woman who owns a storefront at Charlotte’s SouthPark Mall.

“Captivate actually means to captivate you, to get your attention, and to keep it,” Washington told WCNC about her store.

Washington sells shoes and clothes meant to captivate women of all shapes and sizes and is next to big brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Michael Kors, according to WCNC.

Before Washington relocated to Charlotte, she owned another clothing store for women called Elle Mari in Atlanta, Georgia. “I went to college here in Charlotte, and I used to run this mall with my little cute outfits with my friends, so to actually have a store in here was a dream,” Washington said.

Washington hopes owning a store in the opulent SouthPark Mall could serve as a representation for other Black women and girls to see. “So a young girl that’s in high school or in college can say, ‘Hey, I can be in a high-end mall, and I can actually have a storefront,” she said.

The Black entrepreneur made her mark in Queen City through the opening of Captivate. Unfortunately, COVID-19 spread throughout the U.S. and the globe, resulting in the closure of her two stores.

“It was hard carrying two stores being closed down,” Washington said. As restrictions were eased across the U.S, she decided to keep one store so as to remain in business. She closed down the Pineville location as a result of the pandemic.

“It’s about moving smarter, not harder, so I just felt like I had to make the decision to downsize to one location, and that God was going to help me figure out the rest,” Washington said.

The fashion-savvy entrepreneur now wants to inspire others who have been severely affected by the pandemic to have faith over fear.

“I prioritized beforehand,” she said. “I saw it coming, so we were able to keep this location and keep it going, and now things are opening back up, so the girls will be coming to get dressed.”

Washington has so far “led endless women empowerment and business panels; has been featured in global magazine publications and maintains an elite handful of private long-standing clients till this day,” her website says.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 26, 2021


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