USC Press to offer books exclusively to The Nest shop on Main Street
The University of South Carolina is creating a greater presence on Main Street. The business district’s newest retail store, The Nest, now carries books exclusively published by USC Press.
“Being able to offer such a large selection of top-quality regional interest books from USC Press in one convenient downtown location is a great opportunity for the booklovers of Columbia,” said Nest owner Emile DeFelice. “It’s a mutual response from the press and Nest to Columbia’s absence of an independent bookseller and our declining number of chain bookstores as well. USC Press books, writers and readers, now have a new home at Nest.”
The Nest, which is inside the Columbia Marriott Hotel next to the Hub housing complex, will feature more than 300 of the most popular titles from the publishing house, as well as regional favorites like Walter Edgar’s “South Carolina: A History,” Jonathan Green’s “Gullah Images,” Nancy Roberts’s “South Carolina Ghosts” and Mary Whyte’s “Down Bohicket Road.”
USC Press also will host book signings during the shop’s First Thursday event, as well as special signings on select Saturdays.
DeFelice said he was inspired to add books to his shop after learning that the number of bookstores in the Midlands was dwindling. The Nest carries furniture, clothing, jewelry, photos and art, food like local honey and cane syrup and artifacts like arrowheads.
“This is an alternative on a hotel gift shop,” DeFelice said. “Everything here is made or written by a South Carolinian.”
The Nest opened in December, a month after DeFelice worked with the Marriott to acquire the property. The shop represents an extension of DeFelice’s signature Soda City Market and the growth of its imprint in the greater Columbia area.
“This is the 10th year of the market’s presence on Main Street,” he said. “ We always feel like we’re an incubator and a grower of business.”
The Soda City Market has built a community of more than 450 vendors. DeFelice said the market grosses 3 million sales each year for the city. Soda City Market continues its trend of businesses building out Main Street into a thriving corridor with the addition of The Nest.
“It’s exciting to be a part of the rebirth,” DeFelice said. “I love that my day is on Main Street.”
The Nest was designed to be a “maker’s market” to promote the artisan craft and offer one-of-a-kind gifts for people.
“Everything in our store is unique,” said co-manager Kaitlin Galloway. “It’s a place where you can find precious things.”