Sole of the Company
Meet Brian Simms, Charleston native, history buff and founder of Charleston Sole.
What makes Charleston Sole unique?
We really try to present a fresh approach to walking tours and to the city of Charleston. Anyone can walk you through Charleston history and point out the historical buildings, but we try to tailor our tours to our guests. We tell stories you haven’t heard before and point out interesting things that make Charleston such a unique city.
How did you get started?
I was in the hotel industry for six years, working every job from the back to the front of the house. My hospitality career helped me define my passion for the history of this city and my ability to communicate with people and get them excited about visiting Charleston.
Favorite spot in Charleston?
There’s a bench behind the Old Exchange Building on East Bay Street that I love. It’s just steps away from the hustle and bustle of Broad and East Bay Streets, but feels as if you’re in your own little private garden. Coincidentally, this is where we start Charleston Sole tours, so you will get to see it too!
Best part of your job?
I love that I get to take a walk, literally, into the past every day. I love sharing my knowledge about the city and its history with people who may not otherwise know the significance of the buildings they see and streets they walk on during their visit.
Favorite vacation spot?
I love the mountains of Asheville, NC. It’s actually where I got married! Asheville reminds me of Charleston in a lot of ways—small town, good people, and great food.
Favorite thing to do when you are not working?
When I’m not walking, I’m eating! Charleston has an incredible food scene and my wife and I love to get out and explore new restaurants.
Something not too many people know about you?
I used to play guitar and was the lead singer in a band. I guess the record contract just wasn’t in the cards, so I channeled my creative energy into starting Charleston Sole!
Last meal request?
Hmmm…that’s a tough one. It’s got to be a close heat between short ribs and chicken pot pie.
Favorite season in Charleston, and why?
I actually love winter here, because it’s cooler but usually not freezing. It feels good to layer up and walk around town with a hot cup of joe.
Travel tips for people visiting Charleston?
Tour with Charleston Sole, of course! But if you don’t, I hope you do enjoy all of the beauty and charm of my favorite city. Hope to see you soon!