Oxford’s Nest Paper Studio helps customers celebrate life and keep pace with their personal correspondence
By Michael Harrelson, Editor of HottyToddy.com
In the social whirlwind of Oxford and Ole Miss, keeping up with personal correspondence and the Joneses of life events is an essential part of life.
Far from a frill, this often engraved and mostly paper trail heralds the moving story of our personal lives, ceremoniously denoting the events and the times we deem worthy of being printed and disseminated in black, red or gold script, whether it’s a save-the-date reminder, a business thank you note or a sympathy card.
Perhaps no one knows this more than Kara Giles, the co-owner of Nest Paper Studio on the Square in Oxford. Since 2009 when she purchased the store, and really since 2004, when she began working as manager of the business, Giles and business partner Nancy Harrelson Akin have been helping men and women of all ages keep pace with social calendars that include everything from simple greetings to anniversary announcements and special occasions in the Grove.
Heavy on the paper side is the way Giles describes the unique items found at Nest Paper Studio –– an inventory that ranges from wedding invitations to suit a range of budgets to personal stationery and Grove-tested party wares. The store’s exclusive line of, ‘Bigger in Texas but Better in the Grove’ cups, napkins and t-shirts are a particular favorite with football weekenders during Rebel home football games in the fall.
“In addition, we are a go to for the best selection of greeting cards, stationery, sympathy cards, wrapping paper and gift tags in the city,” Giles adds.
The ever unfolding book of life is long, Giles says, and often predictable too. Sometimes, she says, her interaction with customers ranging from college students to senior citizens can be downright chronological.
“Our main focus is customer service,” Giles says. “We love to work with everybody throughout the events of life. If they come in for a wedding invitation, we love for them to come back for a birth announcement or a birthday celebration –– all of the things that people want to celebrate.”
If it’s paper and it has a social or party connection, Nest likely carries it, Giles says, noting that the store even sells Bridge playing cards, tallies and score cards.
While many of the traditional life events to be acknowledged and/or celebrated remain the same through the generations, Giles says each new generation tends to add its own spin and style to managing their interpersonal communications with friends, family and associates.
Nowhere is this divide more apparent than with wedding invitations, she says. “From traditional black engraved wedding invitations, to the more modern ones with photos, we do all of it.”
While female customers naturally tend to gravitate to Nest Paper Studio for all of the obvious reasons, she says the store’s appeal to men as well demonstrates that males, too, understand the importance of keeping up with personal correspondence.
“We have a lot of men who come in. We are right here on the Square, and we have quite a few men’s offerings in terms of stationery.”
When it comes to restocking her inventory or adding new items to her stock, Giles takes a proactive approach. She has just returned from a trip to market, where she reordered some popular store favorites and looked over all the latest from suppliers that will be in stores soon.
In May, she will be traveling to New York with an eye toward picking up some new wedding invitation lines. “We’ll be checking to see what’s new and coming back with new orders for the store.”