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Meet Experience Columbia SC Ambassador Bianca Crawford Shelton

Here’s what this local loves most about our city — read on for weekend inspo.

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Bianca working in SOCO conference room

By day, you can often find Bianca working at SOCO BullStreet.

Photo by Denise Benson Photography

Meet Bianca Crawford Shelton. She’s an Experience Columbia SC 2023 Ambassador, USC graduate, wife, and mom to a 2-year-old girl. Originally from Anderson, she started her own strategic communications firm, The Crawford Austin Agency, in 2007, and recently told us a few of the things she loves most about living in Columbia, like:

  • the cost of living
  • the restaurants, bars, and museums (EdVenture is her new favorite)
  • the concerts and special events
  • the business community

We hope our Q+A with Bianca inspires you to reflect on what you love most about our city — and maybe make plans to live it up like a tourist this weekend.

Q: What brought you to Columbia? What’s the most exciting change/development you’ve seen in your time here?

A: The USC Journalism and Mass Communications program is what brought me here (to my mother’s surprise, because at the time she was working for Clemson in the football office). The most exciting change/development has been the evolution of Main Street. I lived in the Lofts at the Tapp’s Building, and Main Street has evolved since I moved in 2011.

Q: You can choose one local restaurant menu to bring with you to a deserted island — which is it and why?

A: Hands down, Halls Chophouse. I’m addicted.

Q: What’s your favorite “hidden gem” in our city?

A: The city and county public parks. My daughter loves going to the park to run around, swing, and slide. My husband and I have been visiting a new one each month.

Q: You’re describing Cola to a friend who’s never been here in three words. Go.

A: Warm. Southern. Intriguing.

Q: What does your ideal Columbia Saturday look like?

A: Pilates at Club Pilates on Forest Drive, Soda City (for the flowers, food, and fellowship), shopping at Home Goods ( I always need something), home drop off + nap, and dinner with the family at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar.

Q: Give us one person, place, and thing every Soda Citizen should know more about.

A: Person: Steve Benjamin (the ultimate connector). Place: SOCO (if you are in town for work or need a cool place to meet, they have everything you need; I’ve been a member for years). Thing: The public art around the city; it’s absolutely beautiful and the artists are so talented. The Hotel Trundle Butterfly by Megan Carn and the “Cayce Wonders” mural on State Street by Ija Charles are two of my favorite pieces of public art.” *

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