Successful Entrepreneur Martha Studstill Seeking New Ownership for Uptown Gifts

Since the opening of Uptown on Main, Martha Studstill has developed a devout local following. Her shop has been the cornerstone of the revitalization of Columbia's Business Improvement District. After 13 years, Martha is now looking to retire and is seeking an interested party to step up and fill her shoes.


Her gift shop, which originally started as a home-based embroidery business in 2003, later transformed into a local retail gift shop in 2008. Shortly after signing the lease on her new storefront, which was previously occupied by Capital City Newsstand at 204 Main St., Martha began renovating the retail space to suit her needs. The project allowed her to expose and incorporate a lot of the hidden historical elements of the building such as the brick walls, archway, and original terrazzo flooring. Those design choices proved themselves popular as the appeal of historical renovation projects has continued to increase over the past two decades.


However, the timeliness of the grand opening would prove to be a different story. With the 2008 stock market collapsing weeks before the grand opening, Martha was able to sustain and grow her business. She was also able to concentrate her efforts on building strong relationships with walk-in clients and supplying them with products and services they requested.


"An early challenge was getting people out of their offices and down to the street," said Martha. "I quickly learned to listen to my customers and I would adjust my inventory to cater to their wants and needs. If people could find what they wanted in my store during their lunch hour, we would be okay."


By providing excellent customer service, she was able to tap into Main Street's growing appetite for more street-level retail businesses. For over a decade, those relationships allowed her to grow a loyal base of dedicated customers while cultivating a positive reputation in the community.


Today, Uptown Gifts is an anchor of the Main Street District and continues to offer a carefully curated selection of gifts and accessories for men, women, and children. The store also specializes in unique gift baskets featuring South Carolina gourmet food products and personalized gifts.


Martha is seeking qualified applicants interested in purchasing Uptown Gifts. The business remains in good health and it recently posted its best quarter, last year. With a current email distribution list of over 5000 people and a newly established website and social media channels, there is an abundance of opportunity to expand the online retail social media sales. 


For more info please email Martha at martha@uptownsc.com or by calling 803-661-7651