Walking On Sunshine

If you had told me five years ago, that I would be a boutique owner and living my childhood dream, I would have been doubtful. The past six years have been the hardest, BEST, most rewarding, most hurtful, any emotion you can imagine, have been the past six years for me. My true purpose is being revealed to me every day because now I am truly SAVED by God's Grace, and I can trust and put it ALL in His hands. Do I mess up, EVERY SINGLE DAY, do I forget to give it to HIM, ALL the time, do I fight His will for me, many times, are there times when it's hard to keep going, you BET, however, I know all I have to do is pray to my Savior, Jesus Christ, to take control, and everything always turns out perfectly even if it's in my eyes, imperfect.

I absolutely LOVE teaching. I always wanted to be a teacher. I also wanted to be a travel agent (check-Disney travel planner for a year), a real estate agent (nope), a nurse (negative and SO thankful for them), AND I wanted to own my own "Gidget and Gadget" store. I envisioned a hamburger storefront , inside would be a Hello Kitty store, skating rink, and soda fountain. These inspirations were sprung from times spent with my grandmothers. Some of my favorite memories were spent on Saturdays shopping with my these two wonderful women, Mimi and GyGy. Both of these BEAUTIFUL, LOVING women made SUCH an impact on my life (my sobriety date is even on Mimi's birthday, August 29th, the last year she was alive).

Mimi was a homemaker, and our Saturdays consisted of trips to the library (I LOVE the library and Kershaw County has the BEST!!!!!), a trip to the Hallmark store, then we would go to the "teacher's supply store, and last but certainly not least, Wilson's Dime Store. Mimi would shop in Wilson's for flowers to make her beautiful arrangements, and I would shop for gidgets and gadgets. We would have to sometimes rush back home before my Poppa got home, so he couldn't see how much we would buy. Mimi and I shouldn't have feared because, he would be out searching for vintage Fisher Price toys for me at local flea markets. I still remember one day he hit the jackpot and found the hospital and castle on the same day!! Evenings were spent curled up watching our favorite shows with popcorn and Mimi playing school with me. Sunday mornings were my favorite because I got to go to Hunt's Memorial Baptist Church and hear pastor Ben Rodgers, and see some of my favorite people in the world!

With my GyGy, I tagged along on her Saturday traditions of shopping at McAlister Square in Greenville and if I was lucky, Haywood Mall, so I could go to my favorite store of all, Sanrio Surprises (the Hello Kitty store). GyGy spoiled me rotten and never said no. I would return with bags and bags of books, clothes, and gidgets and gadgets. My GyGy also taught me how to be a proper Southern lady. and told my sisters and I to pretend like we were eating with Jimmy Carter. She also told me over and over, "Kayci, no one is better than you, but YOU are no better than anyone else! I know that is where my comfort with all people and transparency comes from. I am ME, and I believe I would hit it off with my favorite "famous figures," as much as I get along with my hard working friends that have more of a tough time! Money and status doesn't impress me, but I tell you what does....GOODNESS!!! That is the kind of person I strive to be and teach my own children these important lessons. These beautiful souls that God blessed me with as grandmothers, I do not know where I would be if it were not for their love and lessons.

During these past six years, God has been preparing me for the ultimate leap of faith, I just had to listen. He showed me the way, when Covid crippled the country. After teaching for three years in Columbia, I had not had a lot of time to spend in my own community. During Covid, I was home, and it seemed everywhere I went, there would be one of my old students. Seeing them and reuniting, their hugs and love, memories, and stories of how I had made a difference in their lives filled my heart with such love and pride. I knew I had to give back to my community, the community that is now filled with my former students who are now adults with kids of their own. Opening Blue Skies and Sunshine has been a leap of faith, but so far, THE MOST rewarding, wonderful career, I could ever imagine!!! Yes, I'm still a teacher and can't WAIT for all the ideas I have to teach through my boutique. Seeing old friends enter the door is a gift that keeps coming, and the new friends I have met, is a new bonus. I do MISS my Skyhawks at Hammond, but guess what, I've had several come to the boutique and this makes me SO happy!!! Blue Skies and Sunshine for me is a true gift, and I hope it will be a gift for

our community. My intent is for people to have a place to know that it's OKAY to struggle, it's WONDEFUL to succeed, and to always give it to God and take that leap of faith. It has left ME walking on sunshine, and I hope it will leave my customers feeling the same way!! May ALL your skies be blue! Pura Vida and Love, Kayci

#blueskiessunshinecamden #downtowncamden #leapoffaith #listentoGod #Godwinks #camdenchamberofcommerce #kershawcountylibrary #livingmydream #onceateacheralwaysateacher

Helen Jean King Davis (Mimi)

Bonnie Jean Davis Merritt (GyGy)


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