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For those of you that don’t know me, I am Debbie Davis. It has been a life long dream of mine to own my own gift and home decor store. In Nov of 2018, that dream became a reality when I opened The Yellow Butterfly in Woodruff, SC. Many people have asked “Why Woodruff”? Woodruff is my hometown and it’s only 20 - 25 min from our home in Greenville and the traffic is a lot less stressful.
The Yellow Butterfly story came to fruition after my Mother died in 2016. The story started many years earlier but I didn’t know it at the time. My Mother had a debilitating stroke in 1989 at the young age of 53. I am an only child so I helped my Dad take care of my Mother for 27 years.
In 2003, Palmetto Home and Garden in Greenville opened and I jumped at the chance to be a vendor in the store. It was a multi vendor store and I didn’t have to be there all the time so it worked with my busy schedule of raising our 2 boys and helping take care of my parents. In Jan of 2016, Palmetto Home and Garden closed its doors. I decided to take a break from retail.
Before my Mother had her first stroke, she loved to crochet. However, after the stroke she was paralyzed on her right side and could no longer crochet. She spent the last 6 years of her life in nursing home care because it had gotten to be too much for my Dad to take care of her daily needs. About 2 years before her death, a lady came to the nursing home and taught my Mother how to do free hand needlework. I got her several different patterns to work on but she seemed to be taken with the butterfly patterns. I got her some kitchen towels and she did beautiful colorful butterflies on them. However, the year that she died, she started making all yellow butterflies. I love color but I didn’t dare say anything about the all yellow butterflies because I did not want to hurt her feelings. She made butterfly towels for everyone that she loved. It was almost like she was in a hurry to get them all done.
She became ill in September of 2016 and died in October. After she died, when I was watering my plants, yellow butterflies seemed to follow me around. I had never had butterflies in my yard, even though I had planted flowers to attract them. If I went in my side yard, they were there, my front yard, my back yard, it didn’t seem to matter - there were yellow butterflies. I got such a peace from the butterflies because I felt it was God’s way of telling me that my Mother was fine - she was walking, talking and at peace and that I would be ok too.
In 2017, I was going thru Woodruff and I noticed WYFF doing a news report on Main Street. I was surprised and wondered why would WYFF be doing a news report in the little town of Woodruff. I got back home, caught the news story and they were talking about all the growth in Woodruff. I told our son - “that’s what I am going to do - I am going to find a building in Woodruff and open a gift and home decor store and call it “The Yellow Butterfly” He said “Mom - you are crazy”!
My husband and I found a 120 yr old building that needed to be restored. We finished the restoration on the first floor just in time for me to open before the Christmas season in 2018. I love being at the store because I get to see all my old friends that I don’t get to see very often and I am also meeting lots of new people. I have been quite surprised at the number of people that have moved to Woodruff from other areas.
Bailey, our English Creme Retriver is my “shop dog”. She loves going to work with me everyday. She greets everyone that comes in the door and especially enjoys showing off her tricks to get a “Bailey’s Biscuit” which we sell in the store.
There are several things online about Yellow Butterflies and I have had several people tell me about their experiences with Yellow Butterflies after a loved one dies. To me, they are a symbol of transformation, hope, happiness and life. It is my hope that The Yellow Butterfly Gift shop will be just that to all who enter it.
Stop by and visit us soon!!