What’s the magic number??? Twenty-six -26 years! In July 1995 Charleston Cotton Exchange opened its doors diagonally across the street from where we are now (what is now Carolina Groomer’s). We had one small press that was not very stable and a dryer that always seemed to not work when we needed it most!
After a few years and many floods, we moved across the street to our current location with more space. Originally, we just had the office space and first bay and through the years, we took over the rest of the building and the little white house. We have more than 6,000 square feet of space, lots of equipment to get your jobs out, and an awesome staff that makes it happen every day!
I never thought any of this was possible. I have to say, I didn’t always have the vision for where I was going, I just kept going. I love the people I work with and our customers who keep coming back. Everyone ends up being family.
For those of you who don’t know, I started Charleston Cotton Exchange with my parents, David and Helenita Mathias. I graduated from Dickinson College in May of 1995 with a degree in sociology and history. I was definitely unsure of what I wanted to do next. My mother bought some used screen printing equipment because she thought it would be fun and interesting and said, “Stephanie, you are going to run the business.” I had no experience and just jumped right in!
Over the years, we have weathered hurricanes, snowstorms, recessions, 9/11, the Sofa Super Store tragedy, the completion of Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, a pandemic, and lots of online and local competition, but Charleston Cotton Exchange has held its own.
I have learned a lot and I am most grateful for my dedicated, talented, and creative employees, some of whom have been with us for more than 20 years and many have been with us for more than 10 years. We could not get your orders out without their dedication, loyalty, and excellent work.
I am also grateful to Charleston for embracing this “Yankee” with open arms. Charleston is truly my home. A lot has changed over the years. I got married 14 years ago (John) and had 2 children (David -10 & James -8), both of my parents retired a while ago and John has taken over the role that my father helped me with so much. Unfortunately, I lost my father in 2020. He helped me weather many storms along our business journey and gave me a lot of good advice and encouragement. I have made many mistakes along the way and always try to learn from them. My mantra is “always rise above.”
-Charleston Cotton Exchange opened its doors @ 1727 Ashley River Road
-Cell phones were only used to make phone calls – now they are our lifelines
-ER, Seinfeld, and Friends were the most popular TV shows
-Many of us still had dial-up internet access
-Window 95 was released
-Amazon sold its first book! Now we find it hard to live without Amazon!
-Charleston Cotton Exchange continues to be more automated and focused on technology.
-Environmental standards have changed for the better in our industry, making it safe for production and end-users.
This letter was supposed to come out last year for our 25th anniversary, but it’s never too late to say “Thank you.” We started with a few, but now we are many, cheers to many more years together!
Team Charleston Cotton Exchange