The Only Black Woman Who Owns a Store at Charlotte’s Most Luxurious Mall

Charity Washington, owner of Captivate clothing store in Charlotte

Charity Washington, a fashion stylist and entrepreneur, is the only Black woman who owns a storefront at the luxurious SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her women's clothing store, Captivate, is situated next to big brands such as Gucci, Michael Kors, and Louis Vuitton.

"Captivate actually means to captivate you, to get your attention, and to keep it," Washington told WCNC about her brand that offers shoes and clothes for women of all shapes and sizes.

For 20 years, Charity has been thriving in her career in the fashion industry. She started with styling athletes and entertainers. She also owned a clothing store for women called Elle Mari in Atlanta, Georgia. She aims it 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.

Charity launched her first Captivate store at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, North Carolina in 2019 and eventually opened another location at SouthPark Mall. However, due to challenges posed by the pandemic, she had to close down one of the locations last May.

"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," Charity said. She chose to keep the store at SouthPark Mall where she is the only Black woman store owner.

Now that the health restrictions are being eased across the states, Charity hopes to inspire other business owners who were affected during the pandemic to have faith over fear.

"I prioritized beforehand," Charity 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."

For more information about Captivate and/or to shop online, visit

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