- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) - Danielle Blaker Nance really loves to shop.

As the 27-year-old co-proprietor of B. Nance Fine Gifts, she has found her niche.

“There’s really not much more to it,” she said. “What led to this - I’ve always had an appreciation for high quality vs. quantity.”

Her mother, Jill Blaker, recalls taking her shopping as a youngster and staying eight hours in one store, “and maybe leaving with one thing.”

Nance appreciates the tactile aspect of selecting wares and focuses on the “analytical part of shopping,” she said. Some people are inspired by music or art, she points out, but she happens to possess a photographic memory for details of lines of merchandise and can easily remember clothing items worn to events from years past and from which store it was purchased.

“But I can’t remember what I had for breakfast,” she said, laughing.

Her mother praises her instincts and work ethic.

“She’s been amazing through the whole process,” Blaker said. “For me, it’s like learning something new. For her, it’s second nature.”

The process she refers to has been a multi-faceted and time consuming project in opening a new upscale gift boutique, involving research, buying trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas and many hours spent organizing and preparing.

B. Nance Fine Gifts opened July 13 on Hoffmeyer Road, and Blaker marveled at watching her daughter work hard as her passion for retail shines bright.

“It’s not just owning a store, it’s owning a business,” Blaker said. “And this gets in your blood.”

Blaker, a native of Baltimore, has been in Florence over 25 years. She first came to the Pee Dee area when her husband, Alan, a physician, was offered a job with McLeod Cardiology Associates.

“When we first came, we thought it would be a stepping stone, but it didn’t take long to fall in love with the area and McLeod and we’ve been here ever since,” Blaker said. “Now it’s home.”

Blaker spent much of her career in the medical field, working as registered nurse, mostly in the emergency room. Her daughter earned a degree in retail management and marketing from USC in Columbia with an internship in New York City learning about the world of corporate fashion.

“I always had a goal of owning something,” Nance said.

A job after college selling medical equipment went fine, but she found it lacking.

“With this, I have a lot more passion,” she said.

Mother and daughter began brainstorming a while back after Porter’s Gift Shop closed, and though they both admired and enjoyed the popular store, they wanted to do something unique with their own imprint.

“It’s more challenging to start from scratch,” Nance said, “and we saw a need in the area.”

Gifts for baby showers, engagements and birthdays - from high-ticket items to pick-up presents, B. Nance Fine Gifts offers a wide selection that includes 13 different China lines, Le Creuset, kitchen tools and more. Though they love their location, they have already made plans to move, but not very far. A new space is under construction around the corner in the same strip of Hoffmeyer Road and should be ready in the first quarter of next year.

Nance has had to balance being a new mother - her son, Blaker Nance, was born seven weeks ago - and both women credit their spouses for helping tremendously throughout the process. It’s not often you see an interventional cardiologist helping sort inventory but Dr. Blaker has done just that, his proud wife points out, and Nance said her husband, Ashley Nance, an attorney with King & Love, put his expertise to work in establishing the legal aspects of the business.

“It’s truly a family affair,” Danielle Nance said.


Information from: Morning News, https://www.scnow.com

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