First Female StAART Program Recipient’s Store Is the First of Its Kind for the Speciality and Lifestyle Retailer
ATLANTA, Oct. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The specialty footwear and lifestyle retailer, The Athlete’s Foot (TAF), is proud to announce the official grand opening of Grammy-winning gospel artist Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s newest location in Greenville, SC located at 1120 N. Pleasantburg Dr., Ste 302/303. Tasha, alongside her husband and co-owner, Kenneth Leonard, are set to bring a unique touch to the brand’s presence in Greenville. The self-professed “sneakerhead” has a passion for giving back to her community and will continue to do so by elevating the local fashion and sneaker culture industry in her beloved hometown. Tasha is the first female recipient of TAF’s StAART Program which stands for Strategic African American Retail Track. The program was founded by TAF, in the summer of 2020 at the height of the Black Lives Matter Movement to generate awareness and promote change for the disparities in the footwear industry.
StAART’s mission is to increase African-American representation and ownership within the sneaker industry, particularly through franchising, while championing Black-owned retail and entrepreneurship within the Black community. Through StAART, The Athlete’s Foot directly recruits, develops, and mentors Black entrepreneurs through its retail franchise model. The program provides StAART franchisees, including Cobbs-Leonard, with access to resources, systems, relationships with its strategic brand partners, and a mentorship network – directly addressing many of the barriers that typically prevent Black entrepreneurs from launching and successfully sustaining their businesses.
Tasha Cobbs Leonard, shares, “I’m honored to be a part of The Athlete’s Foot family of franchise owners. To open a sneaker store in my hometown of Greenville, SC is a dream come true and I am so thankful for the support of the StAART Program to help make this dream for my community a reality.” She continues, “I look forward to working with my fellow franchise partners and the team at The Athlete’s Foot as my journey continues.”
Darius Billings, Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement, states, “The Athlete’s Foot and the StAART Program are proud of Tasha and her new location in Greenville, SC. We look forward to watching her grow as a franchise owner and are excited to partner with her to elevate sneaker culture in her beloved hometown.”
High-resolution images of Mayor White and Tasha Cobbs Leonard from the store opening HERE.
Photos courtesy of The Athlete’s Foot.
About The Athlete’s Foot (TAF):
More than just a retail store but branded to be a destination for athletic street style, The Athlete’s Foot is a global retailer of athletic-inspired lifestyle for streetwear, footwear, apparel, and accessories. The Athlete’s Foot sneaker and streetwear chain has 550 stores and e-commerce shops in 30+ countries. Its global headquarters are in Stans, Switzerland, and Atlanta, Ga. in the United States. For further information please go to www.theathletesfoot.com.
About the StAART Program
Founded in the summer of 2020 at the height of the Black Lives Matter Movement, through The Athlete’s Foot, the program’s mission is to generate awareness and promote change for one of the great disparities in the footwear industry. StAART’s goal is to increase African-American representation and ownership within the sneaker industry, mainly through franchising, while championing Black-owned retail and entrepreneurship within the Black community. Those interested in learning more about the StAART program, applying, or becoming a StAART partner can visit staart.us for information.
Stacey Manasco at Talent Resources
SOURCE The Athlete’s Foot